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Derby champ Justify to start Preakness from No

18 May 2018
Derby champ Justify to start Preakness from No

That brings us to another horse who looks to be sitting on a big race at 30-1 morning line odds, and that is the enigmatic Sporting Chance, a horse with a ton of ability, but with a tendency to self destruct at times.

History just might be on their side. With AP Photos.Kentucky Derby victor Justify is getting acquainted with the track at Pimlico Race Course.

So, in the three instances in the past 58 years when a Derby runner-up won the Preakness, a different strategy was used.

"Derby runners have done well over the course of time", insisted W. Elliott Walden, president and CEO of racing operations for WinStar Farm, which owns Justify and Quip. But they do have the horse versatile enough to do it.

The finest of the newcomers this year appears to be Quip, who has three wins and a second-place showing in five career races.

I had the Derby exacta: Justify and Good Magic 1-2. He also nailed the top two finishers at the Arkansas Derby and nailed the 1-2 finish of Saturday's Man O' War Stakes at Belmont Park.

So if you feel Justify and Good Magic stand alone ahead of the rest of them and you're looking for a longshot to put in the exotics, Sporting Chance could give you a run for your money.

"Quip is a horse that has shown quality at the highest level", Walden said. We all know how well he handled the sloppy conditions at Churchill Downs.


In retrospect, that might have been a turning point.

"It's not as bad as it looks", said Brisset, a former jockey in his native France. (There are smarter wheels to play here, but I'm trying to keep it relatively simple.) Superfectas are hard to hit, especially if you limit yourself to four horses, but if this comes in there will be money made. Quip is trained by Rodolphe Brisset, a 34-year-old Frenchman who honed his skills as an assistant to two-time Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe victor Patrick Biancone and Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.

In the 2016 Derby, Exaggerator came from some 18 lengths back to finish a fast-closing second to Nyquist. He could tie two records if Justify wins the Preakness - seven victories in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, and 14 wins in Triple Crown races.

Asked to assess the chances of both his entrants Saturday, Lukas shrugged his shoulders and saluted Justify's impressive performance at the Derby. "And so we don't do a lot with them because they've just run. Let's be honest, at 82 you get more realistic", Lukas said. "We'll basically do the same tomorrow when we go out". I'll try to manufacture value by playing Justify on top of 20-1 Tenfold in a $20 exacta. Sired by 2007 Preakness victor Curlin, the dark brown colt won his first two races before fading to third in the Arkansas Derby last month.

"As we're dragging (the floats), they compress what we call the cushion - what the sand is and what the horses run on - and that makes it as tight as it can possibly get", Bosley said. "The timing is good for us for this race". Often, speed can be even tougher on wet tracks. Curlin earned 2007 Horse of the Year honors after slogging to victory in the muddy Breeders' Cup Classic. With the sloppy, sealed track still being worked on for a few minutes, Justify, as always, stood patiently and never turned a hair.

Diamond King, victor of the Federico Tesio Stakes at Laurel Park, will also take his first shot at the Derby champion, starting from the No. 4 post as a 30-1 choice.

Justify, the chestnut son of Scat Daddy out of the Ghostzapper mare Stage Magic, became the first horse to win the Derby without being raced as a 2-year-old since Apollo in 1882.

During the past 2 ½ seasons, Smith has won on 44 of 106 horses trained by Baffert - 41.5 percent - and has won 27 of 66 graded stakes - 40.9 percent. "He shipped really well", Baffert said. "He still knows his horses and he's up here for a reason".