2019 Preakness Stakes betting primer

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After one of the most controversial Kentucky Derbys in history, Saturday’s Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore shapes up as an opportunity to gain clarity in what is currently a very jumbled 3-year-old division.

Neither Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve winner Country House nor first-place finisher Maximum Security (disqualified and placed 17th) will contest the $1.5-million, 1 3/16-mile Preakness, but four other horses from the Derby will be present, along with a few horses that missed qualifying for the Derby and a local contender in Alwaysmining who enters the race on a six-race winning streak.

Read more on the Preakness Stakes at America’s Best Racing

The 144th Preakness Stakes anchors a stakes-rich racecard on Saturday and will culminate seven total hours of coverage at Pimlico from NBC Sports spanning Saturday as well as Friday, May 17, which features the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

NBCSN will air the Black-Eyed Susan on May 17 from 3-5 p.m. ET. Saturday’s Preakness Stakes coverage begins at 2 p.m. on NBCSN and switches to NBC at 5 p.m. The Preakness post time is set for 6:50 p.m. See the full broadcast schedule here.

Read on for information about all 13 of the Preakness Stakes starters.

1. War of Will (4-1)

Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione

Trainer: Mark Casse

Owner: Gary Barber

Career record: 9 starts – 3 wins – 1 second – 1 third

Career earnings: $501,569

Earnings per start: $55,730

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 107

Pedigree: War Front – Visions of Clarity, by Sadler’s Wells

Color: Bay

Running style: Press the pace

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Despite the absence of both the Kentucky Derby winner (Country House) and first-place finisher (Maximum Security) in Saturday’s Preakness, the race still carries a high degree of expectation and excitement. That’s partially due to its historical prestige and to its handicapping allure, of course, but also because of War of Will’s presence in the race. Racing fans will be tuning in by the droves to see if this hard-luck colt can rebound from enduring the worst of the controversial multi-horse incident that resulted in Maximum Security’s disqualification in the Kentucky Derby. War of Will had raced just behind pacesetter Maximum Security through the first six furlongs of the Derby, saving ground in fourth place, and then had to check hard after rushing to claim a spot that opened up alongside Maximum Security through the far turn when that foe drifted out several paths. War of Will recovered to remain in contention into early stretch, but then tired to cross the finish line eighth in the Derby (moved up to seventh). The Kentucky Derby followed a toss-out performance in the Twinspires Louisiana Derby, where he lost his stride early behind a pack of horses and never recovered. Prior to that, the son of War Front had won three straight route races, two of them in Derby prep stakes races at Fair Grounds. He appeared to have recovered that earlier form in the Kentucky Derby before all hell broke loose. If that is indeed the case, he’ll be a formidable win contender in the Preakness, at a slightly shorter distance which should suit him. Look for War of Will to fashion a similar pace-pressing trip to the one he ran in the Kentucky Derby, with hopes of better racing luck this time.

Preakness history: This will be rising star jockey Tyler Gaffalione’s first Preakness appearance. Mark Casse has had four prior horses in the Preakness, and nearly won the 2017 edition with Classic Empire, who lost to Cloud Computing by a head.


2. Bourbon War (12-1)

Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

Trainer: Mark Hennig

Owners: Bourbon Lane Stable and Lake Star Stable

Career record: 5 starts – 2 wins – 1 second – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $202,100

Earnings per start: $40,420

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 110

Pedigree: Tapit – My Conquestadory, by Artie Schiller

Color: Bay

Running style: Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: This well-bred Tapit colt did not earn enough points to qualify for the Kentucky Derby but has shown throughout his young career that he belongs in races with the best of his age group, and he looms as a worthy upset candidate in the Preakness. After winning one of two races last year at age two, he won his first 2019 start impressively at Gulfstream Park and in his next start finished a fast-closing second to eventual Kentucky Derby runner-up Code of Honor in the Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream. Bourbon War then finished fourth the Xpressbet Florida Derby behind Kentucky Derby first-place finisher Maximum Security, where a soft early pace compromised his come-from-behind running style. He should get swifter fractions to close into in the Preakness, although it must be said that most of the recent editions of this race have favored horses who are forwardly placed. Regular rider Irad Ortiz Jr., the reigning Eclipse Award-winning jockey, keeps the mount, and trainer Mark Hennig said after the colt’s May 9 workout at Pimlico that he expected Bourbon War to race a little closer to the pace than in in his prior races and that his charge would wear blinkers in the Preakness.

Preakness history: Irad Ortiz Jr. finished fifth aboard Lone Sailor last year in his debut Preakness start. Trainer Mark Hennig is starting a horse in the Preakness for the third time, and the first time since 2004. He finished third with Eddington that year.


3. Warrior’s Charge (12-1)

Jockey: Javier Castellano

Trainer: Brad Cox

Owners: Ten Strike Racing and Madaket Stables

Career record: 5 starts – 2 wins – 0 seconds – 3 thirds

Career earnings: $138,110

Earnings per start: $27,622

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 108

Pedigree: Munnings – Battling Brook, by Broken Vow

Color: Dark bay or brown

Running style: Pacesetter

Notable achievements and interesting facts: The connections of Warrior’s Charge paid a $150,000 supplemental fee to enter their horse in the Preakness, where he will join stablemate Owendale from Brad Cox’s barn. He finished third in his first three races dating back to last November but broke through at Oaklawn Park in a 1 1/16-mile race on March 16, leading from gate to wire in a six-length win. The Munnings colt then backed that performance up with another front-running win at the same distance and track on April 13, scoring by 6 ½ lengths and boosting his Equibase Speed Figure from 103 to a career-best 108. He has been training well at Churchill Downs since those back-to-back scores and if he can continue the upward trajectory, Warrior’s Charge will add intrigue to the Preakness as the main pace threat to Alwaysmining. His sire, Munnings, was a sprinter and his dam’s (mother’s) side of the family through three generations consists of primarily sprinters and milers, but this colt has already shown the ability to carry his speed a route of ground. He faces a class hike in Saturday’s Preakness, but picking up the services of a Hall of Fame jockey in Javier Castellano is a major plus.

