The field for the Preakness Stakes 2022 is set, as a field of nine will be lining up for the second jewel in the Triple Crown. It promises to be another exciting edition of the race at Pimlico, with the Preakness Stakes odds showing Epicenter as the clear favorite to avenge his second in the Kentucky Derby.
There’s no Rich Strike involved in the line-up this weekend, which means there will be no Triple Crown winner this season. But, which trainers are set to saddle the contenders for the Preakness Stakes this weekend, and does their history in the race give them a good chance?
The field this weekend will be headed by Simplification. The three-year-old ran a very good race at Churchill Downs in the Kentucky Derby as he finished fourth. He gave Epicenter and Zandon something to think about, but a career-best speed figure of 101 was still recorded.
Antonio Sano is one of the smaller operators in the U.S., as he has just 70 horses in his career. Simplification will be just his second-ever runner in the Preakness this weekend, with his previous effort coming with Gunnevera, who finished fifth in the 2017 renewal of the race at Pimlico. The three-year-old is currently a 7/1 chance to win the Preakness.
Kenneth McPeek has a very good record in the Preakness Stakes and won the race two years ago with the filly Swiss Skydiver. His record is also impressive, considering that he has finished in the money with two other starters. Those are the only three runners he has sent to Pimlico for the middle Crown race, which gives him a very impressive win rate.
This year he will have one of the dark horse contenders in the form of Creative Minister. This three-year-old has won twice from three starts, which includes a very impressive 108-speed figure from his recent win at Churchill Downs. He could potentially be a dark horse in the field this weekend, and is readily available at 9/1.
It will be a special day at Pimlico on Saturday for trainer Kevin McKathan, as he saddles his first-ever runner in the Preakness Stakes. Fenwick is likely to be a massive outsider in the betting, though, as the three-year-old has won just once from six career starts. That victory came on his maiden, as he won at Tampa Bay Downs.
However, a 50/1 price for the Preakness seems fair, as his best-recorded career speed figure of 91. But, as Rich Strike’s win would prove, it may be worth siding with the long shots.
D. Wayne Lukas
Few trainers have a better record in the Preakness Stakes than D. Wayne Lukas. The legendary trainer will be looking for a record-equaling seventh win in the race this year and tie the all-time record with Bob Baffert and R. Wyndham Walden. The trainer’s last win in the race came back in 2013, as Oxbow was crowned the Preakness winner.
This year, he will be hoping Secret Oath can become the seventh filly to win the middle leg of the Triple Crown at Pimlico. Hopes are high regarding Secret Oath, as she comes into the Preakness after winning the G1 Kentucky Oaks in an extremely eye-catching fashion. She looks set to go off in the Preakness as the second favorite in the betting, and is currently around 4/1.
Chad Brown will be looking to record a second victory in the Preakness Stakes this year with the very highly regarded Early Voting. The three-year-old was last seen finishing second in the G2 Wood Memorial, and bypassed the Kentucky Derby. Brown last won this race in 2017 with Cloud Computing, which was his first-ever entry into the race. Since then, he has sent off three runners in the race, with his best place since being the fifth achieved by Klaravich. Early Voting will likely be battling Secret Oath for the second spot in the betting, as he is currently a 4/1 shot.
Doug O’Neill has an excellent record in Triple Crown races, as the 53-year-old has picked up two victories so far in his career. However, only one of those wins has come in the Preakness Stakes. That victory came back in 2012, as I’ll Have Another claimed victory at Pimlico just weeks after giving O’Neill a first win in the Kentucky Derby.
He was unable to improve that record four years later with Derby winner Nyquist, as the three-year-old finished third in the Preakness. His runner this year is Happy Jack, who looks set to be another of the outsiders after winning once from five career starts.
There will also be a first Preakness runner for Tim Yakeen this weekend, as he continues to care for the horses of Bob Baffert while the trainer’s suspension stands. Yakteen saddled both Taiba and Messier for the Kentucky Derby, but neither could make much of an impression in the final stages.
The extremely speedy Armagnac is his runner in the Preakness this weekend, but he will likely be an outsider after winning twice from three starts. This three-year-old will likely set the pace but expect him to fade when challenged by stalkers such as Secret Oath, Early Voting, and Epicenter.
The trainer of the pre-race favorite for the Preakness Stakes this weekend is Steven Asmussen. The trainer was once again lamenting his bad luck in the Triple Crown race at Churchill Downs in early January, as Epicenter was beaten by huge outsider Rich Strike.
However, this weekend, the three-year-old will get a second chance at Triple Crown glory, and is currently the 11/10 favorite. Asmussen has trained 14 horses that have run in the Preakness, and he has won the race on two occasions. However, his latest victory in the race came back in 2009 with Rachel Alexandra. But, he did take second in last year’s edition of the race, as Midnight Bourbon finished behind Rombauer.
Saffie Joseph Jr
Saffie Joseph Jr could have an outside chance in the Preakness Stakes this year, as Skippylongstocking certainly looks to be the value in the current markets. The three-year-old has won twice from nine starts, but he impressed when finishing third in the G2 Wood Memorial behind Mo Donegal and Early Voting on his last start.
Joseph Jr has only previously had one runner in the Preakness, as Ny Traffic finished ninth in the race at Pimlico in 2020. But, Skippylongstocking could certainly be a popular pick this weekend to give him a first finish in the money.
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