Preakness Quick Sheet: Get to Know the 2021 Preakness Horses

Concert Tour, Medina Spirit, and Midnight Bourbon (left to right) headline Saturday’s Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in Baltimore. (Eclipse Sportswire)

After an exciting edition of Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve on May 1 at Churchill Downs, the focus of the racing world now shifts to Baltimore and Pimlico, where the 146th running of the Preakness Stakes is set for this Saturday, May 15.

Ten horses are lined up to contest the second jewel of the Triple Crown, which will be televised on NBC during a broadcast from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET. Post time for the Preakness is approximately 6:47 p.m. ET. Coverage of earlier races on Pimlico’s card will air on NBCSN along with features on the Preakness Stakes from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET. NBCSN will also air a Preakness preview along with the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes for fillies on Friday, May 14, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

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Read on for more information on all Preakness Stakes starters, presented in post-position order and with morning-line odds added.

Coady Photography

1. Ram (30-1)

Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.

Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas

Owners: Christina Baker and William Mack

Career record: 9 starts – 2 wins – 1 second – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $119,615

Earnings per start: $13,291

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 88

Pedigree: American Pharoah – Miner’s Secret, by Mineshaft

Color: Chestnut

Running style: Stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: This ridgling is a good bet to carry the longest odds in Preakness 146 as he becomes the 45th starter in Preakness history for legendary trainer D. Wayne Lukas, extending his record. Ram enters off of the first two wins in his career, a two-length score in a maiden claiming race at Oaklawn Park on April 16 and then a rallying 3 ½-length win in an allowance-optional claiming race at Churchill Downs on May 1, the first race on the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve card. He looked every part of an improving horse in that allowance victory, sweeping into contention at the top of the stretch of the one-mile, one-turn race and powering clear, but still only earned a modest Equibase Speed Figure of 88. That number is not competitive in this Preakness field and, despite having a good distance pedigree, it’s hard to envision Ram hitting the board in any other scenario other than a complete pace meltdown where not only the forwardly-placed horses stop but several other stalkers and closers fail to fire. Preakness History: Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas won the Preakness in 1980 with his very first starter in the race, Codex. Since then, he’s sent 44 more runners to Pimlico’s marquee race with his overall tally as follows: six wins (Codex, Tank’s Prospect in 1985, Tabasco Cat in 1994, Timber Country in 1995, Charismatic in 1999, and Oxbow in 2013), two seconds (Corporate Report in 1991, Bravazo in 2018) and five thirds. Ricardo Santana Jr. is making his third Preakness start; he finished third on Tenfold in his 2018 debut behind Justify and Bravazo.

Coady Photography

2. Keepmeinmind (15-1)

Jockey: David Cohen

Trainer: Robertino Diodoro

Owners: Cypress Creek Equine, Arnold Bennewith, and Spendthrift Farm

Career record: 7 starts – 1 win – 2 seconds – 1 third

Career earnings: $424,987

Earnings per start: $60,712

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 99

Pedigree: Laoban – Inclination, by Victory Gallop

Color: Bay

Running style: Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: After two uninspiring efforts in Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve preps this spring, Keepmeinmind improved in the Derby itself to outrun his 49-1 odds and finish seventh. He trailed the entire field early on after a slow start and methodically improved position through the backstretch and far turn before swinging eight wide at the top of the stretch and closing well. Make no mistake, Keepmeinmind was still defeated by 8 ½ lengths in the Derby and his overall race record and Equibase Speed Figures make him a longshot win candidate in the Preakness. Still, Keepmeinmind has proven that he belongs in graded stakes against the best of his age group going back to last fall when he won the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes and hit the board in two Grade 1 stakes won by champion Essential Quality, and he should have a solid pace to close into come Saturday with regular rider David Cohen aboard. If he can get a better trip in the Preakness than he did in the Derby, which should be achievable with a smaller field, Keepmeinmind can fill out the superfecta at high odds. Anything more would be a surprise. Preakness History: This will be the first Preakness appearance for Cohen and trainer Robertino Diodoro. B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm co-owned last year’s Preakness runner-up Authentic.

