The 2017 Preakness Stakes

Meet the Preakness Stakes Contenders


The Preakness Post Position Draw is in the books and now it’s time to get serious about handicapping this year’s Preakness Stakes. To help you get started, we’ve pored over historical stats and trends, as well as jockey and trainer records and each horse’s past performances to identify reasons why each entrant could - or couldn’t – win the Second Jewel of the Triple Crown. Bet the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 20 at Pimlico with Xpressbet. Post Time is 6:48PM ET. Enjoy!

1. Multiplier (30/1)

Preakness Stakes Contender Multiplier

Pedigree: The Factor (War Front) x Trippi Street (Trippi)
Owner: Barber, Wachtel, and Kerr
Trainer: Brendan Walsh
Jockey: Joel Rosario

Why He Could Win:

  • He won the Grade 3 Xpressbet Illinois Derby by a head at Hawthorne on April 22.
  • He is 2-for-4 in his career, with earnings of $187K.
  • Jockey, Joel Rosario, has a favorable Preakness record. While he has never won the race, he has a record of 4 – 0 – 2 – 1 and has never been worse than 4th.
  • The final time in the Illinois Derby was 1:47.98, the fastest edition since Wild Rush covered the 1 1/8 mile distance in 1:47.51 in 1997. Unfortunately, Multiplier’s fast win only equated to an 88 Beyer Speed Figure.

Why He Couldn’t Win:

  • Since 1961, Post Position 1 has yielded just two Preakness winners, Tabasco Cat (1994) and American Pharoah (2015).
  • He has never faced horses of this caliber. His win in the Illinois Derby came against a far weaker field than this one.
  • In the Illinois Derby, he defeated Todd Pletcher’s Hedge Fund by a head. Hedge Fund previously finished 3rd, beaten 8 ¼-lengths by Hence, in the Grade 3 Sunland Derby on March 26.
  • Since 1984, only two horses, Bernardini (2006) and Red Bullet (2000) won the Preakness after not running two weeks earlier at Churchill Downs. 2009 winner, Rachel Alexandra, prepped in the Kentucky Oaks on Derby weekend.
  • Trainer, Brendan Walsh, has never won a Grade 1 race.

2. Cloud Computing (12/1)

Preakness Stakes Contender Cloud Computing

Pedigree: Maclean’s Music (Distorted Humor) x Quick Temper (A.P. Indy)
Owner: Klaravich Stables & William Lawrence
Trainer: Chad Brown
Jockey: Javier Castellano

Why He Could Win:

  • Trainer (Chad Brown) and jockey (Javier Castellano) were each awarded with Eclipse Awards for their performance in 2016.
  • He was eligible to run in the Kentucky Derby but instead opted to compete in the Preakness.
  • Javier Castellano opted to ride him instead of Gunnevera. Castellano won the 2006 Preakness aboard Bernardini and was 3rd with Divining Rod in 2015.
  • Chad Brown is confident in his chances, stating He’s a lightly raced horse and that is why we skipped the Derby. We thought he needed a little bit more time. He’s come along fast. We always thought he had a lot of talent. He needs to get to that mile-and-three-sixteenths distance, which I’m confident he can. I think the six weeks between races will play into his favor.”

Why He Couldn’t Win:

  • No horse has won the Preakness from Post Position #2 since Snow Chief in 1986. Since 1980, horses breaking from the 2 Post are just 2-for-37.
  • Since 1984, only two horses, Bernardini (2006) and Red Bullet (2000) won the Preakness after not running two weeks earlier at Churchill Downs. 2009 winner, Rachel Alexandra, prepped in the Kentucky Oaks on Derby weekend.
  • Chad Brown has never won a Triple Crown race.
  • He is 0-for-2 in graded stakes races. He was beaten 7-lengths when 3rd in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial behind Irish War Cry and was 2nd, beaten 3 ½-lenghts, by J Boys Echo in the Grade 3 Gotham. Both of those horses were unplaced in the Kentucky Derby.
  • He has yet to win a race longer than 6-furlongs.
  • With just three starts to his credit, he is the least experienced of all Preakness starters.

