Justify draws 7 post, is heavy 1-2 favorite for Preakness
BALTIMORE (AP) — Justify is the 1-2 morning-line favorite in an eight-horse field at the Preakness coming off his impressive win in the Kentucky Derby.
Trainer Bob Baffert’s undefeated colt will leave from the same No. 7 post that he did at the Derby. Baffert is 4-0 with Derby winners at the Preakness and has the opportunity to win his second Triple Crown in four years after American Pharoah did it in 2015.
Baffert joked that being such a heavy favorite puts more pressure on Justify, who held off a hard-charging Good Magic in the Derby. But the trainer added that he’d rather have the favorite in an important race than a 50-1 shot who needs a lot of help just to win.
Justify doesn’t need that. After not racing as a 2-year-old, he has won his only four races by a combined 21 1/2 lengths and is far and away the horse to beat in the Preakness.
Justify will face three other challengers he beat two weeks ago at Churchill Downs — Good Magic, Lone Sailor and Bravazo — and four horses who skipped the Derby — Quip, Tenfold, Sporting Chance and Diamond King.
No. 5 Good Magic is the second choice at 3-1, and No. 1 Quip is third at 12-1. No. 2 Lone Sailor is 15-1, No. 6 Tenfold and No. 8 Bravazo are 20-1 and No. 3 Sporting Chance and No. 4 Diamond King are 30-1 on the morning line.
With rain expected at Pimlico Race Course in the days leading up to the Preakness and on race day, veteran trainer D. Wayne Lukas expects the pace to be similar to the Derby. Justify arrived Wednesday about 90 minutes before the post-position draw, and Baffert expects to take him on the track for the first time Thursday morning.