The field for the 136th running of the Preakness Stakes is set, at least for the time being, at 14 horses. The 2011 Preakness Stakes Entries include Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom as well as Derby runners Dialed In, Nehro, Mucho Macho Man, Shackleford, and Midnight Interlude. Also in contention for Saturday's Run for the Black-Eyed Susans are Astrology, Dance City, Flashpoint, Sway Away, Norman Asbjornson, King Congie, Mr. Commons, and Concealed Identity. Animal Kingdom is presently listed as a +200 moneyline favorite to capture the second leg of the Triple Crown series.
All eyes will be on Animal Kingdom this Saturday as he attempts to become the fifth horse since 2002 to win both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. The 1 3/16 miles distance should not be a problem for the Leroidesanimaux sired colt as he cruised to a 2:02.04 time over the 1 1/4 miles dirt track at Churchill Downs less than two weeks ago.
The biggest knock against Animal Kingdom entering the Derby was his lack of dirt racing experience, but he answered his critics with a decisive charge down the back stretch that saw him pass a number of higher rated contenders, including Nehro and Mucho Macho Manto, to take the top spot.
The track at Churchill Downs was a fast one and if the forecast for Baltimore holds true, Pimlico's surface should be adequate as well. Animal Kingdom on a sloppy track would raise new questions, but he has no more to answer in regards to regular dirt conditions.
Nor do Nehro and Mucho Macho Man, who were Kingdom's chief challengers in Louisville. For Nehro, his second place finish at the Derby marked his third consecutive runner up campaign as he also placed at the Arkansas and Louisiana Derbies.
Mucho Macho Man's effort at Churchill Downs represented his second consecutive third place run, with the colt finishing behind Pants On Fire and Nehro at the Louisiana Derby on March 26th.
The post draw for Saturday's race is scheduled for Wednesday, May 18th at 5:30pm ET.
Animal Kingdom +200
Dialed In +500
Mucho Macho Man +650
Dance City +1300
Sway Away +1500
Norman Asbjornson +1500
Midnight Interlude +2000
King Congie +2000
Mr. Commons +2000
Concealed Identity +2500
Isn't He Perfect (Alternate) +4500
Saratoga Red (Alternate) +5000