Justify draws 7 post, is heavy favorite in Preakness


Preakness Facts: Opening day at Pimlico Race Course in 1870 featured the Dinner Party Stakes that was won by a horse named Preakness.

Only three of the seven challengers to Justify in Saturday's race also ran in the Kentucky Derby.

"He likes it", said Walden, president and CEO of Justify's co-owner, WinStar Farm.

The full slate of post positions and morning-line odds was revealed on Wednesday afternoon: No1 Quip (12-1), No2 Lone Sailor (15-1), No3 Sporting Chance (30-1), No4 Diamond King (30-1), No5 Good Magic (3-1), No6 Tenfold (20-1), No7 Justify (1-2) and No8 Bravazo (20-1).

If all eight start, the field will equal the smallest in the Preakness since 2000. Post time is Saturday at 6:20 p.m. ET. He's won all four of his career starts, all over the past 17 weeks. Its breakthrough was last year's Kentucky Oaks victory by Abel Tasman, who like Justify is trained by Bob Baffert. Justify, the Kentucky Derby victor, is expected to be the heavy favorite.

"It's quieter, and we want it as quiet as it can be", Baffert said.

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.

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Those conditions pretty much mirror the ones for the Derby, and given Justify's performance in winning in the slop at Churchill Downs, it should not be an issue for him on Saturday.

Trainer Tom Amoss said the post positions do not offer any real advantage, per Melissa Hoppert at the New York Times: "With an eight-horse field, and a long run to the first turn, there's really no disadvantage to where anyone drew".

"He shipped really well", Baffert said.

"That's putting some added pressure on us", Baffert said of the odds. He knows that he's not going to get fired, so he can just ride. If the horse wins, you collect all three; if second, two ways; and if third, one way, losing the win and place bets. "He's doing really well". Four horses that did not run in the Derby, including Parx-based Diamond King, will be in the starting gate for the mile-and-3/16 race.

Kentucky Derby runner-up Good Magic drew the fifth post position for his rematch with Justify and was rated the second pick for the Preakness at 3-1. I like knowing that I have a chance to win. "We should be close early".

"Now at the end of the day, if Justify is the horse they think he is, he's going to beat Quip and maybe go on and win the Triple Crown".

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, aboard his popular stable pony Starbuck, was already leading back last year's GI Hopeful S. victor and 'TDN Rising Star' Sporting Chance (Tiznow) to the stakes barn as some light rain continued to fall shortly after sunrise. "It might be Justify and all the rest". The victor of the first two starts of his career, both around two turns, he stepped up to finish a decent fifth in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby.