So it looks like we have our field for the 136th Preakness. Nehro’s out, owner Ahmed Zayat said Tuesday, which means Isn’t He Perfect is in.
Here’s a look at the 14 horses that make up the field:
Animal Kingdom – The Kentucky Derby winner will all but certainly be the favorite Saturday at Pimlico. “Knock on wood, everything’s gone really smoothly,” trainer Graham Motion said.
Dialed In – Trainer Nick Zito and the other connections stand to gain more financially from winning the Preakness than even Animal Kingdom’s. A victory would mean $6.1 million (a North American record), adding up the Preakness winner’s get ($600,0000) and the $5.5 million bonus for winning the Holy Bull Stakes, Florida Derby and the Preakness.
Mucho Macho Man – One of the popular Derby picks and sentimental favorites returns for the Preakness and “came back great,” trainer Kathy Rivto said, according to the Maryland Jockey Club.
Shackleford – The fourth of five Derby entrants racing Saturday at Pimlico, led the Run for the Roses and could be a pace-setter this time as well.
Midnight Interlude – He never came close to winning at Churchill Downs, but Midnight Interlude’s Santa Anita Derby and corresponding 97 Beyer speed rating make him a candidate to snatch this race, too.
Astrology – He’ll go for his first victory as a 3-year-old after finishing second in two races earlier this year. He’s one of the many sons of A.P. Indy, so his pedigree says he has a chance.
Concealed Identity – Every Preakness features a local horse, and this year it’s Concealed Identity, who won the Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico and will be ridden by Sheldon Russell. He’s also the son of Smarty Jones.
Dance City – Another possible pace-setter, he did that but still finished third in the Arkansas Derby. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Dance City will be ridden by Ramon Dominguez for the first time.
Flashpoint – Given Animal Kingdom’s success on artificial surfaces, Flashpoint’s workouts on the Polytrack at Keeneland seem to not be as big an issue as in years past. He was fourth in the Florida Derby.
Isn’t He Perfect – Doodnauth Shivmangal’s horse was the beneficiary of Nehro not running in the Preakness, as he moves into the field instead of being left out in the cold. “I’m more than happy to be in the race,” said the Guyana native Shivmanga. “I can’t tell you how good I felt.”
King Congie – Robby Albarado, who was set to ride Animal Kingdom in the Kentucky Derby before being thrown off a horse the Wednesday before the race and suffering a broken nose, will get a chance to end the Triple Crown bid aboard King Congie. “I believe he will be more focused for this than any other race,” president of West Point Thoroughbreds Terry Finley told CSN Baltimore.
Mr. Commons – He has the longest trip of any horse this week to get to Pimlico, beginning with a flight from California to Louisville, Ky., early Tuesday morning. He’s expected to fly to Baltimore on Wednesday. Victor Espinoza will be aboard.
Norman Asbjornson – Easily the best name in the race, Norman Asbjornson’s connections feature a cool story. Trainer Chris Grove’s father, Phil, is a Maryland state steward and will recuse himself from duty during the race. “We decided that in any race, whether it be a $5,000 race or the Preakness, if Chris’s horse was in it and something needed to be decided, I would step out and not be involved,” he said.
Sway Away – Another son of a Preakness winner (2005, Afleet Alex), Sway Away will again be ridden by Garrett Gomez. The colt has been working at Churchill Downs and is expected in Baltimore on Wednesday.
The draw is 5 p.m. Wednesday.