The $1 million Preakness Stakes (G1) is the second jewel in the Triple Crown. A field of 11 three-year-olds contested this 1 3/16 mile trip around two turns at historic Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, on a sunny Saturday afternoon with temperatures in the low 80's before a record on-track crowd of 121,309.
As expected, Kentucky Derby (G1) runner-up and Arkansas Derby (G1) winner Bodemeister was sent off as the 8-5 favorite, as bettors feel his speed would be advantageous at the shorter distance. In to challenge him included Kentucky Derby (G1) and Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner I'll Have Another as the 3-1 second choice, and 11-2 third choice Went the Day Well, fourth in the Kentucky Derby after winning the Spiral Stakes (G3).
Jockey Mike Smith sent Bodemeister to the lead first time past the stands and he set fractions of 23.79, 47.68, and 1:11.72 over the fast track, while stalked by 34-1 Pretension and 6-1 Creative Cause. Mario Gutierrez kept I'll Have Another out of trouble in fourth early. Entering the stretch, Bodemeister opened up a 3 length lead, getting the mile in 1:36.69, but like in the Derby, I'll Have Another closed on the outside. The pair hooked up inside the 1/16 pole and I'll Have Another pushed ahead by a neck in the final strides to get the win in 1:55.94. It was a long 8 3/4 lengths back to Creative Cause third.
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