November 29, 2020

Get to know the 2020 Preakness Stakes contenders

Preakness week at Pimlico (c) Horsephotos.com/Cecilia Gustavsson

***UPDATED after the post position draw

Transferred from its customary role as the “Middle Jewel” because of the pandemic, the Oct. 3 Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico concludes the unprecedented 2020 Triple Crown trail.

In another reflection of its late date on the calendar, the 1 3/16-mile test is serving as a “Win and You’re In” for the Nov. 7 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).

But at least there’s an air of familiarity in that the Kentucky Derby (G1) winner, Authentic, is advancing to Pimlico, along with others from Churchill Downs, to meet some new rivals.

Here are the Preakness entrants:

Kentucky Derby alumni

Authentic, Post 9, 9-5 favorite

Authentic
Authentic wins the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs (Jamie Newell/TwinSpires)

Front-running Kentucky Derby hero now sports a 5-for-6 career record.

Owners: Spendthrift Farm, MyRaceHorse Stable, Madaket Stables & Starlight Racing; Trainer: Bob Baffert; Jockey: John Velazquez

Pedigree: Into Mischief-Flawless, by Mr. Greeley

Authentic news

Mr. Big News, Post 2, 12-1

Mr. Big News upset the Oaklawn Stakes (Coady Photography)

Third-placer at 46-1 in the Kentucky Derby was previously known for upsetting the Oaklawn S.

Owner: Allied Racing Stable; Trainer: Bret Calhoun; Jockey: Gabriel Saez

Pedigree: Giant’s Causeway-Unappeased, by Galileo

Mr. Big News news

Max Player, Post 8, 15-1

Max Player wins the Withers (NYRA/Coglianese/Chelsea Durand)

Derby fifth was previously third in both the Belmont S. (G1) and Travers (G1)

Owners: George Hall & SportsBLX Thoroughbreds Corp.; Trainer: Steve Asmussen; Jockey: Paco Lopez

Pedigree: Honor Code-Fools in Love, by Not for Love

Max Player news

Ny Traffic, Post 7, 15-1

Authentic just holds Ny Traffic in the Haskell (Ryan Denver/EQUI-PHOTO)

Derby eighth had just missed to Authentic two back in the Haskell (G1).

Owners: John Fanelli, Cash Is King, LC Racing & Paul Braverman; Trainer: Saffie Joseph; Jockey: Horacio Karamanos

Pedigree: Cross Traffic-Mamie Reilly, by Graeme Hall

Ny Traffic news

Kentucky Derby defections

Art Collector, Post 3, 5-2

Art Collector
Art Collector wins the Ellis Park Derby (Coady Photography)

Blue Grass (G2) and Ellis Park Derby winner was knocked out of the Derby by a minor foot issue.

Owner: Bruce Lunsford; Trainer: Tom Drury; Jockey: Brian Hernandez

Pedigree: Bernardini-Distorted Legacy, by Distorted Humor

Art Collector news

Thousand Words, Post 5, 6-1

Thousand Words wires the Shared Belief at Del Mar © BENOIT PHOTO

Winner of three Derby scoring races made it to the Churchill Downs paddock only to rear up, flip over, and become a last-minute scratch.

Owners: Albaugh Family Stable & Spendthrift Farm; Trainer: Bob Baffert; Jockey: Florent Geroux

Pedigree: Pioneerof the Nile-Pomeroys Pistol, by Pomeroy

Thousand Words news

Belmont Stakes alumnus

Pneumatic, Post 10, 20-1

Pneumatic
Pneumatic won the Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park (Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO)

Belmont fourth came back to dominate the Pegasus, but passed the Derby to arrive fresh at Pimlico.

Owner: Winchell Thoroughbreds; Trainer: Steve Asmussen; Jockey: Joe Bravo

Pedigree: Uncle Mo-Teardrop, by Tapit

Pneumatic news

Triple Crown newcomers

Swiss Skydiver, Post 4, 6-1

Swiss Skydiver
Swiss Skydiver winning the Santa Anita Oaks (Benoit Photo)

Star filly qualified for the Derby with a runner-up effort in the Blue Grass, but stuck to the Kentucky Oaks (G1) instead and placed second. 

Owner: Peter J. Callahan; Trainer: Ken McPeek; Jockey: Robby Albarado

Pedigree: Daredevil-Expo Gold, by Johannesburg

Swiss Skydiver news

Liveyourbeastlife, Post 11, 30-1

Liveyourbeastlife (left) was close to Mystic Guide in the Jim Dandy (NYRA/Coglianese/Chelsea Durand)

Jim Dandy (G2) runner-up enters on the upswing.

Owner: William H. Lawrence; Trainer: Jorge Abreu; Jockey: Trevor McCarthy

Pedigree: Ghostzapper-Ellie’s Moment, by Kris S.

Liveyourbeastlife news

Jesus’ Team, Post 6, 30-1

Jesus’ Team (center in green) led turning for home in the Jim Dandy (NYRA/Coglianese Photos/Dom Napolitano)

Recent Jim Dandy third was previously second in the Pegasus and fourth in the Haskell.

Owner: Grupo 7C Stable; Trainer: Jose D’Angelo; Jockey: Jevian Toledo

Pedigree: Tapiture-Golden Memories, by Suave

Jesus’ Team news

Excession, Post 1, 30-1

Excession moves up in the mud (Churchill/Coady)

Last seen rallying for second to Nadal in the Mar. 14 Rebel (G2), confirmed mudlark hopes for rain.

Owner: Calumet Farm; Trainer: Steve Asmussen; Jockey: Sheldon Russell

Pedigree: Union Rags-Draw It, by Tapit

Excession news