The post position draw for the 142nd running of the $1.5 million Grade 1 Preakness was held this evening at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, which included 10 entries into Saturday's second jewel of the Triple Crown.
The race will be televised nationally on NBC (Ch. 2) on Saturday afternoon during a two-and-a-quarter hour telecast starting at 5 p.m. EDT. Post time for the Preakness is approximately 6:48 p.m. EDT. Pre-race programming will be on NBC Sports Network commencing at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.
- Heavy morning line favorite and Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming (4-5) drew No. 4 position. The Maryland Jockey Club's signature race has been won by 72 favorites. Since 2003, five Derby winners have repeated in the Preakness, but have failed to win the Belmont Stakes, with only a sixth winner, American Pharoah (2015), to complete the Triple Crown (first since 1978).
- Classic Empire (3-1), is the second choice on the morning line and drew the No. 5 post, just outside of Always Dreaming, which should give jockey Julien Leparoux the tactical advantage heading out of the gate.
- There are five returning horses that ran in the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago. In the last 16 years, only two horses that did not run in the Derby ended up winning the Preakness. Rachel Alexandra ran in the Kentucky Oaks in 2009 and Bernardini won in 2006, in the race that the great Barbaro broke down. The chances are high that one of the Derby horses will come through at Old Hilltop.
- Lookin at Lee (12-1), second in the Derby to Always Dreaming drew post No. 9 for trainer Steve Asmussen. In the last 14 years, the Derby runner-up has not fared well in the Preakness. For the seven runner-ups that have run, only Exaggerator (2016) won the Preakness and only three have hit the board, Bodemeister (second, 2012) and Hard Spun (third, 2007) being the other two. Lookin at Lee’s sire won the 2009 Preakness.
- The post that has the most winners since 1909 is Post No. 6, which has 15 Preakness winners, was drawn by the connections of Gunnevera (15-1). Mike Smith takes over from Javier Castellano who chose Cloud Computing (No. 2, 12-1) over his hometown Venezuelan connections.
- The Preakness is limited to 14 starters and in 15 of the last 23 years has enjoyed a double-digit field, the last two years drew less than 10 starters.
- Watch for this weekend’s winner when it comes around to determining the 3-year-old Eclipse Award winner. The Preakness winner has claimed this Eclipse Award 15 times in the last 20 years.
Here's a look at the posts, jockeys, trainers and morning line odds set by the Maryland Jockey Club:
Gene Kershner, a Buffalo-based turf writer, is a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association and tweets @EquiSpace.