Quantcast

2021 Preakness Stakes Preview: Odds, breakdown of field as Medina Spirit looks for 2nd jewel of Triple Crown

Medina Spirit Preakness
Medina Spirt (left) returns to the stakes barn after a morning work out at Pimlico Race Course.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

There will be a Triple Crown pursuit, after all, heading into the 2021 Preakness Stakes on Saturday from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, MD after Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit was permitted to compete for the second jewel of the crown after a failed drug test. 

The Bob Baffert-trained horse led wire-to-wire at Churchill Downs before his legitimacy fell into question, with rumors swirling that the Maryland Jockey Club would bar the three-year-old. 

After settling on an agreement, Medina Spirit will run as the headliner of the 10-horse field at Pimlico, which is a 1 3/16-mile race and shorter than the Kentucky Derby. 

In theory, it’s a shorter length for Medina Spirit to lead from wire to wire, but the field will feature a few other pacesetters that could set up an enticing finish.

Here is how the field for the 146th running of the Preakness is shaking up:

1) Ram (30-1)

  • Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
  • Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.
  • Bred In: Kentucky
  • Running style: Stalker
  • Starts: 9
  • Wins: 2
  • Earnings: $119,615

Ram certainly has impressive bloodlines as his father is Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, but he hasn’t had the same kind of success. Both his career wins have come this year — and on consecutive appearances. Most recently, he won at Churchill Downs on May 1, shortly before the Kentucky Derby was run before winning at Oaklawn Park on April 16.

 

2) Keepmeinmind (15-1)

  • Trainer: Robertino Diodoro
  • Jockey: David Cohen
  • Bred In: Kentucky
  • Running style: Closer
  • Starts: 7
  • Wins: 1
  • Earnings: $424,987

Keepmeinmind finished seventh at the Kentucky Derby, which continued a disappointing 2021 after a fifth-place finish at the Blue Grass Stakes in April and a sixth-place finish at the Rebel Stakes in March.

 

3) Medina Spirit (9-5)

  • Trainer: Bob Baffert
  • Jockey: John Velazquez
  • Bred In: Florida
  • Running style: Pacesetter
  • Starts: 6
  • Wins: 3
  • Earnings: $2,175,200

Medina Spirit initially surprised many with a wire-to-wire victory at the Kentucky Derby, but controversy closely followed when he failed a post-race drug test. While Bob Baffert blames an ointment that contained twice the legal limit of betamethasone, Medina Spirit will be under the microscope after he was allowed to race under extra monitoring and testing. All of that aside, Medina Spirit is still the favorite, and should once again be near the front as soon as the gates open.

 

4) Crowded Trade (10-1)

  • Trainer: Chad Brown
  • Jockey: Javier Castellano
  • Bred In: Kentucky
  • Running style: Stalker
  • Starts: 3
  • Wins: 1
  • Earnings: $179,000

Crowded Trade has never finished below third in his three career races — all of which came this year. After taking his first career race at Aqueduct in January, Crowded Trade finished second at the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes in March and third at the Grade 2 Wood Memorial in April.

 

5) Midnight Bourbon (5-1)

  • Trainer: Steven Asmussen
  • Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.
  • Bred In: Kentucky
  • Running style: Press the pace
  • Starts: 8
  • Wins: 2
  • Earnings: $461,420

A sixth-place finish at the Kentucky Derby was a rather disappointing result for Midnight Bourbon considering his previous five races in graded stakes. He didn’t finish below third, including a win at the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds in January. If his past history suggests anything, he’ll be in the conversation at Pimlico.

 

6) Rombauer (12-1)

  • Trainer: Michael McCarthy
  • Jockey: Flavien Prat
  • Bred In: Kentucky
  • Running style: Closer
  • Starts: 6
  • Wins: 2
  • Earnings: $290,500

A third-place finish at the Blue Grass Stakes last month helped build some intrigue surrounding Rombauer entering the Preakness, especially after a win at Golden Gate two months earlier clinched his spot in the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

 

7) France Go de Ina (20-1)

  • Trainer: Hideyuki Mori
  • Jockey: Joel Rosario
  • Bred In: Kentucky
  • Running style: Pacesetter
  • Starts: 4
  • Wins: 2
  • Earnings: $145,291

This Kentucky-bred horse is based in Japan and will make his first-ever appearance on American soil at the Preakness. Both of his career wins have come at Hanshin in Japan. 

 

8) Unbridled Honor (15-1)

  • Trainer: Todd Pletcher
  • Jockey: Luis Saez
  • Bred In: Kentucky
  • Running style: Closer
  • Starts: 5
  • Wins: 1
  • Earnings: $78,550

An afterthought in the Preakness field, Unbridled Honor is coming off a second-place finish at the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes back in April. 

 

9) Risk Taking (15-1)

  • Trainer: Chad Brown
  • Jockey: Jose Ortiz
  • Bred In: Kentucky
  • Running style: Stalker
  • Starts: 5
  • Wins: 2
  • Earnings: $200,030

Risk Taking followed up a win at the Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct with a disappointing seventh-place showing at the Wood Memorial, making him a longshot on Saturday.

 

10) Concert Tour (5-2)

  • Trainer: Bob Baffert
  • Jockey: Mike Smith
  • Bred In: Kentucky
  • Running style: Pacesetter
  • Starts: 4
  • Wins: 3
  • Earnings: $856,600

Medina Spirit and Bob Baffert’s biggest threat looks to be another horse trained by Baffert. Concert Tour was a top contender for the Kentucky Derby after starting his career with three straight wins — including the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes and Grade 2 Rebel Stakes. But a third-place finish at the Arkansas Derby prompted Baffert to skip Concert Tour and have him prepare for the Preakness. 

More from around NYC