Epicenter Favored In Nine-Horse Preakness Field

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Epicenter Favored In Nine-Horse Preakness Field
© USA Today

A field of nine will compete in the 147th Preakness on Saturday, with Kentucky Derby runner-up Epicenter the solid 6-5 morning-line favorite.

Epicenter is one of three horses in the Preakness field who ran in the Kentucky Derby, along with Simplification (fourth) and Happy Jack (14th).

Kentucky Derby Winner Skips Preakness

Conspicuously absent from the Preakness field is long-shot Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike, whose connections opted to bypass the middle race of the Triple Crown and instead prepare for the third jewel, the Belmont Stakes.

Rich Strike owner Rick Dawson issued a statement last week indicating the Derby winner would benefit more from additional recovery time. The Preakness is run two weeks after the Kentucky Derby, and Dawson said, “We’re going to stay with our plan of what’s best for ‘Ritchie’ and pass running in the Preakness and point toward the Belmont in approximately five weeks.’’

Simplification Could Challenge At Pimlico

Epicenter ran what appeared to be a winning race in the Kentucky Derby until he was passed late by 80-1 Rich Strike. 

The 4-1 favorite in the Derby, Epicenter will be sent off at significantly shorter odds in the Preakness, which is run at 1-3/16 miles, one-sixteenth of a mile shorter than the Derby.

Early Voting, the Wood Memorial runner-up whose connections elected to skip the Kentucky Derby and prepare for the Preakness, is the 7-2 second choice. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas’ Secret Oath, the filly who won the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs the day before the Kentucky Derby, is the third choice on the morning line at 9-2.

Others in the field include recent allowance race winners Creative Minster and Armagnac, along with Wood Memorial third-place finisher Skippylongstocking.

Post Positions

The field in post position order:


Position HorseJockey TrainerOdds
1 Simplification John Velazquez Antonio Soto6-1
Creative Minister  Brian Hernandez Ken McPeek 10-1
Fenwick  Florent Geroux  Kevin McKathan 50-1
Secret Oath  Luis Saez  D. Wayne Lukas  9-2
Early Voting  Jose Ortiz  Chad Brown  7-2
Happy Jack  Tyler Gaffalione Doug O’Neill 30–1
7 Armagnac  Irad Ortiz Tim Yakteen  12-1
8 Epicenter Joel Rosario  Steve Asmussen  6-5
9 Skippylongstocking  Junior Alvarado Saffie Joseph Jr. 20-1

Preakness Stakes

When: Saturday, May 21

Where: Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore 

Post Time:  7:01 p.m. ET

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Chet Fussman

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