Preakness Stakes: Who to watch in the second leg of the Triple Crown

Preakness Stakes: The Kentucky Derby winner, I'll Have Another, will once again face Bodemeister this Saturday. Who else should you watch at the Preakness?

Patrick Smith/REUTERS
Kentucky Derby winner I'll Have Another works out with exercise rider Johnny Garcia in preparation for 137th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, May 18.

Despite relinquishing the lead to I'll Have Another in the stretch of the Kentucky Derby on May 5, Bodemeister is expected to be out front once again in this Saturday's 137th Preakness Stakes in Baltimore. Eleven horses will go to the post for the second leg of thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown.

Bodemeister's trainer Bob Baffert has won five previous Preakness Stakes, the most recent with Lookin At Lucky in 2010. So he has a pretty good idea of how to get his horse around the mile and 3/16 oval. Bodemeister will start out of the No. 7 post position on Saturday afternoon.

“I think it’s a good post. With him, anything in the middle would have been fine. In the Preakness you just don’t want to be stuck down on the inside, where you have to use your horse a little bit," Baffert told SportingNews.com after the Preakness post position draw Wednesday.

Derby-winning I'll Have Another drew the No. 9 post position for the Preakness as he attempts to become the 11th horse since 1978 to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown, according to the New York Times.

Trainer Doug O'Neill is comfortable with his horse on the outside, looking in towards the majority of the field.

“I thought the draw was really good. I’m very happy with that. Being outside of the legitimate speed, most jockeys would be real happy with that. We’re OK with that," O'Neill said Wednesday.

Two other horses, Went The Day Well and Creative Cause, have been picked by the experts to challenge I'll Have Another and Bodemeister in Saturday's race. The pair finished fourth and fifth, respectively, at the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago, and will start next to one another in the Preakness in the No. 4 and 5 post positions.

One of Went The Day Well's owners, Barry Irwin, says his horse has the ability. He told Preakness.com Went The Day Well just needs a good start to the race.

“This horse, I think he could have won the Derby if he had broken right, but he didn’t. Once he broke bad, he caused himself a whole bunch of trouble. We have to make sure the horse gets out of the gate this time. If he does, I think we’ve got a good shot," Irwin said Wednesday.

There will be seven other horses set to give it a go Saturday, including Optimizer, who will break from the No. 10 post position. D. Wayne Lukas, another multiple Preakness-winning trainer, likes his horse's starting position, according to Preakness.com.

“It’s great. I really like it. For the first time in about four years, I really like it. I’m very comfortable with that spot. Bodemeister, Daddy Nose Best, and I’ll Have Another are all going to tighten up. I’m sitting out there and absolutely love it.”

The Preakness Stakes will be televised by NBC shortly after 6 p.m. Eastern time Saturday.

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