A late addition, a runner who could give his trainer a record eighth victory in the race and a collection of 3-year-olds that doesn’t include the adjudged or disqualified Kentucky Derby winner make up the field for Saturday’s 144th edition of the Preakness Stakes.
The field for the $1.65 million Preakness entered Wednesday with Improbable, who could give Bob Baffert a record eighth win in the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, pegged as the morning-line favorite in the field of 13. Improbable, fourth in the Kentucky Derby after the DQ of Maximum Security and the best finisher out of that race to make it Baltimore, drew post 4 and is the 5-2 favorite.
The lone Grade 1 winner in the field, Improbable gets a new rider in Mike Smith for the Preakness. Baffert tied R. W. Walden with seven Preakness victories last year with eventual Triple Crown winner Justify. He also won the race in 1997 with Silver Charm, 1998 with Real Quiet, 2001 with Point Given, 2002 with War Emblem, 2010 with Lookin At Lucky and 2015 with Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.
War Of Will, seventh via disqualification in the Derby, returns on two weeks’ rest for owner Gary Barber, trainer Mark Casse and jockey Tyler Gaffalione. They’re the 4-1 second choice and the son of War Front, who drew the dreaded rail in the Derby, also starts from post 1 in the 1 3/16-mile Preakness.
The only other single-digit odds runners in the field are 6-1 third choice Anothertwistafate, who earned an automatic berth in the race winning the El Camino Real Derby in mid-February at Golden Gate Fields; and top local threat and 8-1 fourth pick Alwaysmining, who rides a six-race win streak for trainer Kelly Rubley.
A field of 12 was expected until the 11th hour addition of Calumet Farm’s Everfast, beaten double-digit lengths in his last three starts against graded company after a runner-up finish in the Grade 2 Holy Bull in early February for trainer Dale Romans.
The Preakness will be without the Kentucky Derby winner – the adjudged winner Country House – for the first time since Grindstone missed the race with an injury in 1996.
Here’s the field for the 144th Preakness, which goes as the 13th of 14 races Saturday with a post time of 6:48 p.m. NBC will broadcast the race live form 5-7:15 p.m. EDT after showing a significant portion of the undercard on NBC Sports Network from 2-5 p.m. The Horse Racing Radio Network will also broadcast live from Pimlico from 3-7:30 p.m.
Here’s the field for the Preakness with jockeys and morning-line odds:
- War Of Will (Tyler Gaffalione), 4-1;
- Bourbon War (Irad Ortiz Jr.), 12-1;
- Warrior’s Charge (Javier Castellano), 12-1;
- Improbable (Mike Smith), 5-2;
- Owendale (Florent Geroux), 10-1;
- Market King (Jon Court), 30-1;
- Alwaysmining (Daniel Centeno), 8-1;
- Signalman (Brian Hernandez Jr.), 30-1;
- Bodexpress (John Velazquez), 20-1;
- Everfast (Joel Rosario), 50-1;
- Laughing Fox (Ricardo Santana Jr.), 20-1;
- Anothertwistafate (Jose Ortiz), 6-1;
- Win Win Win (Julian Pimentel), 15-1.