The Washington Post

Preakness hasn’t been kind to Kentucky Derby winners like California Chrome

(Associated Press)

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.

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
2014 California Chrome  ???
2013 Orb Oxbow
2012 I’ll Have Another I’ll Have Another
2011 Animal Kingdom Shackleford
2010 Super Saver Lookin At Lucky
2009 Mine That Bird Rachel Alexandra
2008 Big Brown Big Brown
2007 Street Sense Curlin
2006 Barbaro Bernardini
2005 Giacomo Afleet Alex
2004 Smarty Jones Smarty Jones
2003 Funny Cide Funny Cide
2002 War Emblem War Emblem
2001 Monarchos Point Given
2000 Fusaichi Pegasus Red Bullet
1999 Charismatic Charismatic
1998 Real Quiet Real Quiet
1997 Silver Charm Silver Charm
1996 Grindstone Louis Quatorze
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

2014 Preakness post time, draw, odds and Andrew Beyer’s analysis

The black-eyed Susan cocktail gets no respect at the Preakness

California Chrome owner expresses ridiculous amount of confidence

Going Out Guide: A guide to attending the 139th Preakness

Neil Greenberg analyzes advanced sports statistics for the Fancy Stats blog and prefers to be called a geek rather than a nerd.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Be a man and cry
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
Sleep advice you won't find in baby books
Play Videos
Drawing as an act of defiance
A flood of refugees from Syria but only a trickle to America
Chicago's tacos, four ways
Play Videos
What you need to know about filming the police
What you need to know about trans fats
Syrian refugee: 'I’m committed to the power of music'
Play Videos
Riding the X2 with D.C.'s most famous rapper
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
Europe's migrant crisis, explained
Next Story
Neil Greenberg · May 15, 2014