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2012 Preakness: Probable Field (Updated)

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With the defections of Dullahan, Hansen, Hierro and Isn't He Clever, the field for the 2012 Preakness is pretty close to set in anticipation of tomorrow's post position draw. The connections of Daddy Nose Best confirmed that the colt will participate in Saturday's race, which leaves us with a potential field of 12 11 for Saturday's race. If the current line-up remains, the Preakness field will contain six horses from the Derby and six "new shooters".

UPDATED: Guyanna Star Dweej is out due to injury.

Below are the probable starters for Saturday's Preakness Stakes.

Horse Jockey Trainer
Bodemeister M. Smith B. Baffert
Cozzetti J. Lezcano D. Romans
Creative Cause J. Rosario M. Harrington
Daddy Nose Best J. Leparoux S. Asmussen
Guyanna Star Dweej A. Solis D. Shivmangal
I'll Have Another M. Gutierrez D. O'Neill
Optimizer C. Nakatani D.W. Lukas
Pretension J. Santiago C. Grove
Teeth of the Dog J. Bravo M. Matz
Tiger Walk K. Desormeaux I. Correas
Went the Day Well J. Velazquez G. Motion
Zetterholm J. Alvarado R. Dutrow

Some thoughts on the potential field below the jump.

  • Unlike the Derby, the pace in the Preakness looks like it is going to be a lot less frantic. Bodemeister looks like he will be the leader going into the first turn, just like he was at Churchill Downs.

    Brimstone Island ran on the lead during the first five races of his career, and then he started to employ different tactics in his last four outings. I think it's doubtful that he'll challenge Bode for the lead in the early stages.

    Isn't He Clever has shown some speed in the past but not to the extent of Bode; he'll probably get a good stalking trip but he's unlikely to be on the lead.

    Both Paynter and Teeth of the Dog have shown flashes of early speed in their prior races but, like most of the horses in this field, they haven't consistently displayed the kind of speed that Bob Baffert's top gun has . Paynter pressed into a very fast pace in the Derby Trial but that came over an off-track and it remains to be seen whether he can unleash that kind of early pace on a fast track.

    So what's this all mean? Sure looks like Bodemeister will get the lead all to himself in the early stages of the Preakness. If he's able to avoid throwing down a :45 second half mile (and a 1:09 split at six furlongs) he might be very tough to get by in the stretch.
  • Creative Cause should be able to get a much better trip in the Preakness than he did in the Derby, which should allow him to sit closer to Bodemeister over the first half mile. He's got a good late kick but 12 lengths was just too much to overcome in the Derby.
  • Like Creative Cause, Derby winner I'll Have Another should also be able to secure a nice stalking trip all the way around the Pimlico main track. The race sets up well for him to have a shot at taking the second leg of the Triple Crown.