Coady Photography

3. Medina Spirit (9-5)

Jockey: John Velazquez

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Owner: Zedan Racing Stables

Career record: 6 starts – 3 wins – 3 seconds – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $2,175,200

Earnings per start: $362,533

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 110

Pedigree: Protonico – Mongolian Changa, by Brilliant Speed

Color: Dark bay or brown

Running style: Pacesetter/press the pace

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Medina Spirit’s hard-fought win in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve is currently under review after a drug test administered after the race revealed that the colt had betamethasone, a corticosteroid, in his blood. Betamethasone is allowed as a therapeutic treatment in horses but the recommended withdrawal time is at least 14 days and the substance must be completely out of the body by race day. Trainer Bob Baffert acknowledged on May 11 that Medina Spirit was treated for a skin condition with an ointment containing betamethasone up to the day before the Kentucky Derby … and now Medina Spirit’s connections, along with the rest of the horse racing world, await the results of a second blood test and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s ruling on his Derby win, which could be weeks away. In the meantime, Medina Spirit enters the Preakness as one of the favorites, and he displayed both talent and tenacity in the Kentucky Derby, when he was challenged by Mandaloun, Hot Rod Charlie, and Essential Quality all the way through Churchill Downs’ homestretch and would not let any of those horses pass him. He set a solid pace in the Kentucky Derby and was able to settle into a good cruising speed all the way through the far turn before Mandaloun turned up the heat. It’s questionable whether he’ll get such a favorable early scenario again in the Preakness, especially with stablemate Concert Tour entered. Concert Tour also prefers to run on or close to the early lead and could make things considerably tougher for Medina Spirit. This colt ran a career-best race with a 111 Equibase Speed Figure in the Derby and could bounce off of that effort with a quick turnaround while facing several new shooters, but he’s yet to finish worse than second in six career starts. All controversy aside, he is a leading win candidate in the Preakness and will play a key role in determining the pace scenario at the very least. Preakness History: Bob Baffert became the all-time winningest trainer in Kentucky Derby history 10 days ago, scoring his seventh victory to pass Ben Jones. That accomplishment now may be reversed because of the positive drug test. Baffert also has a shot at taking sole position atop the trainer’s leaderboard in all-time Preakness victories Saturday with either Medina Spirit or Concert Tour. He has won the race seven times, tied with 19th Century trainer Robert Wyndham Walden, and nearly claimed his eighth last September when Authentic came up just short against Swiss Skydiver. Baffert’s wins came with Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), Point Given (2001), War Emblem (2002), Lookin At Lucky (2010), American Pharoah (2015), and Justify (2018). All of those horses save Point Given and Lookin At Lucky won the Kentucky Derby prior to the Preakness, and American Pharoah and Justify went on to sweep the Triple Crown. Baffert’s two runners-up in the Preakness are Bodemeister in 2012 and the aforementioned Authentic from 22 total starters. Hall of Famer John Velazquez has made 10 prior Preakness starts, finishing second three times on Derby winner Animal Kingdom in 2011, Itsmyluckyday in 2013, and Authentic in 2020.

