The Preakness Stakes is coming up on Saturday, May 15, 2021. The second jewel of the American Triple Crown drew a field of 10 top three-year-olds. Find out the top contenders in the race, and learn the best places to place your bets!
$60,000 Challenger Stakes Draws Full Field of Twelve
On Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs, the stakes action will kick off with the 24th edition of the $60,000 Challenger Stakes. Carded at a mile and an eighth, the race has drawn a full field of twelve colts and geldings with one additional listed as also eligible.
General A Rod has been tabbed as the morning line favorite at odds of 3-1 and will be making his first start for trainer Todd Pletcher. A four-year-old son of Roman Ruler, he competed in all three legs of the Triple Crown as a sophomore and returned off of a seven-month layoff to finish fourth against optional claiming competition in January. He has been training steadily since that race and will have John Velazquez aboard from post position four.
Midnight Cello trying to earn first stakes victory
Second choice at morning line odds of 7-2 is Midnight Cello for trainer Michael Tomlinson. A five-year-old gelded son of Midnight Lute, he has won five starts over the course of his career and was last seen finishing fifth in the Fred W. Hooper Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park. He is going for the first stakes win of his career and will have Edgard Zayas aboard from post position seven.
Neck 'n Neck attempting to return to form
Also in the field at morning line odds of 8-1 is Neck ‘n Neck, a multiple graded stakes winner trained by Ian Wilkes. A six-year-old son of Flower Alley, he has gone winless since a score in the Ack Ack Handicap (G3) at Churchill Downs in 2012. With abbreviated campaigns in both 2013 and 2014, he has had two starts this year and was last seen finishing second. Julian Leparoux will be aboard from post five.
After all the drama of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, the racing scene shifts to Pimlico Race Course in anticipation of the running of the 2019 Preakness Stakes. A couple of the high-profile contenders from the Derby are expected in the field, as well as a number of new shooters that add to the handicapping puzzle and could provide good betting value.
The field has been established for the 2016 running of the Belmont Stakes and of the thirteen contenders, there are four horses who competed in the Preakness Stakes (G1) and are moving on to the third jewel of the Triple Crown.
Wise guys who liked Stradivari in the Preakness have every right to maintain their enthusiasm for the Todd Pletcher-trained colt in the Belmont Stakes where the intriguing runner will likely make his next start.