3. Hence (20/1)

Preakness Stakes Contender Hence

Pedigree: Street Boss (Street Cry (IRE)) x Floating Island (A.P. Indy)
Owner: Calumet Farm
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Florent Geroux

Why He Could Win:

  • Owner, Calumet Farm, is the most prolific in racing history. Calumet has won the Preakness eight times, most recently with Oxbow (2013).
  • Trainer, Steve Asmussen, has won the Preakness twice from six starters. He captured the race with Rachel Alexandra (2009) and Curlin (2007). Both had previously run on Derby weekend at Churchill Downs.
  • Since 1980, Post Position #3 has produced six Preakness winners. The most recent was California Chrome (2014).
  • He endured a tough trip in the Kentucky Derby and some believe he did not respond well to racing on the mud at Churchill Downs.
  • Last year, Asmussen sent out Creator to a victory in the Belmont Stakes after he encountered significant traffic in the Kentucky Derby. Sound familiar?
  • He won the Grade 3 Sunland Derby by 2 ¾-lengths on March 26.
  • He has won 2-of-7 career starts and has earned $462K.

Why He Couldn’t Win:

  • He finished 11th, beaten 18-lengths, in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby on May 6.
  • The lone ‘big’ win of his career came at Sunland Park in the Grade 3 Sunland Derby, a race that is not a traditional stepping stone to success in marquee Triple Crown events.
  • He was soundly defeated in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park, where he finished 7th, beaten 13-lengths.
  • There isn’t much speed signed on for this year’s Preakness, so deep closers may have trouble closing into a slower pace.
  • Besides his victory at Sunland, he has only a maiden win on his resume.
  • Since 1900, only 15 horses won the Preakness after finishing 5th or worse in the Kentucky Derby. The most recent was Oxbow in 2013.

4. Always Dreaming (4/5)

Preakness Stakes Contender Always Dreaming

Pedigree: Bodemeister (Empire Maker) x Above Perfection (In Excess (IRE))
Owner: Brooklyn Boyz Stables, Teresa Viola Racing Stables, et al
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: John Velazquez

Why He Could Win:

  • He won the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby by 2 ¾-lengths on May 6 at Churchill Downs.
  • The Kentucky Derby winner has gone on to win the Preakness in 10 of the last 20 years.
  • All time, the Preakness favorite has won 72 out of 141 editions.
  • No horse has finished with 2 ¾-lengths of him this year. His combined margin of victory across his four races is 22 ¾-lengths.
  • He won the Xpressbet.com Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on April 1 by 5-lengths.
  • He stopped the clock in the Florida Derby in 1:47.47, the fastest edition since Alydar in 1978.
  • He has won on fast and wet tracks in his career.
  • He brings a 4-race winning streak to the Preakness.
  • His sire, Bodemeister, finished second in the 2012 Preakness.
  • He is a perfect 4-for-4 in races run with Todd Pletcher as his trainer.
  • There aren’t as many speed horses entered in the Preakness, meaning he should be able to comfortably dictate or stalk the pace.
  • Since 1991, Post Position #4 has propelled four horses to Preakness glory. The most recent was Curlin (2007).

Why He Couldn’t Win:

  • In the last four years, two Kentucky Derby winners (Nyquist, 2016 and Orb, 2013) were defeated at less than even-money odds in the Preakness.
  • While Derby winners have won 10 of the last 20 Preaknesses, that also means they’ve lost 10 of the last 20.
  • Trainer, Todd Pletcher, does not have a favorable record in the Preakness. He is 8-0-0-1 in the ‘Middle Jewel’ and hasn’t hit the board since 2000. The only previous time he brought a Kentucky Derby winner to the Preakness, his Super Saver finished 8th in 2010.
  • Jockey, John Velazquez, is 0-for-7 in the Preakness. He has finished second twice, though – 2013 (Itsmyluckyday) and 2011 (Animal Kingdom).
  • He has yet to be tested in three starts this year. It remains unclear as to how he would respond when tested.

5. Classic Empire (3/1)

Preakness Stakes Contender Classic Empire

Pedigree: Pioneer of the Nile (Empire Maker) x Sambuca Classica (Cat Thief)
Owner: John C. Oxley
Trainer: Mark Casse
Jockey: Julien Leparoux

Why He Could Win:

  • He overcame a terrible start to finish 4th, beaten 8 ¾-lengths, by Always Dreaming in the Kentucky Derby on May 6.
  • He has won 5-of-8 starts with earnings of $2.22 million.
  • He is a three-time Grade 1 winner, having notched victories in the Arkansas Derby, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Breeders’ Futurity.
  • Won the Eclipse Award for Champion Two-Year-Old Male Horse in 2016.
  • He was the 6/1 third betting choice in the Kentucky Derby.
  • Drew directly outside of Kentucky Derby winner, Always Dreaming, which appears to be an ideal post position. It will allow him to track and pounce on the Derby winner at Leparoux’s command.
  • Post Position #5 has produced two Preakness winners in the last six years – Exaggerator (2016) and Shackleford (2011).

