2015 PREAKNESS STAKES CONTENDERS
CONFIRMED | PP 1 | ML Odds 4/5 Already a three-time Grade 1 winner before he got to Churchill Downs, American Pharoah closely tracked the early lead and emerged from a stretch-long duel with a one-length victory in the May 2 Kentucky Derby.
The 141st Derby was the fifth straight victory for American Pharoah, a bay son of 2009 Derby runner-up Pioneerof the Nile whose lone defeat came in his debut last summer, a 6 1/2 furlong sprint on the former Polytrack surface at Del Mar.
Talented and fast with five consecutive triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures, American Pharoah has won five of his six lifetime starts by a combined 23 1/4 lengths, mostly in front-running fashion.
He won the Del Mar Futurity (G1) in his second lifetime start and capped his 2-year-old season with a victory in the FrontRunner (G1) at Santa Anita. Though he missed the Breeders' Cup with an injury, he was voted the Eclipse Award as champion juvenile male.
American Pharoah prepped for the Triple Crown at Oaklawn Park this winter, with romps in the Rebel (G2) and Arkansas Derby (G1). In Kentucky, he showed a resolve to match his ability in his defeat of Firing Line and stablemate Dortmund. While pharaoh is a name given to ancient Egyptian rulers, American Pharoah's name was misspelled when chosen as the winner of Zayat Stables' annual naming contest and went uncorrected when submitted to The Jockey Club.
CONFIRMED | PP 2 | ML Odds 7/2 Kept apart from American Pharoah until the first Saturday in May, the massive Dortmund suffered his first lifetime loss finishing third to his brilliant stablemate by three lengths in the Kentucky Derby.
A chestnut son of 2008 Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown, whose Triple Crown dreams ended when he was eased in the Belmont Stakes, Dortmund reeled off six consecutive wins to open his career, all under regular rider Martin Garcia.
Following a maiden win at Santa Anita and an allowance victory at Churchill Downs, home of the Derby, Dortmund wrapped up his juvenile season winning the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) in December.
This year, Dortmund captured the Robert Lewis (G3), San Felipe (G2) and Santa Anita Derby (G1), each by advancing lengths. The latter two came in front-running fashion, including a 4 1/4-length score in California's biggest Kentucky Derby prep.
In Kentucky, Dortmund took command of the race in the opening sixteenth of a mile and set the pace on the inside under steady pressure from Firing Line. Dortmund battled on between Firing Line and American Pharoah, who moved into contention on the outside, and dug in down the stretch to finish third, two lengths behind Firing Line and a neck ahead of Frosted.
Dortmund's name comes from owner Kaleem Shah's fondness for European soccer teams, in this case Germany's Borussia Dortmund.
CONFIRMED | PP 3 | ML Odds 20/1 Checked repeatedly on the first turn and never getting a chance to run from post 14 in the Kentucky Derby, the connections for Mr. Z decided to bring the chestnut son of Malibu Moon to Old Hilltop and offer another chance to win a Triple Crown race.
Purchased as a yearling for $130,000 in the fall of 2013, Mr. Z shows one win from 13 lifetime starts, a maiden victory in his career bow last June at Churchill Downs. He would run seven more times as a juvenile, finishing second in the Sanford (G3) and Saratoga Special (G2) at Saratoga Race Course, the Breeders' Futurity (G1) at Keeneland and the Delta Downs Jackpot (G3).
Fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) and third in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) to cap his 2-year-old season, Mr. Z spent the winter in Arkansas and was third in three of Oaklawn Park's Derby preps: the Smarty Jones, Southwest (G3) and Arkansas Derby (G1).
Out of the Storm Cat mare Stormy Bear, Mr. Z is named for his owner, Egyptian-born businessman Ahmed Zayat.
CONFIRMED | PP 4 | ML Odds 15/1 A spectacular work horse in the morning that had yet to put it all together in the afternoon, Danzig Moon ran a creditable race in the Kentucky Derby to finish fifth in a field of 18 3-year-olds, beaten just over six lengths.
