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OffTrackBetting.com - The second jewel of the Triple Crown, the 141st running of the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes comes our way this Saturday, May 21 from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. Some of the best three year olds in the land will take to Pimlico's dirt track and race 1 3/16 miles for the winner's share of the $1.5 million purse.
A field of 11 will give it a go in the Preakness Stakes - 10 of which will be trying to spoil the Triple Crown aspirations of Nyquist. It goes off as race 13 on Pimlico's stacked Saturday card with a post time of 6:45 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all 11 combatants for this most intriguing Grade 1 Triple Crown race.
Nyquist 3-5 - The runaway winner of the Eclipse Award for 2-year-old-male has been unstoppable for trainer Doug O'Neill - he looks every bit the next Triple Crown winner. In 2015 Nyquist won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, the FrontRunner at Santa Anita and the Del Mar Futurity to go along with the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes. Nyquist has three starts in 2016 and they produced three more very impressive wins - the Kentucky Derby by 1 1/4 lengths last time out, by 1 1/2 lengths in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita February 15 and the Grade 1 Florida Derby April 2. He has now won all eight starts handily and is the one to catch Saturday with Mario Gutierrez aboard the obvious morning line favorite from post 3.
Exaggerator 3-1 - Keith Desormeaux trained colt has four wins, three runner-ups and a third place finish in 10 career starts. He arrives on the heels of a good second behind Nyquist in the Kentucky Derby which followed a terrific win in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby April 9, an OK third in the competitive Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes March 12 and a runner-up finish behind Nyquist in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes February 15. He's also posted a terrific win with a 103 Beyer Speed Figure in the Grade 3 $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot November 21, a fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, a respectable second in the Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland in October and a nice win in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special in August. Exaggerator has been very competitive so far and will look to switch the script on Nyquist Saturday - with Kent Desormeaux guiding the morning line second choice from post 5.
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Stradivari 8-1 - lightly raced Todd Pletcher trained colt has won two of his three career starts and makes his stakes debut Saturday. Last time out was an incredible 14 length Allowance score at Keeneland April 17 which followed a maiden win by 11 lengths at Gulfstream Park in December and a fourth in his debut in November. Stradivari takes an enormous step up in competition Saturday but does so in decent form. John Velazquez has been tabbed to ride from the outside post 11.
Collected 10-1 - Bob Baffert trained colt has been impressive so far in his six race career - four wins and a second place finish. He enters on the heels of a two race win streak - the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes last time out at April 16 and the minor Sunland Park Festival of Racing Stakes in March. Before that were a fourth in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes and another good win in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita in January. Collected has won three of his last four starts overall (all stakes) and could be a factor Saturday from post 7 with Javier Castellano aboard.
Cherry Wine 20-1 - Dale Romans trained colt has eight career starts with two wins, a second and a third place finish. Last time out was an OK third in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland April 9 after a fourth in his stakes debut - the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park March 19 and two straight wins including a six length Allowance Optional Claiming score at Gulfstream Park January 9. Cherry Wine has been competitive so far, hopes for his third win in five starts and will be chasing his first stakes score Saturday. Corey Lanerie gets the call from the rail
Uncle Lino 20-1 - has two wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in seven career starts for trainer Gary Sherlock. He made his stakes debut four starts back and finished a respectable second behind Mor Spirit in the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita February 6 and followed that with a fourth in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes March 12. Last time out was his first stakes win - the minor California Chrome Stakes in track record time at Los Alamitos April 30 after an OK third in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby April 9. Uncle Lino been decent so far in his career and will be after his first ever graded stakes and second straight stakes victory overall. Fernando Hernandez Perez will be in the saddle from gate 2.
Abiding Star 30-1 - Edward Allard trained colt has 11 career starts with five wins, a second and a third place finish. He makes his graded stakes debut Saturday on fire - five straight wins including the minor Parx Derby last time out May 7, an Allowance Optional Claiming April 12 and the minor Private Terms Stakes at Laurel Park March 12. Abiding Star hasn't been beaten this year and steps up in terrific form. JD Acosta will be in the saddle hoping to keep an impressive roll going Saturday from post 9.
Fellowship 30-1 - Mark Casse trained colt has 12 career starts already with two wins, three seconds and three third place finishes. He made his graded stakes debut four starts back and finished a respectable third, six lengths behind Mohaymen in the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream January 30 and followed that with another third behind Mohaymen in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes February 27 and another third in the competitive Grade 1 Florida Derby April 2. Last time out was a somewhat disappointing fourth in the Grade 3 Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs May 7. He has placed in six of his last eight starts overall but looks to snap a seven race losing streak Saturday. Jose Lezcano has the mount from gate 10.
Laoban 30-1 - will hit the track for the sixth time for trainer Eric Guillot having recorded two seconds and one third place finish so far. Last time out was a fourth in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes April 9 which followed a respectable second in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct March 5, a troubled third in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita January 9 and a second in a MSW at Los Alamitos December 5. He was fifth in his debut November 15. Laoban has been OK in his last four starts and tries for his first career win Saturday with Florent Geroux in the irons from gate 8.
Awesome Speed 30-1 - Alan Goldberg trained colt has four wins in six career starts - the only blemishes came in his debut and with a fourth two starts back in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream in February. He bounced back last time out with a win in the Federico Tesio Stakes (a local prep for this race) at Laurel Park April 9 and also had minor stakes wins in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes at Gulfstream in January and the James F. Lewis Stakes in November. Awesome Speed has made his mark in minor stakes action so far and hopes for his biggest win to date Saturday. Jevian Toledo has rides from gate 4.
Lani 30-1 - Japanese bred Mikio Matsunaga trained colt was decent at home in recording two wins and a second place finish in five starts but arrived on the radar with a win in the Group 2 UAE Derby at this distance at Meydan March 26. He made his North American debut last time out and finished a somewhat predictable ninth in the Kentucky Derby. Lani hopes to make a little noise Saturday with Tutaka Take in the irons from gate 6.
Race 13 on Pimlico's Saturday card with a Post Time of 6:45 PM.
|1||Cherry Wine||20-1||Corey Lanerie||Dale Romans|
|2||Uncle Lino||20-1||Fernando Perez||Gary Sherlock|
|3||Nyquist||3-5||Mario Gutierrez||Doug O'Neill|
|4||Awesome Speed||30-1||Jevian Toledo||Alan Goldberg|
|5||Exaggerator||3-1||Kent Desormeaux||J. Desormeaux|
|6||Lani||30-1||Yutaka Take||Mikio Matsunaga|
|7||Collected||10-1||Javier Castellano||Bob Baffert|
|8||Laoban||30-1||Florent Geroux||Eric Guillot|
|9||Abiding Star||30-1||J. Acosta||Edward Allard|
|10||Fellowship||30-1||Jose Lezcano||Mark Casse|
|11||Stradivari||8-1||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher|
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