Trainer Todd Pletcher will look for his first victory at the Preakness Stakes with Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, the 5-2 favorite in the second leg of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown.
Pletcher this month got his only Derby win in 24 tries when Calvin Borel rode the victorious horse for a record third time in four years.
“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 yesterday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, has a second entry in the 135th Preakness. Aikenite, a 3-year-old 20-1 shot, will run from the inside post in the $1 million May 15 race, which will pay the winner $600,000.
Derby favorite Lookin At Lucky, who was 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 Hurricane Ike was withdrawn yesterday from the race because of an injury to his hind leg.
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