2023 Preakness Stakes Runners
Leading the way in the betting is Kentucky Derby winner Mage. Gustavo Delgado's star landed that Classic on just his fourth look at a racecourse and could secure the second leg of the Triple Crown on Saturday night.
Brad Cox will be represented by First Mission, who looked good when winning a Group Three on his most recent outing. National Treasure runs for Bob Baffert, with fellow Group-One placed Blazing Sevens representing two-time Preakness winner Chad Brown.
There's then a decent gap in the market until we reach the hat-trick-seeking Perform. Red Route One jumps back up to Group One company. Chase The Chaos and Coffeewithchris round off the field.
2023 Preakness Stakes Draw
|Chase The Chaos
|Red Route One
2023 Preakness Stakes Tips
Despite being one of the more lightly-raced runners in the field, Mage ran out a hugely impressive winner of the Kentucky Derby. If Gustavo Delgado's star has improved again for that Classic victory, then he should have this field covered. However, the 15-day turnaround has to be a worry for a horse with such little experience and I'm inclined to take Mage on with an alternative.
Bob Baffert needs one more victory to become the solo winning-most trainer of the Preakness Stakes and I'm delighted to see the blinkers back on NATIONAL TREASURE.
Baffert's star wore blinkers when he won on debut last season and again at the Breeders' Cup, where National Treasure wasn't beaten far when third to Forte in the Juvenile.
Baffert has removed the headgear for both of National Treasure's three-year-old starts and neither has gone entirely to plan. John Velazquez's mount was beaten at odds-on on his reappearance in the Sham Stakes, where the favourite ran on well to finish third having met trouble in running. National Treasure then got a little outpaced on his most recent start in the Santa Anita Derby, but galloped right through the line to finish three lengths adrift of Practical Move in fourth.
This step up in distance should suit and I'm hoping Valezquez will give National Treasure a positive ride from stall one. If Blinkers have the desired effect again, then National Treasure could cause a minor upset.