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The 144th edition of the Preakness Stakes takes place on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course, with 12 horses scheduled to go for glory in Baltimore, Maryland.
The 2019 Kentucky Derby provided plenty of drama, as Maximum Security crossed the finish line first only to be later disqualified. Country House was subsequently declared the winner, but neither will participate in the Preakness Stakes.
The absence of Country House means there will be no Triple Crown winner this year, but there should still be plenty of intrigue with no outstanding favourite in the field.
Here is the schedule and viewing details for race day:
Date: Saturday, May 18
Start Time: 6:48 p.m. ET, 11:48 p.m. BST
TV Info: NBC (U.S.)
War of Will (11-4)
Bourbon War (7-1)
Win Win Win (12-1)
Warrior’s Change (16-1)
Market King (20-1)
Laughing Fox (25-1)
Improbable heads into the Preakness Stakes as the favourite and came in fifth at the Kentucky Derby. He was subsequently bumped up to fourth place after Maximum Security was disqualified.
Trainer Bob Baffert says he is happy with his progress ahead of Saturday’s big race:
Fred Cowgill WLKY @FredCowgillWLKY
Trainer Bob Baffert on Improbable Preakness work at Churchill Downs. @WLKY https://t.co/IPGRsx7mYI
Improbable is yet to taste victory in 2019, but he finished second to Omaha Beach in the 2019 Arkansas Derby and will have jockey Mike Smith, who won the Triple Crown in 2018 on Justify, aboard at Pimlico Race Course.
Smith takes over from Irad Ortiz Jr. who will ride Bourbon War at the Preakness Stakes, trainer Mark Hennig has confirmed.
Bourbon War did not run at Churchill Downs and comes into the race off a seven-week lay-off, but that should not be a problem, according to his trainer.
Hennig told BloodHorse: “He’s been doing great. We’ve been through seven weeks between races with him before. He doesn’t need a whole lot, so we don’t need to do too much now.”
Bourbon War has looked in good shape in the lead-up to the Preakness Stakes:
Ryan Martin @RyanMartinNYRA
BOURBON WAR (inside) working in company with CARLINO. The son of Tapit out of Grade 1 Winner My Conquestadory went 5 furlongs in 1:01.67 in preparation for the Grade 1 $1.5 million Preakness at Pimlico for @Hennigracing https://t.co/AjQk3myAH3
War of Will is also fancied by the oddsmakers and will hope for a less eventful race than the Kentucky Derby. The colt was impeded by Maximum Security in the incident that led to the winner’s disqualification but has recovered well, according to NBC’s Randy Moss:
Randy Moss @randy_moss_TV
This is a pretty boy….and a lucky one. War of Will paused for a pic Tuesday morning during his post-exercise stroll around the Preakness barn. He was fortunate to emerge from his eventful Derby trip with only some superficial abrasions that quickly cleared up. https://t.co/LOekptbXOl
The lack of a dominant horse in the field suggests Saturday’s big event should be a competitive, exciting race, although all involved will hope there is no repeat of the controversy that overshadowed the Kentucky Derby.