Justify did not run as a 2-year-old but is undefeated as a 3-year-old with four straight wins. He broke a long-standing historical Derby trend by winning it without a start as a two-year-old.
Justify won't face anything close to that size field Saturday, partly because most trainers don't think they can beat him.More news: Meghan Markle's Dad Now Says He Wants To Attend Royal Wedding
Ridden by Mike Smith, Justify won the Derby as the favorite earlier this month and now all eyes will be on whether the Bob Baffert-trained chestnut colt can create some intrigue going into the June 9 Belmont Stakes, the final stop for the Crown. Derby runner-up Good Magic is the second choice at 3 to 1, but Justify is the horse to beat with the chance to give Baffert his seventh Preakness victor and a shot at a second Triple Crown in four years after American Pharoah did it in 2015. Horse and trainer are bucking historical trends and threatening records that date to a period before electricity.
Diamond King, victor of the Federico Tesio Stakes at Laurel Park, will also take a shot at the Derby champion, starting from the No. 4 post and listed as a 30-1 long shot.
This is because no such horse had won since Apollo, who at age 3 in 1882 won the Kentucky Derby. "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons accomplished that seemingly impossible feat in 1930 and 1935.
Good Magic is back to challenge Justify again, along with Bravazo and Lone Sailor, which finished sixth and eighth in the Kentucky Derby, respectively. Should Justify finally show he is mortal, Good Magic would be the most likely victor and would give Brown his second consecutive Preakness. Good Magic looked good at the top of the stretch in that race, but Justify was not about to let anyone run by him. Good Magic's sire - Curlin - captured the 2007 Preakness after finishing third in the Derby.More news: Jeff Kaplan Reveals More Details About New Overwatch Map "Petra"
Quip actually qualified for the Kentucky Derby, but his trainers chose to rest him up for the Preakness.
If he is going to take the second jewel of the Triple Crown in the Preakness Stakes Saturday, he will have to beat just seven other horses. It's one of the most-bet horse races of the year. Last year, when Actress and Cloud Computing were the respective winners, the double lured $793,718 in handle and resulted in a $368.80 payoff for $2. Quip has only run twice since last October and should be fresh for the Preakness 2018. Sporting Chance (No. 3) and Diamond King (No. 4) round out the pack at 30-to-1.
It's a long way from sitting in the grandstand at Longacres to saddling one of the favorites in Goodonehoney for the Grade 2, $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan at legendary Pimlico Race Course, but 36-year-old trainer Jason Egan couldn't feel more at home.
May 16, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Trainer Bob Baffert walks Kentucky Derby victor Justify through the Preakness Barn after arriving at Pimlico Race Course in preparation for the 143rd Preakness Stakes.More news: Standalone 'Star Wars' film about Lando Calrissian in the works
Kevin Martin is the founder of the thoroughbred racing history site Colin's Ghost.
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