Preakness history: Castellano, a four-time Eclipse Award-winning rider, has won the Preakness twice from seven starters: Bernardini (2006) and Cloud Computing (2017). Cox, one of the rising young trainers in the game, will be making his first Preakness appearance.


4. Improbable (5-2)

Jockey: Mike Smith

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Owners: WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, and Starlight Racing

Career record: 6 starts – 3 wins – 2 seconds – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $769,520

Earnings per start: $128,253

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 109

Pedigree: City Zip – Rare Event, by A.P. Indy

Color: Chestnut

Running style: Press the pace/stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: This colt should vie for favoritism in the Preakness along with War of Will and Alwaysmining based on his back class, although he is still winless as a 3-year-old. Improbable took late money in the Kentucky Derby to leave the starting gate as the post-time favorite at 4-1 odds, and he crossed the finish line fifth in an even performance where he sat between two and five lengths behind pacesetter Maximum Security during the race but never made any forceful rally to challenge for the lead. He was moved up to fourth after Maximum Security’s disqualification, but that still represents his worst career finish, and follows two runner-up efforts in the first division of the Rebel Stakes and the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park, where he could not match strides in the stretch with Long Range Toddy and Omaha Beach, respectively. There’s no doubting this colt’s talent, however, and he’s easily the most consistent starter in the Preakness based on speed figures, having posted five triple-digit figures in a row dating back to last fall. The cutback in distance to 1 3/16 miles in the Preakness should benefit Improbable, and getting Hall of Famer Mike Smith to ride for the first time is another plus. Look for Smith to keep Improbable very close to projected pacesetters Alwaysmining and Warrior’s Charge through the backstretch. Smith’s renowned decision-making skills will be put to the test in determining just when to push the button on Improbable and make a bid for the lead, as the colt has had trouble finishing off his races this year after a stellar juvenile campaign.

Preakness history: Smith will be riding in his 17th Preakness and will be seeking his second consecutive win and third overall after taking last year’s race aboard eventual Triple Crown winner Justify. He also won the 1993 Preakness on Prairie Bayou, and has finished second in the race twice and third four times. Hall of Famer Bob Baffert is tied with R. W. Walden with seven all-time Preakness wins. His came with Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), Point Given (2001), War Emblem (2002), Lookin At Lucky (2010), and Triple Crown winners American Pharoah (2015) and Justify (2017). WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, and Starlight Racing also co-owned Justify along with Head of Plains Partners.


5. Owendale (10-1)

Jockey: Florent Geroux

Trainer: Brad Cox

Owner: Rupp Racing

Career record: 8 starts – 3 wins – 1 second – 1 third

Career earnings: $187,225

Earnings per start: $23,403

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 106

Pedigree: Into Mischief – Aspen Light, by Bernardini

Color: Bay

Running style: Stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: The first of two Brad Cox trainees in the Preakness along with Warrior’s Charge, Owendale arrives in Baltimore on the heels of a breakthrough performance in the Stonestreet Lexington Stakes at Keeneland in April, where he rallied coming out of the far turn and drew away from a good field at 12.70-1 odds, besting Preakness foe Anothertwistafate by 1 ¾ lengths. That eye-opening win erased a dismal eighth-place finish in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes Presented by Lamarque Ford in February and makes this son of Into Mischief one of the more intriguing Preakness contenders. He has posted two routine works at Churchill Downs, followed by a bullet five-furlong workout in :59.20 on May 11, since the Lexington Stakes and should be in top shape to prove that his career-best effort at Keeneland wasn’t a fluke. Florent Geroux, who rode Owendale for the first time in the Lexington, retains the mount, and he should have the colt positioned somewhere behind the front tier but ahead of the deep closers going into the far turn at Pimlico.

Preakness history: This will be the third straight Preakness for Geroux, Brad Cox’s first-call rider. Cox, one of the rising young trainers in the game, will be making his first Preakness appearance with this colt and Warrior’s Charge.


6. Market King (30-1)

Jockey: Jon Court

Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas

Owners: Robert Baker and William Mack

Career record: 8 starts – 1 win – 1 second – 2 thirds

Career earnings: $148,007

Earnings per start: $18,501

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 97

Pedigree: Into Mischief – Divine Presence, by A.P. Indy

Color: Bay

Running style: Press the pace/stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: A major turnaround will be required for this colt to contend in the Preakness Stakes. After outrunning his 48.30-1 odds to finish third in the second division of the Rebel Stakes in March at Oaklawn Park, Market King finished 11th of 14 in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, contending for six furlongs but fading in the stretch to end up 37 ¼ lengths behind winner Vekoma. He had shown improvement earlier in his 3-year-old season at Oaklawn, winning his maiden in February (in his fifth attempt) and then running a good third in an allowance race before checking in third again in the Rebel behind Omaha Beach and Game Winner, defeated by 8 ¼ lengths. This son of Into Mischief has been training well at Churchill Downs over the past several weeks and should be a pace factor if he can recover his early 2019 form, but he hasn’t shown the talent level to compete with the best of his class so far in his career and will be a deserved longshot in the Preakness. Market King sold for the highest price at auction among all Preakness contenders, purchased by his owners for $550,000 as a yearling at the Keeneland September sale in 2017.

Preakness history: Robert Baker and William Mack sent Dublin to the Preakness in 2010 and Sporting Chance last year; the horses finished fifth and sixth, respectively. Both were trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, who has won the Preakness six times from 43 starters heading into this year, most recently with Oxbow in 2013. His other winners: Codex (1980), Tank’s Prospect (1985), Tabasco Cat (1994), Thunder Gulch (1995), and Charismatic (1999). Lukas-trained Bravazo, his other entry in last year’s Preakness, came closer than any other horse to toppling Justify in the Triple Crown races, finishing a half-length behind the champion.


