After Saturday’s Kentucky Derby victory many horse racing experts are starting to think that
if American Pharoah is to become American racing’s first Triple Crown winner since 1978, the horse is going to have to again defeat Firing Line and Dortmund on May 16th at Pimlico Race Course and this is is going to be a tough task.
The Derby’s top three finishers are all Baltimore-bound for the Triple Crown’s middle leg, assuming they bounce out of the race well and remain healthy. It will be the first time since 2009 that the Derby trifecta advanced to the 1 3/16-mile Preakness.
American Pharoah laid just off the pace set by Dortmund, with Firing Line on his hip. The trio came down the stretch in a row, with American Pharoah edging by Firing Line to prevail by a length. Dortmund gave away inside the eighth pole to lose by a total of three lengths while holding off Frosted by a neck.
Like American Pharoah and Dortmund, Firing Line will train at Churchill until the traditional equine charter to Baltimore several days before the Preakness.
Other Derby starters under at least a modicum of Preakness consideration include fifth-place Danzig Moon and 13th-place Mr. Z, who had to check repeatedly in the run into the first turn. In addition, Louisiana Derby winner International Star, who was scratched from the Derby with a short-lived but untimely foot issue, responded to treatment and will target the Preakness, his owner said.
Stanford, scratched from the Derby on Thursday, is possible for the Preakness. The Louisiana Derby runner-up worked five-eighths of a mile in 1:00 3/5 on Derby morning, third fastest of 21 works at the distance.
The following is the top 15 order of finish:
- American Pharoah
- Firing LINE
- Danzig Moon
- Keen Ice
- Carpe Diem
- Mr. Z
- Ocho Ocho Ocho
- Far Right
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