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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Thirteen Entered in Preakness, Led by Improbable at 5-2

5/15/2019


WinStar Farm LLC, China Horse Club International and Starlight Racing, principles in the ownership group of 2018 Triple Crown champion Justify, will once again be represented by a morning-line favorite for the Preakness Stakes on Saturday.

This year, Improbable is scheduled to take on 12 rivals in the 144th running of the 1 3/16-mile Spring Classic at Pimlico Race Course.

Installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite, Improbable isn't as highly regarded as Justify, who was the 1-2 morning-line favorite and won the Preakness by a half-length as the 2-5 betting choice last year.

However, the 3-year-old son of City Zip has a solid chance to give Bob Baffert back-to-back victories and a record-breaking eighth success in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. Baffert is currently tied with Robert Wyndham Walden, who won the Preakness seven times from 1875-1888.

Baffert has been victorious with Triple Crown champions Justify (2018) and American Pharoah (2015), as well as Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), War Emblem (2002), Lookin At Lucky (2010) and Point Given (2001).

Improbable had the best finish of the four Preakness entrants that ran in the Kentucky Derby, finishing fifth before being placed fourth through the disqualification of first-place-finisher Maximum Security.

Improbable was assigned Post No.4 at Wednesday’s post position draw at Power Plant Live! in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor area.

Mike Smith, who rode Justify in his Triple Crown sweep, is slated to ride Improbable for the first time Saturday.

Also running back from the Kentucky Derby in the Preakness will be War of Will, Win Win Win and Bodexpress, who finished eighth, 10th and 14th, respectively, before all being bumped up a spot upon Maximum Security’s disqualification.

Gary Barber’s War of Will was rated second in the morning line at 4-1 after drawing post position 1.

War of Will will be looking to rebound from back-to-back out-of-the-money finishes in the Kentucky Derby and Louisiana Derby, when he finished ninth. Those races were preceded by easy triumphs in the LeComte and Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds.

Live Oak Plantation’s homebred Win Win Win earned his way into the Derby field with a third-place finish in the Tampa Bay Derby and a second-place finish in the Toyota Blue Grass at Keeneland. The Michael Trombetta-trained son of Hat Trick was rated at 15-1 in the morning line after drawing post 13.

Bodexpress, who finished second behind Maximum Security in the Florida Derby to earn his way into the Derby, is winless in six career starts. With a victory Saturday, the Gustavo Delgado trainee would become the first maiden to win the Preakness since Refund beat only three rivals in 1888. He's owned by Top Racing LLC, Global Thoroughbred and GDS Racing Stable and is a son of 2012 Preakness runner-up Bodemeister.

Bodexpress was rated at 20-1in the morning line after drawing post 9.

Anothertwistafate, Alwaysmining and Laughing Fox all earned automatic entries by winning Preakness ‘Win and In’ races. They are among several prominent newcomers to the Triple Crown scene.

Anothertwistafate, who earned his way into the Preakness with a victory in the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields back in February, finished second in both the Sunland Derby and Lexington Stakes. He drew post 12 and was rated third in the morning-line at 6-1. Peter Redekop B.C. Ltd owns him.

Alwaysmining, who is riding a six-race winning streak, was rated at 8-1 after drawing post 7 for his graded-stakes debut. Should the son of Stay Thirsty win Saturday, he would be the first Maryland-bred to capture the Preakness since Deputed Testamony in 1983. His trainer, Kelly Rubley, hopes to make the record books as the only woman to saddle a Preakness winner. Runnymede Racing LLC is the proud owner of the Maryland-bred.

Laughing Fox, who won the ‘Win and In’ Oaklawn Park Invitational on Kentucky Derby Day, could give trainer Steve Asmussen his third Preakness winner, following Curlin (2007) and Rachel Alexandra (2009). The son of Union Rags drew post 11 and was rated at 20-1. Alex and JoAnn Lieblong, prominent in Arkansas horse racing circles, are the owners.

Inveterate Preakness trainer D. Wayne Lukas is slated to saddle Market King for longtime Lukas clients Robert Baker and William Mack. Market King will exit post 6. He's 30-1. The quest for Lukas is a record-equaling seventh Preakness victory.

Trainer Brad Cox is scheduled to saddle two Preakness starters, Rupp Racing’s Lexington Stakes winner Owendale, who will break from post 5, 10-1 on the morning line; and Oaklawn allowance winner Warrior’s Charge. 12-1 and set to break from post 3.

Bourbon War (post 2; 12-1) will race after shipping in from New York. Owned by Bourbon Lane Stable and Lake Star Stable, Bourbon War was last seen running fourth in the Florida Derby behind Maximum Security, Bodexpress and Code of Honor, the latter one going on to finish third in the Kentucky Derby before being moved up to second after the winner was disqualified. Bourbon War lacked enough points to make the Kentucky Derby.

Signalman (post 8; 30-1) will make his third start of the year in the Preakness after coming up short on Kentucky Derby points. He was an also-ran in the Fountain of Youth, in which Bourbon War ran a close second, and he finished third in the Toyota Blue Grass when Win Win Win nosed him out for second.

Calumet Farm’s Everfast (post 10; 50-1), a late declarant for the race, had his high point of the year when finishing second at triple-digit odds in the Holy Bull Stakes won by Harvey Wallbanger a few month ago. Last time out, he finished fifth in the Pat Day Mile on Kentucky Derby day.


Edited Maryland Jockey Club release with additional content by Dick Downey
 

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