Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, running from the eighth post position, was made the 5-2 favorite in the 135th Preakness Stakes, the second leg of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown.
Trainer Todd Pletcher is looking for his breakthrough victory in the May 15 Preakness after getting his first Derby win in 24 tries earlier this month. Calvin Borel, who set a Derby record by winning three of the past four years, will ride Super Saver.
“I don’t think the post position is that important in a 12-horse field with a good run to the first turn,” said Pletcher. “Super Saver should be able to find a cozy spot and if that’s in the lead, it’s OK, or fifth or sixth.”
Pletcher, who escorted Super Saver off the van today at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, has a second entry, Aikenite. The 3-year-old will run from the inside post and was given 20-1 odds in the $1 million race, which pays the winner $600,000.
Derby favorite Lookin At Lucky, who finished sixth at Churchill Downs after getting caught in traffic leaving the gate on the rail, was made the second favorite at 3-1 by track handicapper Frank Carulli. Paddy O’Prado, who ran third in the Derby, was given 9-2 odds in the 10th post position.
Trainer Bob Baffert, who has won the Preakness four times since 1997, replaced Lookin At Lucky’s jockey Garrett Gomez with Martin Garcia. His horse drew the seventh post position.
“At least he’s not on the rail where he can get T-boned again,” Baffert said. “I like seven. I switched jockeys to try something different. Martin knows the horse really well. It’s a big step for Martin.”
D. Wayne Lukas, who has trained five Preakness winners since 1980, has two entries: Northern Giant ridden by Terry Thompson, and Dublin with jockey Gomez.
Northern Giant and Yawanna Twist have the longest odds at 30-1. Hurricane Ike was withdrawn this morning from the race because of a back injury.
PP HORSE JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS 1 Aikenite Javier Castellano Todd Pletcher 20-1 2 Schoolyard Dreams Eibar Coa Derek Ryan 15-1 3 Pleasant Prince Julian Leparoux Wesley Ward 20-1 4 Northern Giant Terry Thompson D. Wayne Lukas 30-1 5 Yawanna Twist Edgar Prado Rick Dutrow Jr.30-1 6 Jackson Bend Mike Smith Nick Zito1 2-1 7 Lookin At Lucky Martin Garcia Bob Baffert 3-1 8 Super Saver Calvin Borel Todd Pletcher 5-2 9 Caracortado Paul Atkinson Mike Machowsky 10-1 10 Paddy O’Prado Kent Desormeaux Dale Romans 9-2 11 First Dude Ramon Dominguez Dale Romans 20-1 12 Dublin Garrett Gomez D. Wayne Lukas 10-1