7. Alwaysmining (8-1)

Jockey: Daniel Centeno

Trainer: Kelly Rubley

Owner: Runnymede Racing

Career record: 12 starts – 7 wins – 0 seconds – 1 third

Career earnings: $386,192

Earnings per start: $32,183

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 109

Pedigree: Stay Thirsty – What Will Be, by Anees

Color: Dark bay or brown

Running style: Pacesetter

Notable achievements and interesting facts: This talented, fast gelding enters the Preakness as the local hero who’s primed to push aside some of the more well-known contenders and snatch the Woodlawn Vase and a share of the national spotlight. After making his first three career starts in Kentucky, Maryland-bred Alwaysmining returned to his home base of Laurel Park and promptly won a 5 ½-furlong sprint last June, but he really didn’t get into gear until the fall, when he returned to the dirt after an unsuccessful turf start and won a one-mile allowance by 10 lengths. Since then, he’s taken five consecutive stakes races at Laurel by a combined 26 ½ lengths, most of them in gate-to-wire fashion. His last two races have been the best of his career, as he won the about 1 1/16-mile Private Terms Stakes by 6 ¾ lengths and then romped in the 1 1/8-mile Federico Tesio Stakes, the local Preakness prep, by 11 ½ lengths. In the Federico Tesio, regular jockey Daniel Centeno actually kept Alwaysmining just off of the early leaders instead of moving up as usual to set the pace, which adds another dimension to this gelding’s arsenal for the Preakness. He’s never won away from Laurel Park and will be making a class leap on Saturday, but he’s already defeated Win Win Win by 1 ½ lengths (in a seven-furlong Laurel stakes last December) and his Equibase Speed Figures place him among the top rank of Preakness contenders. The presence of horses such as Warrior’s Charge, Anothertwistafate, and Improbable should ensure that Alwaysmining has company on the front end, but this razor-sharp runner is the one they’ll have to catch in the Preakness, and a logical win candidate. No Maryland-bred has won the Preakness since Deputed Testamony in 1983.

Preakness history: This will be the first Preakness appearance for all of Alwaysmining’s connections.


8. Signalman (30-1)

Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr.

Trainer: Ken McPeek

Owners: Tommie Lewis, Steve Crabtree, Dean Demaree, David Bernsen, Jim Chambers, and Magdalena Racing

Career record: 7 starts – 2 wins – 2 seconds – 2 thirds

Career earnings: $552,900

Earnings per start: $78,999

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 100

Pedigree: General Quarters – Trip South, by Trippi

Color: Bay

Running style: Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Signalman just missed the qualifying points cutoff for the Kentucky Derby after Win Win Win rallied late to nip him by a nose for the runner-up spot in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, and now this hard-trying lunch-pail type runner with a modest pedigree heads to Baltimore after posting some solid workouts at Churchill Downs in recent weeks for trainer Ken McPeek. He already has a graded stakes win in a two-turn race on his résumé, that coming last fall in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, and aside from his seventh-place finish in the Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes two starts back (his 3-year-old debut), he’s always answered the bell even if his ceiling appears to be lower than several other Preakness contenders. Signalman’s a grinding closer and will need a solid early pace to set up his run along with some racing luck, but he’s a worthy candidate for trifecta and superfecta tickets and could sneak into the Preakness exacta if everything falls into place.

Preakness history: Brian Hernandez Jr. has ridden Signalman for his most recent five starts – all in stakes – and will be making his second Preakness start after finishing sixth in 2013. Ken McPeek has one third-place finish (Senior Investment in 2017) among his four prior Preakness starters.


9. Bodexpress (20-1)

Jockey: John Velazquez

Trainer: Gustavo Delgado

Owners: Top Racing, Global Thoroughbred, and GDS Racing Stable

Career record: 6 starts – 0 wins – 3 seconds – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $208,700

Earnings per start: $34,783

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 103

Pedigree: Bodemeister – Pied a Terre, by City Zip

Color: Bay

Running style: Press the pace/stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Although he finished 13th (moved up from 14th) in the Kentucky Derby, this maiden outran his 71-1 odds in the run for the roses. Sent off as the longest shot in the 19-horse field, Bodexpress hung with pacesetter Maximum Security and pressing Long Range Toddy through the first six furlongs of the Derby before the controversial incident occurred roughly at the five-sixteenths pole through the far turn, when Maximum Security moved out several paths and impeded the progress of three horses. Bodexpress was one of those impeded, and he swiftly retreated from third after being taken up by his jockey to finish well out of contention. He had moved into the Derby starting gate following Omaha Beach’s scratch as the first also-eligible entrant and gained that alternate entry by virtue of his runner-up effort to Maximum Security in the Xpressbet Florida Derby. Bodexpress still has a lot of maturing to do, but this colt has shown enticing talent in his most recent three starts. He may very well be the longest shot in the field again when the Preakness starting gate springs open, but he should be a pace factor at the very least and could hang around long enough to make things interesting in early stretch.

Preakness history: Hall of Famer John Velazquez has had eight prior mounts in the Preakness, and finished second in 2011 aboard Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom and in 2013 on Itsmyluckyday. This will be the first Preakness for trainer Gustavo Delgado and Bodexpress’ ownership group.


10. Everfast (50-1)

Jockey: Joel Rosario

Trainer: Dale Romans

Owner: Calumet Farm

Career record: 10 starts – 1 win – 1 second – 1 third

Career earnings: $134,805

Earnings per start: $13,481

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 102

Pedigree: Take Charge Indy – Awesome Surprise, by Awesome Again

Color: Bay

Running style: Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Coming into the Preakness off of three disappointing starts, this colt is certain to be one of the longest shots in the field when the gates open – maybe the longest. Everfast took his career debut last summer at Ellis Park but in nine starts since has only come close to the winner’s circle two more times, finishing third in his fourth start in a 1 1/16-mile allowance at Churchill Downs in November and then second to Harvey Wallbanger at odds of 128.70-1 in the 1 1/16-mile Fasig-Tipton Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park in February. Since then, he has finished eighth in the Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes, ninth in the Xpressbet Florida Derby, and fifth in the Pat Day Mile Stakes Presented by LG and E and KU, beaten by a combined total of 43 ¾ lengths. While he picks up one of the best closing jockeys in the business in Joel Rosario, Everfast would have to not just replicate, but improve upon, his unexpected showing in the Holy Bull Stakes and then have several other Preakness horses fail to show up in order to have any chance at winning on Saturday – a very unlikely scenario to say the least. He should be near the back of the field through the first mile and could pass a few straggling horses in the stretch to improve position, but anything more than that would be a major surprise.

