Despite the controversy surrounding Medina Spirit's Kentucky Derby victory and a still impending decision by the Maryland Racing Commission on his status for the Preakness Stakes, trainer Bob Baffert has indicated that they still plan to run him in the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
This means the field for the 146th Preakness Stakes is set, or about as much as it can be, with 10 horses entered for Saturday's $1.5million race for three-year-olds over a distance of a mile and three-sixteenths.
A horse not in the field is Mandaloun, who would be declared the winner of the Kentucky Derby if Medina Spirit's split sample comes up positive for excessive amounts of betamethasone, but that test could take weeks. Even though a win in Saturday's race could mean a potential Triple Crown, there is no indication from trainer Brad Cox that they are considering running him in the Preakness Stakes.
While eight of the horses are familiar to those who have been following the Road to the Kentucky Derby, there are a couple of new names in the field that are likely to be longshots in both the morning line and by the time the horses get to the starting gate. That doesn't mean they can't be factors in a 10-horse field, but it's unlikely they'll get much action at the betting window, at least to win.
France Go de Ina
This Kentucky bred horse who is from Will Take Charge - Dreamy Blues, by Curlin, hasn't yet lived up to the bloodline of the two-time Horse of the Year and winner of the 2007 Preakness Stakes. He's been racing overseas and is coming off a sixth-place finish in the 100-40-20-10 Kentucky Derby prep UAE Derby at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. He is 25/1 to win the Preakness Stakes.
France Go de Ina began his career in Japan and broke his maiden at the Hanshin Racecourse in his second career start, then followed that up with a win in what they call a "Weight for Age" race at the same track. With a record of 2-0-0 in four outings, it would appear to indicate France Go de Ina will be outclassed by the Preakness Field, but he does have a win in a non-maiden race with earnings of $145,291.
Ram has some impressive bloodlines of his own, sired by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. It took the horse trained by the legendary Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas eight tries to break his maiden before finally getting it done at Oaklawn Park on April 16.
He was able to follow it up with a win a couple of weeks later in an allowance race on the Kentucky Derby card at Churchill Downs and Lukas must have seen something in the colt as he won, going away by three-and-a-half lengths as a 10/1 underdog. Ram paid $20.80, $7.80, and $5.20 for the victory and Lukas needs to hope he's a late bloomer after going 0-1-0 in his first seven races. He too is 25/1 to win the Preakness Stakes.