The bay son of Malibu Moon, sire of 2013 Derby winner Orb, Danzig Moon went winless in two starts as a juvenile before breaking through in his sophomore debut, a 4 3/4 length maiden special weight score going one mile Feb. 7 at Gulfstream Park.
Based at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream's satellite training facility in Palm Beach County, trainer Mark Casse shipped Danzig Moon to Tampa Bay Downs where he was a non-threatening fourth in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) March 7.
Danzig Moon showed a much better effort in his subsequent start, the 1 1/8-mile Blue Grass (G1), where he swung six wide at the quarter pole to launch a bid that came up three lengths short of winner Carpe Diem. They met again in the Derby, with Carpe Diem fading to finish 10th.
Tale of Verve
CONFIRMED | PP 5 | ML Odds 30/1 Still with just a maiden win to his credit, Tale of Verve was entered in the May 2 Kentucky Derby (G1) but scratched when he didn't draw into the field off the also-eligible list.
The bay colt is a son of Tale of Ekati, winner of the 2008 Wood Memorial (G1) who finished fourth in the Derby and sixth in the Belmont Stakes (G1) for owner-breeder Charles Fipke and trainer Barclay Tagg.
Tale of Verve spent the fall of his 2-year-old season in Kentucky, running third in a pair of maiden special weight races, before moving with trainer Dallas Stewart's string to Fair Grounds for the winter.
In New Orleans, Tale of Verve failed to hit the board in two more maiden races until running second March 5 going 1 1/16 miles. He finally tasted victory in his subsequent start, pulling away to win by two lengths as the favorite at 1 3/16 miles - the same distance as the Preakness Stakes (G1).
CONFIRMED | PP 6 | ML Odds 20/1 A sophomore son of Student Council, Bodhisattva could become the second straight California-bred horse to win the Preakness, following 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome. The last previous Cal-bred to take the middle jewel of the Triple Crown was Snow Chief in 1986.
Bodhisattva, which in Buddhism means `enlightened being,' made his Pimlico debut in the 1 1/16-mile Federico Tesio April 18, rallying after giving up the lead in mid-stretch to defeat Noteworthy Peach in Old Hilltop's traditional Preakness prep.
It was the fourth straight stakes race and fifth overall for the chestnut, who was unable to catch winner Bridget's Big Luvy in the 1 1/8-mile Private Terms March 21 after giving up the lead and fading to fourth in the one-mile Miracle Wood February 16.
Bodhisattva broke his maiden in his fourth try last fall, a 5 1/2-length romp going about 1 1/16 miles at Laurel Park. He made his stakes debut two starts later running fifth of 12 in the Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct, finishing ahead of Palm Beach (G3) winner Eh Cumpari, Sleepy Hollow winner Ostrolenka and Grade 1-placed The Truth or Else.
Maryland-bred Deputed Testamony in 1983 is the only Tesio winner to repeat in the Preakness. In all, 18 of 33 Tesio winners have gone on to the Preakness including Kid Cruz, who was eighth in 2014.
CONFIRMED | PP 7 | ML Odds 12/1 An emphatic three-length victory in the Coolmore Lexington (G3) on April 11 at Keeneland punched the Preakness ticket for Divining Rod, a dark bay son of Grade 1 winner Tapit making what will be his sixth lifetime start.
Bred in Kentucky by his owners, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Jackson, Divining Rod wasn't unveiled until late November, winning an off-the-turf maiden special weight going one mile at Laurel Park despite racing greenly.
Sent to Tampa Bay Downs for a winter campaign by trainer Arnaud Delacour, Divining Rod was third in his first try against winners to cap his 2-year-old season, and opened 2015 finishing second by a neck behind Ocean Night in the Sam F. Davis (G3) at odds of 28-1.
Divining Rod led for six furlongs before weakening to third in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) in March, rebounding with a powerful victory over highly regarded debut winner Donworth in the Lexington.
CONFIRMED | PP 8 | ML Odds 4/1 First or second in five starts to open his career, Firing Line continued his pattern by finishing a length behind winner American Pharoah in the Kentucky Derby on May 2 at Churchill Downs.
Second by a half-length in his debut last fall at Santa Anita, the Line of David colt broke his maiden on the Polytrack at Del Mar before wrapping up his juvenile season running second by a head to Dortmund in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1).