Preakness history: Joel Rosario will be making his sixth Preakness appearance; he finished second two years in a row on Ride On Curlin (2014) and Tale of Verve (2015) and third in 2012 aboard Creative Cause. Dale Romans is also back for the sixth time in the Preakness. He won the 2011 edition with Shackleford and finished second twice with First Dude (2010) and Cherry Wine (2016). Calumet Farm, one of the most storied names in horse racing, has been a fixture at the Preakness Stakes through the years. Under the ownership of the Wright family, Calumet tallied seven Preakness wins, with two of those horses, Whirlaway (1941) and Citation (1948), winning the Triple Crown. The final Calumet Farm horse to run in the Preakness was Hall of Famer Alydar, second to Triple Crown winner Affirmed in 1978. Calumet returned to the Preakness this decade under Brad Kelley’s ownership and has been well represented in the second jewel of the Triple Crown, with Oxbow’s win in 2013 and Bravazo’s runner-up finish to Justify last year.Bet Everfast in the Preakness Stakes.


11. Laughing Fox (20-1)

Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Owners: Alex and JoAnn Lieblong

Career record: 7 starts – 3 wins – 0 seconds – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $338,518

Earnings per start: $48,360

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 99

Pedigree: Union Rags – Saskawea, by Stormy Atlantic

Color: Chestnut

Running style: Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: This colt gained automatic entry to the Preakness by winning the inaugural running of the Oaklawn Invitational Stakes, a 1 1/8-mile race at the Hot Springs, Ark., track that went off a few minutes after the Kentucky Derby on May 4. He had raced in two of Oaklawn Park’s major Derby preps prior to the Oaklawn Invitational, finishing a disappointing seventh in the second division of the Rebel Stakes in March and then a decent fourth in the Arkansas Derby on April 16. In the Oaklawn Invitational, he rallied from eighth early on to post a hard-fought neck win and realize the potential he’d first shown when winning two route races earlier in Oaklawn’s spring 2019 meet. He will need to improve even more to hit the board in a competitive Preakness Stakes, but this colt has strong connections and a pedigree that’s suitable for 1 3/16 miles. Laughing Fox will be one of the longer shots in the Preakness, but he shouldn’t be left off of trifecta and superfecta tickets and has the look of a colt on the improve who’ll win a graded stakes race – or maybe even several of them – down the road.

Preakness history: Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. made his Preakness debut a successful one last year, rallying late with Tenfold to finish three-quarters of a length behind eventual Triple Crown winner Justify in third, and just a neck behind Bravazo in second. Tenfold was Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen’s ninth starter in the Preakness and his second third-place finisher. He has won the classic twice, with two of the best racehorses of this century: Curlin in 2007 and superstar filly Rachel Alexandra in 2009.


12. Anothertwistafate (6-1)

Jockey: Jose Ortiz

Trainer: Blaine Wright

Owner: Peter Redekop

Career record: 6 starts – 3 wins – 2 seconds – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $303,505

Earnings per start: $50,584

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 103

Pedigree: Scat Daddy – Imprecation, by First Defence

Color: Dark bay or brown

Running style: Stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: This California-based contender nearly qualified for the Kentucky Derby after posting two consecutive runner-up efforts in graded stakes races offering Derby points in March and April. Anothertwistafate was the second also-eligible for the Derby, but his connections decided to skip the May 4 classic and target the Triple Crown’s second jewel, and this talented son of Scat Daddy should be one of the top betting choices come Saturday. He emerged at Golden Gate Fields over the winter with three consecutive dominant, pacesetting wins on the synthetic Tapeta Footings main track, and was sent to New Mexico for the March 24 Sunland Park Derby to see if he could handle a dirt track after racing poorly on that surface in his career debut last year. Anothertwistafate nearly won the Sunland Derby, finishing second by a neck to Cutting Humor, and then ran well on dirt again when second to Owendale in the Stonestreet Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on April 13, where he encountered some early trouble and was boxed in during the far turn. He projects to be one of the horses competing for the early lead in the Preakness Stakes, and his new jockey, Jose Ortiz, is a very good judge of pace. This colt joins Alwaysmining as the “new shooters” with the best chance of toppling Kentucky Derby horses such as Improbable and War of Will in what is shaping up as a wide-open Preakness Stakes.

Preakness history: This will be the first Preakness starter for California trainer Blaine Wright. Jose Ortiz will be making his third consecutive Preakness start; he finished fourth aboard Good Magic last year.


13. Win Win Win (15-1)

Jockey: Julian Pimentel

Trainer: Michael Trombetta

Owner: Live Oak Plantation

Career record: 7 starts – 3 wins – 2 seconds – 1 third

Career earnings: $367,300

Earnings per start: $52,471

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 113

Pedigree: Hat Trick – Miss Smarty Pants, by Smarty Jones

Color: Dark bay or brown

Running style: Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: This stakes winner put forth the first disappointing effort in his career in the Kentucky Derby, racing far back early and moving past several tired horses to finish a non-threatening 10th (moved up to ninth after Maximum Security was disqualified). Prior to that, he had finished no worse than third and had shown versatility by winning races from a pace-pressing position and also by coming from farther back. He qualified for the Kentucky Derby with a third in the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby and then a late second in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, where he recovered from being bumped at the start and then steadied entering the far turn. If he can rebound from his poor Derby, Win Win Win has an outsider’s chance to have his connections and backers at the betting windows shouting his name and adding a fourth “Win!” when the Preakness field hits the homestretch. Look for jockey Julian Pimentel to position Win Win Win a bit closer to the early leaders than in his three prior route races, but this contender still should be in the second division of runners through the first three-quarters of a mile.

Preakness history: Charlotte Weber’s Live Oak Plantation brings Win Win Win to the Preakness as its second starter after High Fly finished 10th in 2005. Trainer Michael Trombetta will also make his second appearance; his Sweetnorthernsaint finished second to Bernardini in 2006. Win Win Win is Julian Pimentel’s third Preakness mount.

Watch the 2019 Preakness Stakes only on NBC and NBCSN. Coverage on NBCSN begins Friday, May 17 at 3 p.m. ET with the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes and continues on Saturday May 18 at 2 p.m. before moving to NBC at 5 p.m. Post time is set for approximately 6:50 p.m. See the full broadcast schedule here.

