Preakness Stakes 2018: Justify prohibitive favorite in morning-line odds

Preakness Stakes 2018: Justify prohibitive favorite in morning-line odds

A repeat of the sloppy track that greeted the 20 horses in the Kentucky Derby seems likely on Saturday with showers and thunderstorms expected in Baltimore this weekend.

As he did with 2015 Triple Crown victor American Pharoah, Baffert chose to put Justify in the middle of the Preakness barn rather than in Stall 40, the traditional home of the Derby victor.

Justify was made the top choice in Saturday's odds when a field of eight was entered Wednesday evening for the 143rd running of the Preakness.

If Justify wins at Pimlico, he'll get a shot at a Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes in New York June 9. The 143rd Preakness Stakes is scheduled to take place on May 20, 2017 at Pimlico in Baltimore, Maryland. Grandstand and premium ticket information can be found here.

Good Magic, trained by Chad Brown, galloped on Pimlico's muddy track for a second straight day on Wednesday.

Take a shuttle bus to the Metro Station at Hayward Avenue and Park Heights Ave. He'll be ridden by jockey Florent Geroux. Among them will be some familiar faces - Good Magic, Bravazo, and Lone Sailor will all look to improve upon their finishes at Churchill Downs. Quip and Lone Sailor followed a few minutes later. Sporting Chance won the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga as a 2-year-old.

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Baffert has six Preakness wins, and he'll be joined this year by another six-time Preakness-winning trainer, D. Wayne Lukas. Prior to the Kentucky Derby, he won the Santa Anita Derby.

Trainer Chad Brown's lone victor of a Triple Crown race was Cloud Computing in last year's Preakness.

Both men have always been members of racing's Hall of Fame - Smith was inducted in 2003 and Baffert in 2009 - and have forged a recent alliance that has produced spectacular results. Tenfold is owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC.

Favorites often win the Preakness and longshots rarely do. Bodemeister was second by a neck in 2012, four years before they began dominating graded stakes racing.

Vinnie Iyer: The only question of Justify will be how quickly it can recover to win another strong race, but here's where the rest as a 2-year-old and nothing but wins as a 3-year-old will give it major boost to bring home an even more comfortable victory at Pimlico. The colt has never been in front at the early calls of his races so, on paper, Justify, at worst, is going to get a similar pace-pressing trip he got in the Derby without the supersonic early fractions. Eligible to run in the Kentucky Derby based on points, the connections elected to wait for the second jewel of the Triple Crown, and it paid off. It was there for Baffert if he wanted it, but the white-haired Hall of Fame trainer opted for a cubicle that was far less obtrusive. His jockey is Luis Saez.

Bravazo will show a little more bravado with more room to operate against lesser horses.

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