News and STORIES

Preakness Draw Reaction

Author: Don Mckee
Published: Friday May 17, 2019

Morning line Preakness favoritism landed on Bob Baffert’s Improbable, the highest Derby finisher who will go postward on Saturday. For the first time since 1996, the winner in Louisville on the first Saturday in May will not run for the Black Eyed Susans.

The City Zip colt, who finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby—fifth before the disqualification of Maximum Security—was made the 5-2 morning-line favorite after drawing post 4 for the $1.5 million Preakness May 15 at Power Plant Live! in downtown Baltimore. Second on the morning line is Gary Barber’s War of Will (4-1), who drew the rail in a field of 13 for the race at Pimlico Race Course.

Elliott Walden, president of WinStar Farm, said he was “happy” with post 4 for Improbable, who is owned by WinStar in partnership with China Horse Club and Starlight Racing. The blaze-faced chestnut is trained by seven-time Preakness winner Bob Baffert.

“We’re fine,” Walden told “Posts are usually anticlimactic in the Preakness because there are no more than 12-14 horses and there’s a long stretch. We have Mike Smith riding him, and he’ll know what to do.”

For Mark Casse, who trains the multiple graded stakes-winning War of Will, déjà vu was not a pleasant experience. After landing the rail in the Kentucky Derby, the 3-year-old son of War Front will once again break from post 1.

“The odds of getting post 1 in the Derby and Preakness are 260-1,” Casse also told “Nothing is ever easy. I would have preferred to draw outside, but it is what it is, and we have to deal with it.”

Peter Redekop B.C.’s Anothertwistafate wound up with post 12 for the Preakness, but trainer Blaine Wright saw a silver lining in it.

“He’s a big, long-striding horse, so we wanted to get him outside,” Wright said about the son of Scat Daddy. “It’s OK. We wanted somewhere between 7-9, but we’ll be fine.”

Anothertwistafate, who was second most recently in the Stonestreet Lexington Stakes (G3), was bred in Kentucky by Pursuit of Success. He was pegged at 6-1 on the morning line.

Runnymede Racing’s Alwaysmining, a winner of six straight, drew post 7 and will be ridden by Daniel Centeno. The Stay Thirsty gelding will attempt to become the first Maryland-bred Preakness winner since the J. William Boniface-trained Deputed Testamony in 1983.
“It’s our first time we’ve been through something like this,” said Runnymede’s Greg Bentley. “We drew No. 7. Our son, Andrew, when he was young always rooted for No. 7. Wouldn’t it be great for this horse to win his seventh in a row as No. 7.”

Bourbon Lane Stable and Lake Star Stable’s Bourbon War, second in the Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) and fourth in the Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1), drew post 2. Trained by Mark Hennig, the son of Tapit will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. and will be equipped with blinkers for the first time. Hennig is saddling his first runner in the Preakness in 15 years. He sent out Personal Hope to a fourth-place finish in 1993, and Eddington finished third in 2004.

“At least we aren’t going to get hung out wide, and he’ll be a little more tractable with the blinkers,” Hennig said. “He can fall in behind the pacesetter and save some ground.