At one point, horses frequently ran in all three Triple Crown races regardless of how they performed. Times have changed, and no better validation of that fact can be found than the 2015 Preakness Stakes. At this point, only four of the horses that ran in the Kentucky Derby are expected to enter the Preakness.
One of these will obviously be American Pharoah who will be looking to pick up the second leg of the Triple Crown following his impressive showing in winning the Kentucky Derby. His stablemate, Dortmund will also be entered. Dortmund made a strong effort in the Kentucky Derby though trying to lead the race wire to wire is seldom a successful strategy. Dortmund eventually finished third which was very impressive given the level of competition and the brisk pace that he set.
Firing Line was the runner up to American Pharoah in the Kentucky Derby and will be back for another shot on Saturday at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course. History doesn’t pay much attention to Kentucky Derby runners-up but in most year’s Firing Line would have emerged victorious. Danzig Moon is also considered likely for the Preakness though his fifth place run in the Kentucky Derby was nothing special. He basically picked off a bunch of fading horses after running mid-pack for most of the race.
One notable absence from the race–the horses of trainer Todd Pletcher. Pletcher today made it officially that he would pass on the Preakness. His thinking is that unless there’s a compelling reason to do so it’s not a good idea to run horses on just two weeks rest. He couldn’t justify running his two Derby runners Materiality and Carpe Diem, late Derby scratch Stanford and highly touted three year old Competitive Edge. Pletcher did say that Carpe Diem and Materiality would be pointed to the Belmont Stakes with Stanford likely for the Woody Stephens or Met Mile on the undercard. Several other Derby runners could return for the Belmont as well.
Filling out the Preakness field will be local horses based at Pimlico, none of which look particularly impressive. Bodhisattva won the Tesio Stakes at Pimlico and might be the best of the bunch.