Animal Kingdom favorite for Preakness
Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom has been made the early 2-1 favorite for the Preakness Stakes.
Trained by Graham Motion and ridden by John Velazquez, Animal Kingdom drew the No. 11 post in a full field of 14 for Saturday's 1 3/16-mile race at Pimlico. It will be the first time since 2005 that 14 horses are set to run in the second leg of the Triple Crown series.
Just two winners since 1926 have come out of the No. 11 post, the last being Point Given trained by Bob Baffert in 2001.
Seventy favorites have won in the previous 135 runnings, including 2009 champion Rachel Alexandra and Big Brown, who was the 1-5 favorite in 2008.
Dialed In, the beaten Derby favorite, is the 9-2 second choice of Pimlico oddsmaker Frank Carulli. The colt drew the No. 10 post Wednesday. Dialed In finished eighth in the Derby nearly two weeks ago.
Mucho Macho Man, third in the Derby, is the 6-1 third choice and will break from the No. 9 post.
Baffert's colt, Midnight Interlude, drew the No. 7 post and is listed at 15-1. He finished 16th in the Derby.
Last year, Baffert won the Preakness for the fifth time with Lookin At Lucky, who landed in the seventh post. The colt bounced back from a bad post position and trip in the Derby, where he was the favorite and finished sixth.
Velazquez is keeping his mount on Animal Kingdom after replacing injured Robby Albarado the day before the Derby. Albarado picked up a Preakness mount with King Congie.
In a jockey switch, Martin Garcia replaces Victor Espinoza on Santa Anita Derby winner Midnight Interlude. Espinoza will ride California invader Mr. Commons, who will break from the No. 14 post.
Astrology, trained by Steve Asmussen, drew the No. 1 post. The colt is co-owned by Stonestreet Stables, which owned Rachel Alexandra and was the racing operation of Jess Jackson, who died in April.
Shackleford, the only other Derby runner in the field, is one of two horses at 12-1 odds. The colt was fourth in the Derby.
Nine new horses will take aim at Animal Kingdom, including the longest shots in the field — Concealed Identity, Isn't He Perfect and Norman Asbjornson — who are all 30-1.