Best Kentucky Derby Prop Bets

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When it comes to the Kentucky Derby, there has been a very clear evolution in how intricate wagers can be, and how you can almost bet on any type of outcome on Derby day. We have really moved far beyond just picking a winner or a second-place finisher and moved into head-to-head wagers, bets on racing fractions, length of victory, as well as bets like how many Tweets President Donald Trump will make. Although I tend to find myself trying to rationalize and come up with quantifiable numbers to support my bet, who knows what will happen after three Mint Julep’s and being down $300 before the actual race even begins?

More from America’s Best Racing

Here are three of my favorite proposition wagers for the Kentucky Derby:

How many lengths will be winner win by? Over 1.5 (-160), or Under 1.5 (+120)

The Kentucky Derby has been decided by less than one length on 42 occasions. On the opposite end, the Derby has been won by four lengths or more 23 times.

In this year’s run for the roses there seems to be a lot of speed horses entered, or at least horses that tend to favor the front end. With a lot of vying for early positioning, a potential pace duel might ensue upfront. If that is the case, then it tends to benefit horses that are sitting just off the speed, and gives a fair shot for some of the deep closers to run down the frontrunners in the stretch.

The most likely case scenario for this bet to cash would be for faster fractions upfront and a bunched-up finish at the wire. In a field as competitive and closely matched as this one, there is a lot of value in taking the underdog option for the margin of length victory.

Will any horse win two of three Triple Crown Races? No (-175), or Yes (+135)

The odds on this sure have changed since Justify became the 13th Triple Crown winner in history. Since 2002 there have been many near misses – six – with War Emblem, Funny Cide, Smarty Jones, Big Brown, I’ll Have Another, and California Chrome.

Triple Crown winners tend to come in bunches with three winners in the 1930s, four in 1940s, and three in the 1970s. This trend seems to be really be factored in to the odds of this wager, and the recency bias of Justify capturing the bid last year.

With the Kentucky Derby field as wide open as it has been in years, and with no overwhelming favorite – cash on an easy proposition wager this weekend and bet the “No.”

The Last Place Saddlecloth Number Will be? Odd (-200), or Even (+160)

This number seems to overvalue the fact that the longest shot on the board draws post 15. Although there are two 50-1 morning-line runners, the Japanese horse #15 Master Fencer will likely go off at higher odds than that at the call to the post.

Despite who performs or underperforms based on their odds, the most likely last-place finisher is a runner who records a DNF or has to pull up. This can often happen due to unforeseeable circumstances and is something you cannot handicap for. Assuming that the race is run smoothly, five of the 10 runners at 20-1 odds or higher will be breaking out of a gate with an even saddlecloth number. At +160, that seems like a lot of value to take a 50/50 proposition bet.

Good luck this weekend, and enjoy the “most exciting two minutes in sports!”

Special Kentucky Derby Prop Bet Bonus – Picks from BlackJack Fletcher

Will There Be a Triple Crown Winner? No (-700)

The horses in this field are simply too close in terms of talent in order for one to truly separate themselves. There are a lot of very talented horses in this year’s field, but not a truly transcendent one. Lay the juice on the no.

Over/Under 1.5 Lengths Margin of Victory in Kentucky Derby: Under (+120)

We have seen Game Winner in neck-and-neck battles in both the Rebel Stakes and the Santa Anita Derby. I expect to see him in a close battle again.

Will Secretariat‘s Record Winning Time Be Broken? No (-7500)

There is a reason this prop is set at -7500. It is not going to happen. There have been a lot of unbelievable, once in a generation horses since Secretariat, and none have touched his time of 1:59.40. This is not the year it is going to happen.

Will There Be a Wire-to-Wire Winner? No (-1000)

With Omaha Beach scratched, the speed in this race is really just Maximum Security. I expect him to be on the lead early and fade as the field turns for home. I will lay the juice and say there is no wire-to-wire winner this Saturday.

What Post Position Will The Winner Come From? 16-20 (+130)

This bet gives you both Game Winner (#16) and Roadster (#17) which are two of the top three choices and you’re still getting plus money. This is easily the best value among these bets.

2019 Kentucky Oaks betting primer

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The Longines Kentucky Oaks will be the marquee race on Friday, May 3, at Churchill Downs. The 1 1/8-mile race has emerged as the most important North American race restricted to 3-year-old fillies and has been won since the turn of the century by superstars such as Ashado, Rags to Riches, Rachel Alexandra, and Monomoy Girl.

The field for the Kentucky Oaks is limited to 14 and determined by points earned in Road to the Kentucky Oaks scoring races. NBC Sports Network will provide television coverage of the 2019 Kentucky Oaks from noon to 6:30 p.m. ET on May 3.

Read more on the Kentucky Oaks at America’s Best Racing

The winner of the last 20 editions of the Kentucky Oaks has posted an average Equibase Speed Figure of 105.9 with a median of 105.5. Only once during that stretch was the race won with an Equibase Speed Figure less than triple-digits (Lemons Forever, 98 in 2005), with a high of 121 by Rachel Alexandra in 2009.

Get the scoop on the prospective field for the 145th Kentucky Oaks, in post position order and with morning-line odds:

1) Out for a Spin (15-1)

Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

Trainer: Dallas Stewart

Owner: Commonwealth Stable

Career record: 5 starts – 3 wins – 0 seconds – 1 third

Career earnings: $354,903

Earnings per start: $70,981

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 96

Kentucky Oaks points: 100

Pedigree: Hard Spun – My Mammy, by Came Home

Color: Chestnut

Running style: Press the pace

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Since disappointing in her debut in a sprint last November, Out for a Spin has posted three wins and a third in four races. Stretching out from a sprint to two-turn races seemed to unlock her potential and in her stakes debut in the Grade 1 Central Bank Ashland Stakes on April 6, she delivered a breakthrough performance when outfinishing Restless Rider by a neck to prevail at 52.10-1 odds. Out for a Spin improved her top Equibase Speed Figure 21 points in the Ashland to a 96, and there is a chance she could react negatively to a tough race that was by far the best of her career. But she picks up 2018 Eclipse Award-winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. and trainer Dallas Stewart is a master of getting 3-year-olds to outrun their odds on big days as he did with 47.10-1 Lemons Forever in her 2006 Kentucky Oaks win. Out for a Spin is one of two stakes winners produced by the stakes-placed Came Home mare My Mammy, a close sibling to 2005 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes winner Bandini.

