"Fresh" horses in the Preakness

Modern-day trainers often worry about bringing horses into the Preakness just 14 days after a tough race in the Kentucky Derby. Todd Pletcher, the country's most successful trainer, is a leading advocate of racing horses sparingly, and he'll run Dance City in the Preakness 35 days after he made his last start, finishing third in the Arkansas Derby. Other legitimate Preakness contenders coming off layoffs are Astrology (35 days), Flashpoint (48 days), Mr. Commons (42 days) and Sway Away (35 days). History indicates that these horses are at a disadvantage. Since 1985, a total of 80 horses have come into the Preakness after a layoff of three weeks or more, and only two have won. Only three such horses have won the race since 1960:

Year Horse Time between races
1980 Codex 30 days (won Hollywood Derby)
2000 Red Bullet 35 days (2nd in Wood Memorial at Aqueduct)
2006 Bernardini 21 days (won Withers Stakes at Aqueduct)

By Andrew Beyer - The Washington Post. Published May 18, 2011.