Why He Couldn’t Win:

  • Jockey, Julien Leparoux, does not have a favorable record in the Preakness. He is 0-for-7 in the race, with just one on-the-board performance (Macho Again, 2nd in 2008).
  • His racetrack antics are well documented. He wheeled at the start of the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes and dumped his jockey and then twice refused to work over the winter at Palm Meadows.
  • Trainer, Mark Casse, is 0-for-3 in the Preakness. His best finish came with Danzig Moon (6th in 2015).
  • He has lost two of his last three races.

6. Gunnevera (15/1)

Preakness Stakes Contender Gunnevera

Pedigree: Dialed In (Mineshaft) x Unbridled Rage (Unbridled)
Owner: Peacock Racing Stables, LLC
Trainer: Antonio Sano
Jockey: Mike Smith

Why He Could Win:

  • Post Position #6 is the most successful in Preakness history, producing the winner a record 16 times. The last winner to break from #6 was Oxbow in 2013.
  • He won the Grade 2 Xpresssbet.com Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park on March 4 by 5 ¾-lengths. He would go on to finish 3rd in the Xpressbet.com Florida Derby.
  • He has won 4-of-10 starts with earnings of $1.17M.
  • Trainer, Antonio Sano, won 3,338 races in Venezuela before coming to the United States. Needless to say, he knows his way to the winner’s circle!
  • He may benefit from racing on a projected fast track at Pimlico. He is 0-for-2 on sloppy going.
  • Jockey, Mike Smith, has ridden in the Preakness 15 times, with a record of 15 – 1 – 2 – 4. He won the 1993 edition aboard Prairie Bayou.

Why He Couldn’t Win:

  • After peaking in the Xpressbet Fountain of Youth, he finished 3rd, beaten 6 ½-lengths, in the Xpressbet Florida Derby and 7th, beaten 13-lengths, in the Kentucky Derby.
  • His regular jockey, Javier Castellano, who had been aboard for his last five starts, opted to ride Cloud Computing.
  • Like the other deep closers, he will be dependent on pace in the Preakness.
  • He has lost 3-of-4 starts in 2017.
  • Since 1900, only 15 horses won the Preakness after finishing 5th or worse in the Kentucky Derby. The most recent was Oxbow in 2013.

7. Term of Art (30/1)

Preakness Stakes Contender Term of Art

Pedigree: Tiznow (Cee’s Tizzy) x Miles of Style (Storm Cat)
Owner: Calumet Farm
Trainer: Doug O’Neill
Jockey: Jose Ortiz

Why He Could Win:

  • He is well bred, being by Tiznow out of a Storm Cat mare.
  • He cost $220,000 as a yearling at the Keeneland September 2015 autction.
  • His trainer, Doug O’Neill, won the Preakness in 2012 with I’ll Have Another and was 3rd last year with Nyquist.
  • Owner, Calumet Farm, is the most prolific in racing history. Calumet has won the Preakness eight times, most recently with Oxbow (2013).
  • Post Position #7 has been lucky four times since 1995. The last winner to break from the seven was, appropriately, Lookin at Lucky (2010).

Why He Couldn’t Win:

  • Based on resume, he is the least likely winner in this year’s Preakness.
  • He has yet to finish 1st or 2nd in four races this year. His last victory came in the off-the-turf Cecil B. DeMille Stakes at Del Mar last November 27.
  • He finished 7th, beaten 6 ¼-lengths, in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on April 8.
  • Prior to the Santa Anita Derby, he had been beaten 8 ½-lengths in the Grade 2 San Felipe, 6-lengths in the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis and 17-lengths in the Grade 3 Sham.
  • He was 9th, beaten 19-lengths, in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last November at Santa Anita.

8. Senior Investment (30/1)

Preakness Stakes Contender Senior Investment

Pedigree: Discreetly Mine (Mineshaft) x Plaid (Deputy Commander)
Owner: Fern Circle Stables
Trainer: Ken McPeek
Jockey: Channing Hill

Why He Could Win:

  • He won the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes by a head at Keeneland on April 15, defeating the highly-regarded Bob Baffert trainee, West Coast.
  • He has won 3-of-8 starts with earnings of $207K.
  • He has crossed the finish line first in four of his last five races. He was disqualified from an allowance win on January 27 at the Fair Grounds.
  • He and jockey, Channing Hill, are 2-for-3 together.

