Animal Kingdom Favored in Preakness Stakes

Rob Gregorka

Las Vegas, NV -- Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom is going to be the morning-line favorite in Saturday's 136th running of the Preakness Stakes. The morning line is set by Pimlico oddsmaker Frank Carulli, and he went on record Monday saying that Animal Kingdom will be the favorite.

Even though Carulli didn't give the exact odds, you can expect Animal Kingdom to be listed at either 5-2 or 3-1. The rest of the odds are more of a grab bag.

History has shown that horses coming from the Kentucky Derby do far better than newcomers into the Preakness, and the odds on Saturday are going to reflect that. The top four finishers in the Kentucky Derby are going to be the main contenders along with beaten Derby favorite, Dialed In.

Handicapping horse racing's Preakness is much easier than handicapping the Kentucky Derby because the favorite wins about half the time.

If Nehro had been entered he would have been the second choice in the betting. Now it will be Dialed In and Mucho Macho Man, who was third in the Derby. Fourth place finisher Shackleford should be the fourth choice with odds of about 10-1.

It could be Bob Baffert's Midnight Interlude that is next on the odds board at about 15-1 even though the horse bombed in the Derby finishing in 16th place. Baffert won the Preakness last year with Lookin at Lucky and he has won the race four other times with Silver Charm in 1997, Real Quiet in 1998, Point Given in 2001 and War Emblem in 2002.

The top newcomers look to be Flashpoint for trainer Wesley Ward, Dance City for trainer Todd Pletcher and Astrology for trainer Steve Asmussen. Other probable horses for the Preakness are Sway Away, who just missed getting into the Kentucky Derby, Mr. Commons, King Congie, Concealed Identity and Norman Asbjornson. Of the newcomers, Astrology might be the best bet as he is owned by Stonestreet Stables and George Bolton. Stonestreet Stables won the Preakness in 2007 with Curlin and in 2009 with Rachel Alexandra.

Handicapping horse racing's Preakness is much easier than handicapping the Kentucky Derby because the favorite wins about half the time. Even when the favorite doesn't win, one of the lower priced horses usually does. There have only been two horses in the last 33 years in the Preakness who have won at odds of more than 10-1.

Entries, post positions and morning line odds for Saturday's Preakness Stakes will be announced on Wednesday.

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