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The 149th running of the Preakness Stakes will be held on Saturday, May 18, 2024, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. It is the 13th of 14 races scheduled at Pimlico that day.

What is the Preakness?

The Preakness Stakes is an American thoroughbred horse race held annually on the third Saturday in May. It is the second jewel, or leg, of the Triple Crown since is it held two weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks before the Belmont Stakes. The Preakness is a Grade 1 race run over a distance of 1 3/16 miles.

Who are the contenders and pretenders?

All horses running in the Preakness Stakes this year are listed in post-position order, including their jockey and morning-line odds.

Post 1: MUGATU, Bravo, 20-1

Did not draw from AEs for the Kentucky Derby and on Saturday draws the rail for the Preakness. Lone win came over synthetic surface with Bravo aboard who is back on today. 1 run closer is clearly overmatched. PRETENDER

Post 2: UNCLE HEAVY, Irad Ortiz Jr., 20-1

Both wins have come going long over wet tracks, including a victory in the Gr. 3 Withers at Aqueduct. Last time out in the Wood Memorial, he ran deceptively well, finishing 5th, racing very wide throughout breaking from post 12.  Draws a good inside post getting a major upgrade in riders to Irad Ortiz. With the prospects of a wet track, these conditions move him up. CONTENDER

Post 3: CATCHING FREEDOM, Prat, 6-1

Wheeled back on just 2 weeks rest following his 4th place finish in the Derby. This is not a typical move by trainer Brad Cox, but perhaps the speed figure pair up, which is often a harbinger of 3-year-old improvement, helped influence his decision. Deep closer has the class and consistency to win, but there are several obstacles he must overcome, including the possibility of having to run over a wet track. Prefers it dry. CONTENDER

Post 4: MUTH, J J Hernandez, 8-5 (SCRATCHED)

Post 5: MYSTIC DAN, B. Hernandez, 5-2

Upset winner by a nose at 18-1 in the Derby after receiving a picture-perfect ride and trip by Hernandez, is wheeled back on just 2 weeks rest. He ran his worse race in 7 starts last November off the same short break but was a very inexperienced horse being asked to stretch out and step up in class. Obviously much improved as a 3-year-old and showed he loves a wet track with an 8 length win in the Southwest at Oaklawn back in February. Any moisture would only help. CONTENDER

Post 6: SEIZE THE GREY, Torres, 15-1

Wheeled back on just 2 weeks rest following an upset win in the Pat Day Mile on the Derby undercard. The waters get far tougher here stretching out in distance against much tougher. PRETENDER

Post 7: JUST STEEL, Rosario, 15-1

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas has 2 entrants for the Preakness, and both are rank outsiders. Exits a well beaten 17th in the Derby. I didn’t like him that day and I don’t like him in the Preakness. The style this versatile horse employs in this race could heavily factor in the outcome, but not for him. PRETENDER

Post 8: TUSCAN GOLD, Gaffalione, 8-1

With only 3 starts, he’s the most lightly raced horse in the field, but has plenty of upside. Improved dramatically with an emphatic 6 length maiden win in his 3-year-old debut and first start around 2 turns Jan 31. Stepped up sharply in class to finish 3rd, beaten just 1 ¾ lengths in the Louisiana Derby won by Catching Freedom. Tactical speed to help overcome outside post. Bred for wet. Trainer Chad Brown has 2 Preakness wins and just missed a 3rd one last year, all with horses with similar inexperience who skipped the Derby and pointed for this race. CONTENDER  

Post 9: IMAGINATION, Dettori, 6-1

The second of 2 Baffert runners, has never been off the board in 6 starts, including 2 wins. Suffered a neck defeat last time out in the Santa Anita Derby to Stronghold, who ran respectably in the Kentucky Derby. He’s quick enough to get the early lead if aggressively ridden by Dettori right from the start. Been working head-to-head with Muth. CONTENDER

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Last updated: February, 2024

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