Adam Coglianese/NYRA

4. Crowded Trade (10-1)

Jockey: Javier Castellano

Trainer: Chad Brown

Owner: Klaravich Stables

Career record: 3 starts – 1 win – 1 second – 1 third

Career earnings: $179,000

Earnings per start: $59,667

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 105

Pedigree: More Than Ready – Maude S, by Jump Start

Color: Chestnut

Running style: Stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Crowded Trade makes only his fourth career start in Saturday’s Preakness, his prior three all coming earlier this year at Aqueduct. He’s shown talent and grit in all of them, winning his debut in a sprint race by a length in January, finishing second by a nose to longshot Weyburn in the March 6 Gotham Stakes at a mile, and then battling in the stretch before settling for third, 1 ¼ lengths behind longshots Bourbonic and Dynamic One in the Wood Memorial Stakes Presented by Resorts World Casino. Those two horses came back to run 13th and 18th, respectively, in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve, and overall the New York-based 3-year-old division has been underwhelming this spring. That said, Crowded Trade and his stablemate Risk Taking are both from a very successful barn and should definitely be considered for exotic tickets in the Preakness, although Risk Taking has a better pedigree for the 1 3/16-mile distance. Look for Crowded Trade to stalk the early leaders in midpack through the backstretch before jockey Javier Castellano urges him to move into contention as the field hits the far turn. Preakness History: Chad Brown won the Preakness in his very first appearance in 2017 with Cloud Computing, who was co-owned by Seth Klarman’s Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence and ridden by Hall of Famer Castellano. Castellano also won the Preakness aboard Bernardini in 2006, his first appearance in eight starts prior to this year.

Lou Hodges, Jr. /Hodges Photography

5. Midnight Bourbon (5-1)

Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Owner: Winchell Thoroughbreds

Career record: 8 starts – 2 wins – 2 seconds – 3 thirds

Career earnings: $461,420

Earnings per start: $57,678

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 99

Pedigree: Tiznow – Catch the Moon, by Malibu Moon

Color: Bay

Running style: Press the pace

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Midnight Bourbon endured a rough trip early in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve and was forced to race wide on both turns and come from farther back than he prefers, but he still ran on to finish sixth, defeated by 8 ¼ lengths. If he breaks cleanly, expect a much better performance in the Preakness from this well-bred, classy horse. He showed up each time during Fair Grounds’ three-race string of Kentucky Derby preps earlier this year, leading from start to finish to win the Lecomte Stakes, checking in third in the Risen Star Stakes Presented by Lamarque Ford, and holding second in the Louisiana Derby. Midnight Bourbon should slot in right behind Medina Spirit and Concert Tour in the Preakness and get first run at those horses, and getting champion jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. – a strong finisher – aboard for the first time is a plus. Steve Asmussen remarked how well Midnight Bourbon was training all week prior to the Kentucky Derby and he was one of the more attractive longshots in that race. Things didn’t work out under the Twin Spires, and he’ll carry lower odds than the Derby’s 13.20-1 in Saturday’s Preakness, but this colt still stands a good shot at scoring a mild upset. Preakness History: Hall of Fame trainer Asmussen won the Preakness in 2007 and 2009 with two future Horses of the Year and Hall of Fame inductees – Curlin and Rachel Alexandra, respectively. He’s also finished third twice from 13 total starters. Winchell Thoroughbreds owned one of those third-place horses, Tenfold in 2018. Somewhat surprisingly, Irad Ortiz Jr. will be making only his third Preakness start.

Shane Micheli/Vassar Photography

6. Rombauer (12-1)

Jockey: Flavien Prat

Trainer: Mike McCarthy

Owners: John and Diane Fradkin

Career record: 6 starts – 2 wins – 1 second – 1 third

Career earnings: $290,500

Earnings per start: $48,417

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 100

Pedigree: Twirling Candy – Cashmere, by Cowboy Cal

Color: Bay

Running style: Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Rombauer earned an automatic berth to the Preakness when he won the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields in February, and his connections skipped the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve to point to this race. He is a consistent type who profiled as a one-dimensional closer through his first five starts but showed a slightly new dimension in his only race since the El Camino Real. In the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 3, Rombauer tracked in third behind pacesetter Highly Motivated and pressing Essential Quality (the eventual winner) rather than settling near the rear of the field, and he kept that position throughout the race while never threatening the top two. Jockey Flavien Prat, who is enjoying another stellar season, gets aboard Rombauer for the first time in the Preakness, and it will be interesting to see if he tries to employ the same strategy in a race where the up-front pace could be swift. This colt earned a career-best Equibase Speed Figure in the Blue Grass and will need to boost that 100 number to score a Preakness upset, but he could spice up trifecta and/or superfecta tickets at good odds. He has been training well in California to prepare for this race. Preakness History: This is the first Preakness appearance for all of Rombauer’s connections.

