Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense will be favored to capture Saturday's 132d Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of the Triple Crown, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. No horse has captured the Triple Crown since Harbor View Farm's Affirmed with Steve Cauthen aboard in 1978. While the Derby field was limited to 20 starters, just 14 are allowed to run in the Preakness, and it appears there will be just nine entrants for the 1 3/16-mile test. The Michael Matz-trained Chelokee will compete in the Barbaro Stakes on the Preakness undercard. Preakness post positions will be drawn today at 4:30 p.m., on ESPN2.
Here are Craig Donnelly's comments in order of preference.
Steve Asmussen Robby Albarado Distant third in Derby but simply too impressive in Arkansas Derby romp to dismiss yet; will be closer to pace this time.
Hard Spun Larry Jones Mario Pino Led to stretch when powerful and game runner-up in Derby; may change back to rating tactics with new pacesetter in field.
Street Sense Carl Nafzger Calvin Borel Churchill lover got perfect trip again in decisive Derby victory; possesses acceleration of great horse.
Xchanger Mark Shuman Ramon Dominguez Captured Tesio Stakes over track by nearly five lengths and could have won by twice that amount; best chance for a surprise.
Flying First Class D. Wayne Lukas Mark Guidry Tried to rate off pace when trounced by Curlin in Arkansas Derby; since romped in Derby trial and is the likely pacesetter.
Circular Quay Todd Pletcher John Velazquez Never a factor when sixth in Derby after two months' absence; needs lively or contested pace.
King of the Roxy Todd Pletcher Garrett Gomez Second best in modest company in Santa Anita Derby; Pletcher seeks first Triple Crown success
C P West Nick Zito Edgar Prado Trainer has ample Triple Crown experience, but horse comes up short in talent; Prado former king of Maryland circuit.
Mint Slewlep Robbie Bailes Alan Garcia Yet to suggest he belongs in top company; trainer famous for Scrappy T., who nearly spilled Afleet Alex here in 2005.