Firing Line kicked off his sophomore year in similar fashion, running a head behind Dortmund in the Robert Lewis (G3) in February. In his first start outside of California, the bay colt romped by 14 1/4 lengths in New Mexico's Sunland Derby (G3), his final tune-up for Louisville.
Forwardly placed in each of his races, Firing Line finally finished ahead of Dortmund but was unable to turn back his stablemate after a protracted stretch duel in the Kentucky Derby.
Preakness Stakes Race Day Schedule - Saturday, May 16, 2015
|Maryland Heritage Purse||3YO||6 furlongs||$31,000||10:45PM|
|Deputed Testamony||3YO&Up||1-1/6 Miles||$25,000||11:14AM|
|CoverGirl Purse||3YO&Up||1 1/16 mile (T)||$29,000||11:43AM|
|Allaire duPont Distaff (G2)||F&M 3YO&Up||1-1/6 Miles - Dirt||$100,000||12:16PM|
|Sinai Good Neighbors||F&M 3YO&Up||5 furlongs (T)||$31,000||12:53PM|
|Chick Lang Stakes (G2)||3YO&Up||6 furlongs - Dirt||$100,000||1:33PM|
|James Murphy Stakes||F&M 3YO&Up||1-1/6 Miles (T)||$100,000||2:15PM|
|Maryland Sprint (G3)||3YO&Up||6 furlongs (T)||$100,000||2:57PM|
|Gallorette Handicap (G3)||F&M 3YO&Up||1-1/6 Miles (T)||$100,000||3:39PM|
|William Donald Schaefer (G3)||3YO&Up||1-1/6 Miles - Dirt||$100,000||4:22PM|
|Dixie Stakes (G2)||3YO&Up||1-1/8 Miles (T)||$200,000||5:07PM|
|Preakness Stakes (G1)||3Yo||1-3/16 Miles||$1,000,000||6:19PM|
Preakness Stakes Purse Structure
|Result||Purse of $1,000,000|
Black Eyed Susan Day Race Schedule - Friday, May 15, 2015
|Unnamed||F&M 3YO&Up||6 furlongs||$33,000||12:00PM|
|Female Jockey Challenge Race||3YO&Up||5 furlongs - Turf||$29,000||12:30PM|
|Unnamed||F&M 3YO&Up||1-1/16 Miles - Turf||$28,000||1:00PM|
|Female Jockey Challenge Race||F&M 3YO&Up||6 furlongs||$36,000||1:30PM|
|Jim McKay Turf Sprint||3YO&Up||5 furlongs - Turf||$75,000||2:02PM|
|Female Jockey Challenge Race||F&M 3YO&Up||6 furlongs||$37,200||2:34PM|
|Legend's for the Cure||3YO&Up||6 furlongs||$31,000||3:05PM|
|Jockey Challenge Race||3YO&Up||5 furlongs - Turf||$31,000||3:36PM|
|Ms. Preakness Pink Warrior Stakes||F 3YO||6 furlongs||$75,000||4:08PM|
|Black Eyed Susan (G2)||F 3YO||1-1/8 Miles||$250,000||4:46PM|
|The Very One||F&M 3YO&Up||5 furlongs - Turf||$75,000||5:16PM|
|Kattegat's Pride Starter Handicap||F&M 3YO&Up||1-1/6 Miles||$25,000||5:46PM|
|Hilltop Stakes||F 3YO||1-1/16 Miles - Turf||$75,000||6:16PM|
|American Pharoah||Victor Espinoza||Bob Baffert|
|Danzig Moon||Julien Leparoux||Mark Casse|
|Divining Rod||Javier Castellano||Arnaud Delacour|
|Dortmund||Martin Garcia||Bob Baffert|
|Firing Line||Gary Stevens||Simon Callaghan|
|Bodhisattva||Trevor McCarthy||Jose Corrales|
|Tale of Verve||Joel Rosario||Dallas Stewart|
|Mr. Z||Corey Nakatini||D. Wayne Lukas|
|Preakness Stakes Winners|
|Race Tracks||Time (ET)|
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