Coady Photography

7. France Go de Ina (20-1)

Jockey: Joel Rosario

Trainer: Hideyuki Mori

Owner: Yuji Inaida

Career record: 4 starts – 2 wins – 0 seconds – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $145,291

Earnings per start: $36,323

Top Equibase Speed Figure: n/a

Pedigree: Will Take Charge – Dreamy Blues, by Curlin

Color: Chestnut

Running style: Pacesetter/press the pace

Notable achievements and interesting facts: This Kentucky-bred, Japan-based globe trotter is the wild card entry for Saturday’s Preakness. He’s raced four times, breaking his maiden in front-running fashion in his second career start in Japan last November, following that up with another open-length win in an allowance race to close out 2020, and then on March 27 running sixth in the UAE Derby Sponsored by Emirates NBD to kick off his 3-year-old campaign at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. In that race, he started slow, settled in last of 14 through the first turn, and saved ground until the homestretch, when he improved position but still finished 10 ½ lengths behind winner Rebel’s Romance. Joel Rosario was aboard for France Go de Ina’s UAE Derby start and gets back on him for the Preakness. Look for Rosario to be aggressive with his mount once the starting gate opens and get him into a prime stalking position behind what could be a contested early pace between Medina Spirit, Concert Tour, and Midnight Bourbon. It would not be a total surprise to see Rosario put France Go de Ina on the early lead and take the race to Medina Spirit and/or Concert Tour either, as his two wins – both in races at about 1 1/8 miles – have come either on the lead or sitting in second and pressing the pace. He is a long-striding type who doesn’t appear to have a swift turn of foot, but is definitely worth including in exotic bets as he is bred to run all day as a son of Travers Stakes winner and Breeders’ Cup Classic runner-up Will Take Charge and out of a mare by Preakness and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Curlin. Preakness history: This is the first Preakness appearance for France Go de Ina’s Japanese owner and trainer. Joel Rosario has ridden six prior horses in the Preakness, his best finishes coming aboard runners-up Ride On Curlin in 2014, Tale of Verve in 2015, and Everfast in 2019.

8. Unbridled Honor (15-1)

Jockey: Luis Saez

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Owner: Whisper Hill Farm

Career record: 5 starts – 1 win – 1 second – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $78,550

Earnings per start: $15,710

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 98

Pedigree: Honor Code – Silvery Starlet, by Unbridled’s Song

Color: Gray or roan

Running style: Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Unbridled Honor will be one of the longest shots in the Preakness field coming into the race off of a runner-up finish in the Stonestreet Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on April 10. Racing on a sloppy track, he closed from last of nine to check in 2 ¾ lengths behind winner and currently-sidelined King Fury. In his prior Derby prep, he also made up some late ground to finish a nonthreatening fourth in the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby back in March. This son of Honor Code has a good pedigree for the Preakness distance (he’s closely related to Grade 1 winners Roman Ruler and El Corredor) and he did boost his top career Equibase Speed Figure from 83 to 98 in the Lexington, suggesting that he’s finally starting to realize his potential. Unbridled Honor will need to take a quantum leap in development to post an upset win in the Preakness Stakes, but if the early pace is fast enough he could pick up enough pieces in the stretch to hit the board. Preakness History: Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill farm co-owned 2013 third-place Preakness finisher Mylute. Todd Pletcher, who will be officially inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame this summer, is seeking his first Preakness win; his best finish from nine prior starters came in his 2000 debut with third-place Impeachment. Jockey Luis Saez is back for his second try in the Preakness after finishing a half-length behind eventual Triple Crown winner Justify aboard Bravazo in 2018.

