Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome is currently the 3-to-5 favorite to win the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, implying a 62.5 percent chance at a victory. However, there are reports that the 3-year-old coughed a few times on Thursday, the result of a blister in his throat. Sherman Racing refuted the report on Twitter.
Statement on California Chrome’s condition pic.twitter.com/rZUrbqls7i
— ShermanRacingStables (@ShermanRacing) May 15, 2014
But even if California Chrome is healthy, only one horse over the last five years has captured the first two legs of the Triple Crown (I’ll Have Another in 2012), and it’s happened only twice in the past decade (Big Brown in 2008 and Smarty Jones in 2004).
|Year||Kentucky Derby||Preakness Stakes|
|2012||I’ll Have Another||I’ll Have Another|
|2010||Super Saver||Lookin At Lucky|
|2009||Mine That Bird||Rachel Alexandra|
|2008||Big Brown||Big Brown|
|2004||Smarty Jones||Smarty Jones|
|2003||Funny Cide||Funny Cide|
|2002||War Emblem||War Emblem|
|2000||Fusaichi Pegasus||Red Bullet|
|1998||Real Quiet||Real Quiet|
|1997||Silver Charm||Silver Charm|
|1995||Thunder Gulch||Timber Country|
Their are seven “new shooters” in the Preakness: Dynamic Impact, Ring Weekend, BayernBob, Ria Antonia, Kid Cruz, Social Inclusion and Pablo Del Monte. However, those who didn’t race in the Derby don’t have the best track record:
Of those Preakness starters who have skipped (or couldn’t get into) the Kentucky Derby over the last 20 years, only three have won. That record certainly is not because of under-representation either, as the last 19 runnings of the Preakness have featured 105 new shooters out of a total of 212 starters. That’s about half of all Preakness starters during that time.
That leaves General a Rod (15 to 1) and Ride on Curlin (10 to 1) as decent value bets. Neither of their post positions have been kind to winners: since 1995, there hasn’t been a Preakness winner from post positions 1 through 3.
Andy Beyer feels General a Rod’s poor Derby finish can probably be forgiven, and Jim Shircliff, one of the horse’s owners, agrees.
“In the Racing Form, there was two ‘steadies,’ one ‘angled out,’ one ‘moved in’ – like five trouble lines for him,” Shircliff said. “He just couldn’t get through, and he came back pretty good so [trainer Mike Maker] said, ‘Let’s go.'”
“We will save some ground,” Maker said. “Hopefully, he’ll get a cleaner trip than he got in Kentucky. He’s doing good. That’s why we’re here.”
More on the Preakness