by Jeremy Plonk
May 11, 2021
One of the most anticipated Preakness Stakes draws in history included 10 entries today, led by controversial Kentucky Derby first-place finisher Medina Spirit. The Bob Baffert trainee starts from post 3 and will be joined in the starting gate by stablemate Concert Tour (post 10). The Preakness will be Race 13 of 14 on a card that begins at 10:30AM ET. The Preakness Stakes post time is slated for 6:47PM ET.
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The Preakness pace almost certainly comes from the Baffert duo. With the farthest post, rest assured jockey Mike Smith will be hustling Concert Tour from the start and likely will make the front. Both horses are unbeaten when they race on the early lead. But John Velazquez on Medina Spirit likely won’t want Concert Tour pressing him to the outside, so it’s very likely he’ll concede the lead and let Concert Tour drop all the way over to the rail into the first turn.
The other contender to be in the front force would be Midnight Bourbon, who drew post 5. Japan’s entrant, France Go de Ina, will begin from post 7. The bulk of the Preakness field is drop-back closers who will settle early, try to save ground where possible and make runs where space opens. With a field of 10 and about a quarter-mile run to the clubhouse turn, post positions should not be make or break.
Baffert, who went public Sunday with news that Medina Spirit had tested positive for a prohibited raceday medication, will be aiming for a record-breaking eighth career Preakness victory. A score would pass R.W. Walden’s record in the race that has stood more than a century. On a similar note, D. Wayne Lukas sends out longshot Ram, who could give the 85-year-old trainer a record-tying seventh Woodlawn Vase trophy.
Saturday’s 14-race lineup also includes the Grade 2 Dinner Party Stakes among 9 stakes races in all.
146TH PREAKNESS STAKES // PIMLICO // RACE 13 (6:47PM ET)
1. Ram (Ricardo Santana Jr.) 30-1
2. Keepmeinmind (David Cohen) 15-1
3. Medina Spirit (John Velazquez) 9-5
4. Crowded Trade (Javier Castellano) 10-1
5. Midnight Bourbon (Irad Ortiz Jr.) 5-1
6. Rombauer (Flavien Prat) 12-1
7. France Go de Ina (Joel Rosario) 20-1
8. Unbridled Honor (Luis Saez) 15-1
9. Risk Taking (Jose Ortiz) 15-1
10. Concert Tour (Mike Smith) 5-2