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Justify solid favorite in Preakness Stakes

17 May, 2018, 05:16 | Author: Tommie Newton
  • American Pharoah crosses the finish line first in the Preakness

After a big win the Derby, Justify is an odds-on favorite to win the Preakness, but opportunities abound in the Exacta, Trifecta and Superfecta wagers.

A almost 136-year-old streak of odd luck, set on May 16, 1882, was broken May 5 of this year, with the victory of 3-year-old Justify in the Kentucky Derby. He'll be facing some fresh competition that didn't race in the Derby, and it looks as though the race will once again be on a muddy track, lending even more "anything can happen" potential to the already somewhat unpredictable realm of horse racing. The Bob Baffert-trained colt won the Derby May 5 in those very conditions.

Apollo also won the Cottrill Stakes, the Coal Stakes, the St. Leger Stakes, the Drummers Stakes and the Montgomery Stakes that year.

Roswell, New Mexico native Mike Smith will ride Justify for Baffert, who is trying for a record-equaling seventh Preakness win.

The morning line odds had Justify as the chalk at 1-2, and that number made Baffert wince a little.

Headed into the post draw, CBS Sports had Justify a heavy favorite at 2-5, with Good Magic (7-2) and Quip (16-1) behind. Exaggerator finished second in the Kentucky Derby before winning the 2016 Preakness, and Irish War Cry was second in last year's Belmont.

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Justify did not run as a 2-year-old but is undefeated as a 3-year-old with four straight wins. The same went for stablemate Bravazo (Awesome Again), victor of the GII Risen Star S. and sixth-place finisher in the GI Kentucky Derby, who headed out about 15 minutes later.

Two other Derby horses, Bravazo (sixth) and Lone Sailor (eighth) are back to take another shot at Justify.

Lukas has two entries in the eight-horse field for the Preakness, Sporting Chance (30-1) and Bravazo (20-1). There is no doubt that Justify can handle moisture in the racetrack, but I do still think he is even better on a fast track.

Justify, a magnificent looking son of Scat Daddy, has been sensational for trainer Baffert.

"I get paid to spoil dreams", Lukas said.

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