Heavy favorite Justify prepares for muddy Preakness

Kentucky Derby winner Justify draws 7 post, is heavy 1-2 favorite for Preakness

Kentucky Derby winner Justify draws 7 post, is heavy 1-2 favorite for Preakness

Derby runner-up Good Magic is the second choice at 3-1, 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.

By Saturday night, there might also be similarities to the wet and wild conditions in which both horses won the Preakness.

Having the Preakness favorite has never bothered Bob Baffert before and it doesn't bother him with Justify. So for his first time around the surface, Justify turned in an easy gallop.

"When you're 1-2, I always tell everybody that there is room for error", said Baffert. "We're all in the same boat". Baffert described it as a minor issue that was treated promptly and is of no concern.

"He was just hall of fame today; he came through", Baffert said.

Only 28, Chris Bosley started working in that position for the Maryland Jockey Club last month after spending the previous five years in the same job at Timonium, where his father, Chuck, retired after 35 years as the track's maintenance superintendent.

"We certainly feel like he's got a chance to pull off the two weeks", Walden said. Does he really want to be within two lengths of Justify, as he was in the Derby, and then hope to have enough left to catch him? "It is what it is".

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Justify, who has run just four races total since his debut in February at Santa Anita in California, became the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Kentucky Derby despite not competing as a 2 year old, breaking a so-called 136-year-old curse. "We're all in here together in the same barn so we get to hang out together". "It squeezes the water out and it runs down the banking of the track into the gutter".

The Preakness, run at 1 3/16ths mile, generally attracts fewer horses than the Run for the Roses. Everything is about the horses. If you believe he can be beaten, and bet accordingly, you can make some money if it comes in that way.

Demling is at his best in the biggest horse races in the world. It looks like he came off the van in great shape and he's really full of himself. They teamed for 44 victories from 106 starts, including 16 Grade 1 stakes. And the morning line odds were set following Wednesday's post draw. "He won a Breeders' Cup Classic in it". "The track is sloppy, but he handled it pretty well. I think it's not out of the question". The track is the same for everybody. But Baffert warned the Preakness was "not a 'gimme, '" noting that Good Magic "ran a big race" at Churchill Downs and remained a tough competitor. "We'll see what happens".

"He's the best horse", said D. Wayne Lukas, the record-holder for most Triple Crown wins (14) who also trains Preakness hopefuls Bravazo and Sporting Chance. I really need a raincoat. It's very, very similar.

"Not looking to ruffle anybody's feathers, but the Derby time, particularly the last half-mile, was 53 (seconds) and change", said Amoss.

Asked whether he thought the conditions that day were unsafe for the horses - the fans had to exit the grandstand because of lightning - Lukas said, "Takes a hell of a storm to stop a horse race".

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