Why He Couldn’t Win:

  • Since 1978, Post Position #8 has yielded just two Preakness winners. The most recent victor from the 8-hole was Bernardini in 2006.
  • Prior to the Lexington Stakes, he finished a disappointing 6th in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby, beaten 5 ¾-lengths by Girvin.
  • A deep closer, he may be severely hindered by the expected pace setup in the Preakness.
  • Trainer, Ken McPeek, has started three horses in the Preakness. None have finished better than 4th. His last Preakness starter was Racecar Rhapsody in 2008.
  • Channing Hill has never won a Triple Crown race. This will be his first Preakness.
  • Since 1984, only two horses, Bernardini (2006) and Red Bullet (2000) won the Preakness after not running two weeks earlier at Churchill Downs. 2009 winner, Rachel Alexandra, prepped in the Kentucky Oaks on Derby weekend.

9. Lookin At Lee (10/1)

Preakness Stakes Contender Lookin At Lee

Pedigree: Lookin At Lucky (Smart Strike) x Longara Lass (Langfuhr)
Owner: L and N Racing, LLC
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Corey Lanerie

Why He Could Win:

  • Closed well to finish 2nd, beaten 2 ¾-lengths, by Always Dreaming in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby on May 6.
  • Trainer, Steve Asmussen, has won the Preakness twice from six starters. He captured the race with Rachel Alexandra (2009) and Curlin (2007). Both had previously run on Derby weekend at Churchill Downs.
  • His jockey, Corey Lanerie, finished 2nd in last year’s Preakness aboard Cherry Wine.
  • He has spent the majority of his career in stakes races, and has competed exclusively in graded stakes company since last September. In addition to the Kentucky Derby, he competed in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby (3rd), Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity (2nd), Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes (2nd) and Grade 3 Southwest Stakes (3rd).
  • A deep closer, he continues to improve in the latter stages of races. With a clean trip, he is worth considering in your Preakness Trifecta and Superfecta wagers.
  • His sire, Lookin At Lucky, won the 2010 Preakness after being defeated in the Kentucky Derby.

Why He Couldn’t Win:

  • Since 1910, only four horses won the Preakness breaking from Post Position #9. The most recent was I’ll Have Another in 2012.
  • Some handicappers feel he took advantage of favorable ‘inside bias’ in the Kentucky Derby, where the ground along the rail may have been preferable to the dirt on the far outside.
  • He hasn’t won a race since the Ellis Park Juvenile Stakes in August 2016. He is winless in seven subsequent starts.
  • There isn’t much speed signed on for this year’s Preakness, so deep closers may have trouble closing into a slower pace.
  • In the last 15 years, the Kentucky Derby runner-up is just 1-for-8 in the Preakness. In 6-of-8 attempts, they finished worse in the Preakness than they had in the Derby.
  • He has never won a graded stakes race.

10. Conquest Mo Money (15/1)

Preakness Stakes Contender Conquest Mo Money

Pedigree: Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie) x Stirring (Seeking the Gold)
Owner: Judge Lanier Racing
Trainer: Miguel Hernandez
Jockey: Jorge Carreno

Why He Could Win:

  • He finished 2nd, beaten ½-length, in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park on April 15.
  • Additionally, he finished 2nd, beaten 3 ¾-lengths, by Hence in the Grade 3 Sunland Derby on March 26. He broke from the far outside post that day.
  • While generally viewed as a negative, the Preakness winner has broken from a double-digit post four times since 1998. The most recent was Rachel Alexandra, who was victorious from Post 13 in 2009.
  • He is 3-for-5 in his career, with earnings of $508K.
  • He has never finished worse than second.
  • He had enough Points to run in the Kentucky Derby, however his connections chose not to supplement him at a cost of $200,000. They did, however, pay $150,000 to nominate him to the Preakness.
  • With the injury of Royal Mo, there don’t appear to be many speed horses in this year’s Preakness. His running style may prove extremely beneficial if he is able to lead the field through slow fractions.
  • He has broken from outside posts (#11 twice) in his two most recent starts.

Why He Couldn’t Win:

  • He was not nominated to the Kentucky Derby and his connections chose not to supplement for the race.
  • Jockey, Jorge Carreno, has never ridden in a Triple Crown race. His lone graded stakes victory came aboard Toccetive in 2012 in the Grade 3 Canadian Derby.
  • Trainer, Miguel Hernandez, has never won a graded stakes race.
  • Since 1984, only two horses, Bernardini (2006) and Red Bullet (2000) won the Preakness after not running two weeks earlier at Churchill Downs. 2009 winner, Rachel Alexandra, prepped in the Kentucky Oaks on Derby weekend.