Reigning Kentucky Derby winner Justify, who arrived on the Pimlico backstretch Wednesday afternoon, will break from gate seven in the Preakness on Saturday. It will be the second time rider Mike Smith and the colt have sported the number seven, which was also their post position in the Run for the Roses.
Justify was assigned morning line odds of 1-2. Good Magic, who drew the fifth post position, will be the second choice at 3-1.
Rain and storms have dogged Baltimore throughout the week and the forecast does not suggest the precipitation will let up. Chances for rain or storms are at 80 to 100 percent each day between now and Saturday's race.
The complete field will break as follows (Post position/Horse/Jockey/Morning Line):
- Quip / Florent Geroux / 12-1
- Lone Sailor / Irad Ortiz Jr. / 15-1
- Sporting Chance / Luis Contreras / 30-1
- Diamond King / Javier Castellano / 30-1
- Good Magic / Jose Ortiz / 3-1
- Tenfold / Ricardo Santana, Jr. / 20-1
- Justify / Mike Smith / 1-2
- Bravazo / Luis Saez / 20-1
Quotes, courtesy of the Pimlico Press Office:
Bob Baffert (trainer, Justify; PP #7; 1-2): “I'm fine. I'll never forget the sickening feeling when I drew the 1-2 (posts) with American Pharoah and Dortmund. I think the break is still very essential, so I'm fine with it.”
Elliott Walden (President and co-owner CEO WinStar Farm, Justify): “We were pleased with that. I don't think Bob wanted to be the '1,' and I think anything else would have been fine. To come out of the '7' like he did at Churchill, I think is good. One thing, (Baffert) said he didn't want Quip to his outside, because he might be speed, too.”
Chad Brown (trainer, Good Magic; PP #5; 3-1): “I'm fine with the draw. We should be close early.”
Rodolphe Brisset (trainer, Quip; PP #1, 12-1): “The No. 1 post can be very tricky. We know we have some tactical speed, so we are good with that. He's doing really good. He shipped well and he's going right through his feed tub. We are pretty upbeat about everything.”
Elliott Walden (President and co-owner CEO WinStar Farm, Quip): “I was pleased with the '1.' I always liked the '1,' like the shortest way around there. Anything here with eight horses, you can't get a bad draw.”
Tom Amoss (trainer, Lone Sailor; PP #2, 15-1): “With an eight-horse field and a long run to the first turn, there's really no disadvantage to where anyone drew. The one curious thing about the draw is that Justify's stablemate, Quip, drew all the way down the rail. In that sense, he almost has to go to get some kind of position, which is kind of his style. I'm wondering how that will play out for those two horses.
“For our horse, he doesn't break well and he's going to drop behind horses. The fact that there's only one horse inside him, and that horse has speed, that's good for us…. No. 7 is an awesome post for Justify. It's always great to have tactical speed and a position where the jockey can just look over and watch the race unfold and decide how you want to ride. He certainly didn't lose anything at the draw, that's for darn sure.”
Wayne Lukas (trainer, Bravazo; PP #8, 20-1; Sporting Chance; PP #3, 30-1): “I don't think the draw is too important with an eight-horse field. We got a good run to the turn. I like our positions. Both of them are good.”
(On Bravazo drawing next to Justify): “I don't think I'll be next to him very long.”
(On Sporting Chance drawing inside): “You never know. You think the inside is bad, and we go over there and everybody is winning from the No. 1 hole. You've got to be a little careful with it.”
Scott Blasi (assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen, Tenfold; PP #6, 20-1): “I think that's a good draw for us. I think it's great. You're in the middle of Good Magic and Justify. I think they're the horses to beat in the race.”
Note: Asmussen texted Blasi with a single word: 'Perfect.'
Chuck Zacney (co-owner, Diamond King; PP #4, 30-1): “I'm very happy. I was talking to [trainer] John [Servis] earlier and I wanted more of an inside post. He said, 'Let's go for the middle.' We can kind of sit off the pace of Justify and, I have to believe, Quip. He's pretty much all speed and he's got to go, as well. It's going to be interesting to see how the early pace shakes out. We've got a top jockey [Javier Castellano] and the horse is doing really well. Hopefully, the track's in decent shape. I know they're calling for rain the next couple days. That's the only concern. He did train on a sloppy track Sunday and loved it, so we're going in giving it our best shot. We'll see if it's good enough.”
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