Eclipse Sportswire

9. Risk Taking (15-1)

Jockey: Jose Ortiz

Trainer: Chad Brown

Owner: Klaravich Stables

Career record: 5 starts – 2 wins – 0 seconds – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $200,030

Earnings per start: $40,006

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 102

Pedigree: Medaglia d’Oro – Run a Risk, by Distorted Humor

Color: Bay

Running style: Stalker/closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Risk Taking joined stablemate Crowded Trade in the 2021 Preakness field on May 14 when his connections decided to scratch the colt from the May 8 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park and pursue a bigger prize at Pimlico. He jumped on the Kentucky Derby trail with an impressive 3 ¾-length win in the Withers Stakes at Aqueduct on Feb. 6, earning a 102 Equibase Speed Figure, but then turned in a puzzling seventh-place finish as the 2.35-1 favorite in the Wood Memorial Stakes Presented by Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct on April 6 and bypassed the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve. Trainer Chad Brown has been satisfied with Risk Taking’s progress since that misfire and, if this son of Medaglia d’Oro can recapture his Withers form, his come-from-behind style could be advantageous in a Preakness that projects to have a solid pace set by front-runners Medina Spirit and Concert Tour. New York-based Triple Crown contenders have been underwhelming this year to say the least, and early supporters of Risk Taking should get appealing odds Saturday if they are ready to get back on board. Preakness History: Seth Klarman’s Klaravich Stables (along with William Lawrence) and Chad Brown won the 2017 Preakness with Cloud Computing. Jockey Jose Ortiz makes his fourth Preakness start; he finished fourth in 2018 on Good Magic, also trained by Brown.

Eclipse Sportswire

10. Concert Tour (5-2)

Jockey: Mike Smith

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Owners: Gary and Mary West

Career record: 4 starts – 3 wins – 0 seconds – 1 third

Career earnings: $856,600

Earnings per start: $214,450

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 105

Pedigree: Street Sense – Purse Strings, by Tapit

Color: Bay

Running style: Pacesetter/press the pace

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Concert Tour was one of the top contenders for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve this past winter and spring but skipped the race to target the Preakness after he finished a disappointing third in the Arkansas Derby on April 10 at Oaklawn Park. Prior to that race, he had won his first three starts in impressive fashion, seemingly getting better each time. He scored two wins in one-turn races at Santa Anita Park before shipping to Oaklawn and wiring the field in the Rebel Stakes in March while romping by 4 ¼ lengths. In the Arkansas Derby, Concert Tour did not make a clear early lead and battled with Caddo River all the way until deep in the homestretch, when Super Stock ran by both of them and Concert Tour lost second by a head. Mike Smith gets aboard for the first time Saturday and – especially considering his outside post position – Smith could very well urge Concert Tour to the front as soon as the gate opens to take advantage of his mount's speed. If that indeed happens and stablemate Medina Spirit tries to replicate his front-running Derby win, a Preakness pace duel could develop that hurts both horses’ chances. Jockey strategy will be crucial in the Preakness – as it is in any race – but overall, Concert Tour is a fresh horse with proven form and as such he logically profiles as a leading win candidate in Saturday’s second jewel of the Triple Crown. Preakness History: Trainer Bob Baffert can become the all-time winningest trainer in Preakness history if either Concert Tour or Medina Spirit finishes first Saturday. His seven prior wins came with Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), Point Given (2001), War Emblem (2002), Lookin At Lucky (2010), and Triple Crown winners American Pharoah (2015) and Justify (2018). Hall of Famer Mike Smith was aboard Justify for his Preakness win in 2018. Smith also won the Preakness in 1993 on Prairie Bayou and has finished second twice (Mine That Bird in 2009 and Bodemeister in 2012) and third four times in 18 total starts.

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