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2011 Preakness Stakes Betting Preview / Rankings

The 2011 Preakness Stakes – An early look

Ready for the 2011 Preakness Stakes from Pimlico? With the first leg of this year’s Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby in the books we’re now onto race 2. Here’s a look at the top horses in this year’s Preakness Field.

136th Preakness Stakes
Location: Pimlico Race Course
Date: May 21, 2011
Inaugurated: 1873
Race type: Thoroughbred
Track: Dirt, Left-handed
Qualification: 3-year-old
Purse: US$1.1 million
1st: $660,000

Animal Kingdom surprised the horse racing world with a 2 ¾-length victory in last Saturday’s Kentucky Derby as a 21-1 longshot. He will now try and add the second jewel of the Triple Crown with a victory in the Preakness Stakes from Pimlico Racetrack in Baltimore, Maryland. The race is set for Saturday, May 21st with post time at 5:15 p.m. (ET).

The early field of contenders is taking shape with eight horses already confirmed in a possible field of 14. Along with Animal Kingdom, other Derby horses include Nehro, Mucho Macho Man, Shackleford, and Midnight Interlude. Also confirmed are King Congie, Mr. Commons, and Norman Asbjornson.

Dialed In, who went off as the 5-1 Kentucky Derby favorite is pending for the Preakness as are Astrology, Flashpoint, Dance City, Sway Away, and Prime Cut.

Regardless of which horses make up the final field, all eyes will be on Animal Kingdom, who is currently listed by Sportsbook.com as the odds-on-favorite at +350. This horse is trained by Graham Motion and ridden by John Velazquez. Owned by Team Valor International which is a racing syndicate headed by Barry Irwin, this three-year old colt had never raced on dirt before his triumphant run in the Kentucky Derby. His biggest victory prior to this was in the grade III Spiral Stakes at Turfway on March 26. He has three wins and two seconds in five career races and with last Saturday’s win now has $1,696,800 in career earnings.

Nehro and Mucho Macho Man are both currently listed at +800 to win the Preakness. Nehro is trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Corey Nakatani. His second-place finish in the Kentucky Derby at 85-10 odds was the third in-a-row in a major stakes race. He finished second in the grade II Louisiana Derby on March 26 and second in the grade I Arkansas Derby on April 16.

Mucho Macho Man, who went off at 9-1, staged a late rally in the Derby to take third place and finished just a neck behind Nehro. Trained by Kathy Ritvo and ridden by Rajiv Maragh, this horse is best known for his first-place finish in the grade II Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds on February 19. He went on to finish third in the Louisiana Derby to secure a spot in last week’s 20-horse field.

Shackleford, currently listed at +1000 for the Preakness, finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby after holding the lead from the starting gate until deep in the stretch. He is trained by Dale Romans and ridden by Jesus Castanon. This three-year old colt started the prep season with a fifth-place finish in the grade II Fountain of Youth Stakes in late February, but became a legitimate contender with a second-place finish in the grade I Florida Derby on April 3.

The final confirmed Derby horse for this race is Midnight Interlude, who is currently listed at +1800. Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Victor Espinosa, this colt had a very forgettable 16th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby as the betting public’s fifth choice. He earned a spot in the Derby field with a victory in the grade II Santa Anita Derby on April 9. Midnight Interlude was actually Baffert’s third-best horse for last week’s race, but the only one to actually run after The Factor and Jaycito were taken out of consideration with injuries.

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About Dave Schwab

David Schwab is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. While not cheering for his beloved Philadelphia Eagles David can be found working on his blog at www.eaglesinc.com. David wants to hear from you so please comment below.