2) Chocolate Kisses (20-1)

Jockey: Julien Leparoux

Trainer: Mark Casse

Owner: Debby M. Oxley

Career record: 8 starts – 3 wins – 1 second – 1 third

Career earnings: $237,950

Earnings per start: $29,744

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 96

Kentucky Oaks points: 51

Pedigree: Candy Ride – Brownie Points, by Forest Wildcat

Color: Bay

Running style: Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Chocolate Kisses made three of her first six starts on grass and enjoyed success on that surface, but her breakthrough win came on a switch back to dirt for the Grade 3 Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn Park in March. She benefited from a blistering pace by closing from far back to win by a length and earn a career-best 96 Equibase Speed Figure. She raced nearer to the pace in her final Oaks prep in the Central Bank Ashland Stakes and it seemed to rob her of her finishing kick in a sixth-place finish. There appears to be an abundance speed in the Kentucky Oaks, which could benefit Chocolate Kisses if she goes back to her deep-closing tactics. She figures to be a live longshot with a chance to pass quite a few horses late. Grade 1-placed graded stakes winner Brownie Points, by Forest Wildcat, is the dam (mother) of Chocolate Kisses as well as five-time graded stakes winner Synchrony.


3) Lady Apple (20-1)

Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Owners: Phoenix Thoroughbred III and KatieRich Stables

Career record: 7 starts – 3 wins – 2 seconds – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $452,200

Earnings per start: $64,600

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 95

Kentucky Oaks points: 100

Pedigree: Curlin – Miss Mary Apples, by Clever Trick

Color: Bay

Running style: Stalker/Press the pace

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Lady Apple finished second in a stakes race in her second career start, but it was not until her fifth race in February at Oaklawn Park that she earned her first career win. She then stretched out around two turns and posted a decisive two-length win in March at Oaklawn before extending her winning streak to three with a clear win in the Grade 3 Fantasy Stakes on April 12. The bay filly by two-time Horse of the Year Curlin equaled a career-best 95 Equibase Speed Figure in the Fantasy and, while she would need to improve to win, appears to be getting good at the perfect time. She is one of three stakes winners produced by her dam (mother), Miss Mary Apples, a Grade 2-placed winner by Clever Trick. Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen won the Kentucky Oaks in 2005 with Summerly and in 2014 with Untapable.


4) Bellafina (2-1)

Jockey: Flavien Prat

Trainer: Simon Callaghan

Owner: Kaleem Shah

Career record: 8 starts – 6 wins – 1 second – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $1,068,000

Earnings per start: $133,500

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 104

Kentucky Oaks points: 132

Pedigree: Quality Road – Akron Moon, by Malibu Moon

Color: Bay

Running style: Press the pace

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Bellafina won three of five starts as a 2-year-old, including a pair of Grade 1 races, and won her first three starts of 2019 to establish herself as a strong favorite for the Kentucky Oaks. Bellafina enters the 1 1/8-mile race off a 5 ¼-length romp in the Santa Anita Oaks after a three-quarter-length win in the Grade 2 Las Virgenes Stakes and a runaway win in the Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes in her season debut. She’s very consistent with 102-104-103 Equibase Speed Figures in her three 2019 races, but she has only faced nine individual horses in those three starts as they featured fields of four or five, including herself. So, while Bellafina looks incredibly impressive on paper, there is some validity when it comes to questioning the quality of the opposition she has faced this year. Bellafina is a full-sister (same dam, same sire) to multiple Grade 3-placed stakes winner Diamond King, who won the 2018 Federico Tesio Stakes at this 1 1/8-mile distance.


5) Flor de La Mar (20-1)

Jockey: Joel Rosario

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Owner: Godolphin

Career record: 3 starts – 1 win – 1 second – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $114,140

Earnings per start: $38,047

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 97

Kentucky Oaks points: 40

Pedigree: Tiznow – Sacristy, by Pulpit

Color: Dark bay or brown

Running style: Stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Lightly raced Flor de La Mar made just the third start of her career in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks and acquitted herself nicely with a runner-up finish to probable Kentucky Oaks favorite Bellafina. She was beaten by 5 ¼ lengths in that race, but given it was her stakes debut and first try around two turns, Flor de La Mar certainly is eligible to improve. She earned a 95 Equibase Speed Figure for the Santa Anita Oaks, two points off her career best, so it would not take a major jump for her to compete for a top-three finish, and Flor de La Mar has tactical speed that should allow her to find a nice tracking position. Her Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has won this race three times with Silverbulletday (1999), Plum Pretty (2011), and Abel Tasman (2017), and she could be very dangerous coming from off the pace under Joel Rosario with all of the speed in the race. If you are looking for a live longshot, look no further.


6) Positive Spirit (30-1)

Jockey: Manny Franco

Trainer: Rodolphe Brisset

Owner: Michael J. Ryan

Career record: 6 starts – 2 wins – 2 seconds – 1 third

Career earnings: $268,700

Earnings per start: $44,783

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 90

Kentucky Oaks points: 50

Pedigree: Pioneerof the Nile – Above Perfection, by In Excess

Color: Bay

Running style: Press the pace

Notable achievements and interesting facts: If you draw a line through the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes, in which Positive Spirit was restless in the starting gate and faded badly late, she has been pretty consistent with two wins, two seconds, and one third in her other five starts. On the other hand, that was probably the deepest, most talented field she has faced in her career and she was beaten by 25 lengths. If you choose the more optimistic approach, Positive Spirit rebounded to run second by 1 ¾ lengths in the Grade 2 Gazelle Stakes and earned a new career-best 90 Equibase Speed Figure. She is bred to excel around two turns — by Pioneerof the Nile (sire of 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah) out of graded stakes winner Above Perfection, the dam (mother) of 2017 Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming — and her two best races came at the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Oaks distance, but she would need to improve her speed figure at least 10 points to challenge for a win here.


