One of the benefits of a longshot winning the Kentucky Derby is a big field in the Preakness. If a big favorite wins the Derby and appears difficult to beat, he may scare away many probable challengers who have many other options this time of year with races like the Lone Star Derby in Texas, the gr. 3 Ohio Derby, and the gr. 2 Swaps in Southern California.
And while the trainers of many of the horses listed below have expressed concern about the possible sexual assault by Rachel Alexandra, none have defected. In fact, Derby favorite Friesan Fire, who was listed as doubltful by trainer Larry Jones in the days following his 18th place finish in the Derby, is now on track for the Preakness.
There have been Preakness' past that have provided some very compelling pre-race stories, but this year's version has more than a little bit of everything. If this race featured only the seven Derby alums, it would be a compelling event. But there are seven qualified Triple Crown invaders in here as well. We'll be talking about them more in depth in the days to come.
Rachel Alexandra was not nominated to the Triple Crown by her previous owners, which means her new team will have to pay $100,000 to enter her into the race. Another significant story-line is that of the delima of jockey Calvin Borel who has been the regular rider for Rachel Alexander this year and also won the Derby with Mine That Bird. Her connections have said that Borel will ride the filly for the remainder of her starts this year.
The decision by Borel to stay with Rachel Alexandra means he will become the first jockey ever to take off a Derby winner to ride a different horse in the Preakness. The last jockey not to ride a Derby winner in his next start was in 1985 when jockey Angel Cordero Jr. rode a major stakes race at Belmont Park, the day Spend A Buck won the gr. 3 Cherry Hill Mile in New Jersey instead of running in the Preakness.
Mine That Bird trainer Chip Woolley, who said shortly after the Stonestreet announcement came out that Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith is "one of a few guys we're taking a look at" to replace Borel.
In another Preakness news: After his 50-day suspension from the Los Angeles Dodgers for steriod use, Manny Ramirez considered running in the Preakness but did not have the graded stakes earnings to make the field.
As of today, here is your probable Preakness field.
Horse, Jockey, Last Race, Finish
Big Drama, John Velazquez, Swale Stakes, 2nd
Conservative, Kent Desormeaux, Lexington Stakes, 2nd
Flying Private, Alan Garcia, Kentucky Derby, 19th
Friesan Fire, Gabriel Saez, Kentucky Derby, 18th
General Quarters, Julien Leparoux, Kentucky Derby, 10th
Hull, Marcos Mena, Derby Trial, 1st
Mine That Bird, undecided, Kentucky Derby, 1st
Musket Man, Ebar Coa, Kentucky Derby, 3rd
Papa Clem, Rafael Bejaramp, Kentucky Derby, 4th
Pioneerof the Nile, Garret Gomez, Kentucky Derby, 2nd
Rachel Alexandra, Calvin Borel, Kentucky Oaks, 1st
Take the Points, Edgar Prado, Santa Anita Derby, 4th
Terrain, undecided, Blue Grass Stakes, 4th
Tone It Down, Marcos Pino, Fredricko Tesio Stakes, 3rd
List Compliments Daily Racing Form