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2009 Preakness Preview

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
May/15/2009
Preakness Stakes Preview

The 2009 Preakness Stakes promises to be one of the most interesting races in recent years for horse racing fans. The drama that has unfolded since 50-1 long shot on the betting odds Mine That Bird won the Kentucky Derby is unprecedented.  Here is my 2009 Preakness preview. 

The last two weeks have seen some surprising developments, none as surprising as the Kentucky Derby-winning jockey opting to ride a different horse for the Preakness Stakes. The Kentucky Derby winner is not getting a lot of respect for winning the first jewel of the Triple Crown in impressive fashion, and despite beating Pioneerof the Nile in the Derby he's nowhere near the favorite for the Preakness.

The drama began when Jess Jackson and Harold McCormick privately purchased Kentucky Oaks winner Rachel Alexandra and decided to enter her in the Preakness against the boys. She destroyed the Oaks field by over 20 lengths and looks like she's the fastest three-year-old horse on the planet right now. The racing world went a bit haywire when thoroughbred owner Ahmed Zayat went public with intentions of keeping Rachel Alexandra out of the Preakness by entering more than one horse. He quickly took back his statements, but not before receiving a lot of negative feedback from the industry over the idea.

Once it became apparent that the impressive filly would get a chance to run in the second jewel of the Triple Crown, it was announced that the Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel would not ride Mine That Bird in the Preakness, and would instead mount the favorite Rachel Alexandra. Borel rode both horses two weeks ago, winning the Kentucky Oaks aboard the filly as well as the Derby aboard Mine That Bird. Like the handicappers making the odds, he apparently has more faith aboard the filly. It's the first time that a Derby-winning jockey has opted to mount a different horse for the Preakness when the Derby-winning horse was also entered in the Preakness.

The Preakness Stakes will draw a field of 13 horses with Rachel Alexandra as the heavy morning-line betting favorite at 8-5 odds on the racebook. If she can beat the boys she'll be the first filly to win the race since Nellie Morse did it back in 1924. She drew post 13, which her trainers and owners feel is a good spot for her in this race.

"I was just speaking with Jess and Steve and we're very happy with it, being on the outside," assistant trainer Scott Blasi told reporters. "You've got a long run to the first turn here. With having a filly in the race, what you're worried about is traffic and everything that can happen. In the Derby, when you break they all come together. I think it's a very good spot for us."

She'll have to beat Kentucky Derby runner-up Pioneerof the Nile, who is getting the second-best odds at 5-1 and will break from post 9. The Zayat Stable horse will be once again mounted by Garret Gomez. Derby winner Mine That Bird is next best at 6-1. He drew post 2 and will attempt to capture the second jewel of the Triple Crown and make believers out all his critics. He's trying to become the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed did it in 1978. Jockey Mike Smith, who won the Preakness aboard Prairie Bayou in 1993, will get the Preakness mount aboard the Derby winner.

Also getting odds of 6-1 is Vinery Stables Friesan Fire. He drew post 5 and will attempt to be the first beaten Kentucky Derby favorite to come back and win the Preakness since Point Given did it in 2001. Gabriel Saez will get the mount. Third-place Kentucky Derby finisher Musket Man comes in at 8-1 and will break from post 3. He'll be mounted by Eibar Coa. Harold Queen's Big Drama is next at 10-1 and drew post 1 for the Preakness. He's won five of seven starts and could surprise if he's in top form on Saturday.

Completing the field are Papa Clem (post 7, 12-1) General Quarters (post 8, 20-1), Take the Points (11, 30-1), Terrain (6, 30-1), Luv Gov (4, 50-1), Flying Private (10, 50-1) and Tone It Down (12, 50-1).  All odds on the 2009 Preakness Stakes are courtesy of Bookmaker.com

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