7) Jaywalk (8-1)

Jockey: Javier Castellano

Trainer: John Servis

Owners: D. J. Stable and Cash is King

Career record: 7 starts – 4 wins – 1 second – 1 third

Career earnings: $1,444,000

Earnings per start: $206,286

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 105

Kentucky Oaks points: 55

Pedigree: Cross Traffic – Lady Pewitt, by Orientate

Color: Gray or roan

Running style: Pacesetter

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Jaywalk finished second in her career debut but then reeled off four straight wins, capped by a 5 ½-length runaway in the Tito’s Handmade Vodka Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies that clinched the Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old filly. She has not been as good as a 3-year-old, running fourth at 1-5 odds in the Grade 2 Davona Dale Stakes before an much-better effort when third by two lengths in the Grade 1 Central Bank Ashland Stakes. Jaywalk is eligible to improve in her third start of the year and she was dominant on the Churchill main track in the Breeders’ Cup. Jaywalk is fast enough to win, but it does not look like she will be allowed to set an uncontested pace and the 1 1/8-mile distance is a question as she’s faded late in her two races this season. Trainer John Servis and jockey Javier Castellano teamed to win this race in 2016 with Cathryn Sophia.


8) Motion Emotion (15-1)

Jockey: Mike Smith

Trainer: Thomas Van Berg

Owner: Mark DeDomenico

Career record: 6 starts – 2 wins – 2 seconds – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $238,345

Earnings per start: $39,724

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 103

Kentucky Oaks points: 60

Pedigree: Take Charge Indy – Golden Motion, by Smart Strike

Color: Bay

Running style: Pacesetter

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Winless in a pair of sprints as a 2-year-old, Motion Emotion has been a different filly as a 3-year-old with two wins and two seconds in four starts, all at Oaklawn Park. She earned a career-best 103 Equibase Speed Figure when stretching out to 1 1/16 miles for a February allowance win before leading into the stretch and fading to second in both the Grade 3 Honeybee Stakes and Grade 3 Fantasy Stakes. One of several Oaks contenders who prefers to set the pace, Motion Emotion probably will be challenged early. She’s fast enough to be a serious contender, but if she faded late twice at 1 1/16 miles, then stamina is a concern stretching out an extra sixteenth of a mile on May 3. Motion Emotion is out of the unraced Smart Strike mare Golden Motion, a half-sister (same dam, different sire) to graded stakes winners Sapphire n’ Silk and Golden Itiz. Jockey Mike Smith won the Kentucky Oaks in 2013 on Princess of Sylmar and in 2017 on Abel Tasman. Owner Mark DeDomenico was part of the partnership that raced 2010 Kentucky Oaks winner Blind Luck.


9) Liora (20-1)

Jockey: Channing Hill

Trainer: Wayne Catalano

Owner: Coffeepot Stables

Career record: 7 starts – 2 wins – 2 seconds – 1 third

Career earnings: $302,580

Earnings per start: $43,226

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 88

Kentucky Oaks points: 71

Pedigree: Candy Ride – Giant Mover, by Giant’s Causeway

Color: Dark bay or brown

Running style: Press the pace

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Liora showed promise as a 2-year-old when closing her season with back-to-back wins, including a nose victory over Restless Rider in the Grade 2 Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill Downs, where she is 2-for-2 on the main track. She is winless in three starts in stakes races this year with runner-up finishes in both the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes and the Grade 2 Twinspires.com Fair Grounds Oaks in her two most recent starts. On paper, Liora appears to be a cut below the best 3-year-old fillies with a career-best 88 Equibase Speed Figure. She probably would need to improve significantly to challenge for a victory, but given her previous success at Churchill a top-three finish is not out of the question. Out of the stakes-winning Giant’s Causeway mare Giant Mover, Liora is a half-sister (same dam, different sire) to multiple graded stakes winner Family Tree. 2019 Santa Anita Derby winner and Kentucky Derby hopeful Roadster is from this family.


10) Champagne Anyone (6-1)

Jockey: Chris Landeros

Trainer: Ian Wilkes

Owners: Six Column Stables and Randall L. Bloch

Career record: 7 starts – 3 wins – 0 seconds – 3 thirds

Career earnings: $267,950

Earnings per start: $38,279

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 97

Kentucky Oaks points: 113

Pedigree: Street Sense – Lucevan, by Ghostzapper

Color: Bay

Running style: Stalker/Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Champagne Anyone enters off a career-best effort to win the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oakson March 30. In that race she added blinkers to improve her focus and raced much closer to the pace than she had in six previous starts before edging away late to win by a half-length and post a career-best 97 Equibase Speed Figure. Prior to the Gulfstream Park Oaks, the bay filly had run third in the Grade 3 Forward Gal Stakes and Grade 2 Davona Dale Stakes, both at Gulfstream. While she needs to improve her speed figure to be a win contender, Champagne Anyone has the versatility to drop back and make one run if the pace is especially fast or she could sit just behind the early speed if the tempo is tepid. Champagne Anyone’s dam (mother), Lucevan, by Ghostzapper, is a half-sister (same dam, different sire) to Argentine champion and U.S. Grade 1 winner Miss Loren and multiple graded stakes winner Mr. Light, who in 2005 set a new world record (1:31.41) for one mile on turf.


11) Jeltrin (15-1)

Jockey: Luis Saez

Trainer: Alexis Delgado

Owner: ADR Racing Stable

Career record: 6 starts – 2 wins – 1 second – 1 third

Career earnings: $158,588

Earnings per start: $26,431

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 98

Kentucky Oaks points: 51

Pedigree: Tapizar – Song to the Moon, by Successful Appeal

Color: Bay

Running style: Stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: It’s not uncommon to see a 3-year-old racehorse take a huge step forward in the spring or summer, and for Jeltrin that leap came when she won the Grade 2 Davona Dale Stakes by a head on March 20. She improved her Equibase Speed Figure by 19 points from a previous top of 79 to a 98 for the Davona Dale, her final prep race for the Kentucky Oaks. She’s fairly versatile having led from start to finish in a sprint in her second start and won from off the pace. Even though her pedigree does not scream stamina, it was a positive sign that she made such a big improvement when stretching out to a mile for the first time. Trainer Alexis Delgado earned his first graded stakes win when Jeltrin prevailed in the Davona Dale.


