BALTIMORE – The epicenter, which finished second in the Kentucky Derby, was determined Monday as the favorite on the 6-5 morning line for Preakness Stakes, which will be held without Rich Strike.

The unexpected Derby winner with a score of 80-1 is not in field nine in Saturday’s race for $ 1.65 million. The owner of Rich Strike felt that the two-week fracture did not give the foal enough rest and planned to introduce it to Belmont.

Starting the Preakness raffle at a restaurant in the Baltimore area, presenter Britney Erton said that Rich Strike committed “one of the biggest upsets in the history of the sport. Although we may not have a Kentucky Derby winner, there is no shortage of talented runners, ”she said.


The absence of Rich Strike overshadows the second gem of the Triple Crown jumps and makes it the second Preakness in four years without a Derby winner.

Last year, Medina Spirit ran and finished third in Pimlico after Churchill Downs had a positive test for a substance that was banned on race day and was eventually disqualified. In 2020, the race was stopped due to a pandemic. And in 2019, neither the DQ’ed Derby champion for maximum safety nor the Country House winner went to Preakness.

This time, Epicenter, trained by Steve Asmussen, who finished 8th, fourth in the Simplification and 14th in Happy Jack, are the only horses to return to Preakness from the Derby, which Rich Strike won with a fierce blow. stretching.

Lucky Jack № 6, coached by 2012 Derby and Preakness winner Doug O’Neill, is 30-1. The simplification is 6-1, and he has brought the rails to position № 1, and jockey John Velázquez will go.


“At first I thought it was bad, but Johnny V is so smart,” said coach Antonio Sano. “He will make a decision if he wants to get out of the option outside.”

Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Oath is the third choice to bet on the morning line with a score of 9-2 after Hall of Fame coach D. Wayne Lucas decided to enter the mare in Preakness. She nominated a post №4.

Early voting is a choice 7-2 seconds after the Derby pass. Coach Chad Brown focused on Preakness for Early Voting, who took position № 5.

While Taiba and Monsieur are not in Preakness, Armagnac features Bob Buffert, a late record that the two-time Triple Crown-winning coach handed over to Tim Yaktin. Buffert is serving a reprieve in Kentucky for drug abuse, and he was not allowed to ride horses in Preknes. No. 7 Armagnac – 12-1.

Added to the box for an additional $ 150,000, No. 2 Creative Minister – 10-1. № 9 Skippylongstocking – 20-1, and Longshot No. 3 Fenwick – 50-1.


“I think there are three or four horses out there that can get ahead and I’m far behind them,” Fenwick trainer Kevin McCatan said. “Steve’s Horse (Epicenter) is obviously a bullet. Tammy Bobo’s horse, Simplification, runs hard every time, and then Wayne’s mare, she’s special, so you have to overtake her. And the rest are there, and we have to put up with them. “

Apart from Rich Strike, several other horses that were supposed to work in Preakness were removed from the field before the draw.

Un Ojo, a one-eyed gelding whose foot bruise prevented him from participating in the Derby, was taken off the spot on Monday after the injury broke out. Coach Ricky Curville said vets examined Un Ojo and said, “He’s not 100 percent.”

Zandon Brown was also possible for Preakness, but now he too may miss Belmont on June 11, looking at Travers Stakes this summer in Saratoga.



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