12) Street Band (15-1)

Jockey: Sophie Doyle

Trainer: Larry Jones

Owners: Larry Jones, Cindy Jones, and Ray Francis

Career record: 8 starts – 3 wins – 0 seconds – 2 thirds

Career earnings: $310,325

Earnings per start: $38,791

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 92

Kentucky Oaks points: 105

Pedigree: Istan – Street Minstrel, by Street Cry

Color: Chestnut

Running style: Stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Street Band won two of her first six races, the last of which was a nose victory in a one-mile and 70-yard allowance race in her 2019 debut that led her connections to test her in a graded stakes. She faded late to finish fourth in the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds in February but showed significant improvement in March when she surged well clear late to win the Grade 2 Twinspires.com Fair Ground Oaks by 3 ¾ lengths. Street Band earned a career-top 92 Equibase Speed Figure for her first stakes win and took a huge step forward in victory, however, she will need to continue to improve — probably by at least 10 points — to have a chance to win the Kentucky Oaks. Trainer Larry Jones has won the Kentucky Oaks three times with Proud Spell (2008), Believe You Can (2012), and Lovely Maria (2015).


Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione

Trainer: Tom Amoss

Owner: Joel Politi

Career record: 7 starts – 4 wins – 0 seconds – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $331,870

Earnings per start: $47,410

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 97

Kentucky Oaks points: 60

Pedigree: Alternation – Havisham, by Bernardini

Color: Dark bay or brown

Running style: Pacesetter

Notable achievements and interesting facts: When she is at her best Serengeti Empress can be absolutely brilliant — she won the Ellis Park Debutante by 13 ½ lengths last August and the Grade 2 Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs by 19 ½ lengths in September at Churchill Downs — but she’s also been a bit inconsistent. She came up empty when seventh in the 2018 Tito’s Handmade Vodka Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies but dazzled in her 3-year-old debut, a front-running 4 ½-length romp in the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes. Trainer Tom Amoss said she bled in her final prep for the Kentucky Oaks, which explains why she stopped in the Twinspires.com Fair Grounds Oaksbut also makes her a complete wild card in this race.


14) Restless Rider (6-1)

Jockey: Brian Joseph Hernandez Jr.

Trainer: Ken McPeek

Owners: Fern Circle Stables and Three Chimneys Farm

Career record: 7 starts – 3 wins – 4 seconds – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $880,160

Earnings per start: $125,737

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 97

Kentucky Oaks points: 62

Pedigree: Distorted Humor – Silky Serenade, by Unbridled’s Song

Color: Gray or roan

Running style: Stalker/Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Restless Rider posted three dominant wins and three seconds from six starts as a 2-year-old. She won the Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades at Keeneland and the runner-up finishes all came in Grade 1 or Grade 2 races, including a second to Jaywalk in the Tito’s Handmade Vodka Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. She made her 3-year-old debut off a 4 ½-month break in the Grade 1 Central Bank Ashland Stakes at Keeneland on April 6 and hung a bit late when second by a neck to Out for a Spin. She earned a 96 Equibase Speed Figure for the Ashland, just a point off her previous best, and she probably needed a race off the long layoff. There is a very good chance she moves forward off that race, which should help build stamina. She has two wins and two seconds on the main track at Churchill, which also bodes well, and she’s been so consistent in seven races that she must be considered a serious threat even if she would need to improve to win on May 3. Restless Rider is out of the winning Unbridled’s Song mare Silky Serenade, a half-sister (same dam, different sire) to multiple graded stakes winner and sire Private Vow.


15) Dunbar Road (also-eligible, 5-1)

Jockey: Jose Ortiz

Trainer: Chad Brown

Owners: Peter Brant

Career record: 2 starts – 1 win – 1 second – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $75,300

Earnings per start: $37,650

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 96

Kentucky Oaks points: 40

Pedigree: Quality Road – Gift List, by Bernardini

Color: Bay

Running style: Stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Dunbar Road is one of the more interesting Kentucky Oaks contenders, but as it stands she would need one defection for a spot in the starting gate. The Quality Road filly has only raced twice in her career, romping by 8 ¾ lengths in her March 3 debut at Gulfstream Park and then finishing second by a half-length in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks in a serious class test in her second race. With a 91 Equibase Speed Figure in her debut and a 96 in the Gulfstream Park Oaks, it is clear there is star potential in Dunbar Road but she might not have a chance to show it at Churchill Downs on May 3. Tactically, she has enough speed to track just off the pace and could be very dangerous in a race that looks to have an abundance of speed. Dunbar Road is from the family of 2000 Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Status, the dam of 2009 Belmont Stakes runner-up Dunkirk, and her pedigree suggests 1 1/8 miles should be right in her wheelhouse. If she sneaks into the Kentucky Oaks, do not ignore Dunbar Road.


16) Point of Honor (also-eligible, 20-1)

Jockey: John Velazquez

Trainer: George Weaver

Owners: Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Stetson Racing

Career record: 3 starts – 2 wins – 0 seconds – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $96,375

Earnings per start: $32,125

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 94

Kentucky Oaks points: 20

Pedigree: Curlin – Zayanna, by Bernardini

Color: Chestnut

Running style: Stalker/Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: After winning her first two career starts by open lengths, including a 2 ¾-length victory in the Suncoast Stakes on Feb. 9 at Tampa Bay Downs, Point of Honor made her graded stakes debut in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks on March 30. She made up a couple of lengths late but never really threatened while fourth, beaten by two lengths as the 9-5 second betting choice. Point of Honor was up against it in that race as the Gulfstream Park main track was favoring speed, and she did earn a new career-best 94 Equibase Speed Figure and 87 Beyer Speed Figure. The chestnut filly would need two defections to get into the Kentucky Oaks, but she would be a very live longshot if she did with plenty of pace to set up her closing rally and what figures to be a fair main track. By two-time Horse of the Year Curlin out of the multiple stakes producer Zayanna, by 2006 Preakness winner Bernardini, Point of Honor is bred for distance. Zayanna is a half-sibling to four stakes winners. Jockey John Velazquez won the Kentucky Oaks in 2004 with Ashado.