Horses racing on a track.
If you have sufficiently recovered from the rollicking surprise of Rich Strike’s completely unexpected win at the Kentucky Derby, get ready for part two. This Saturday, the Preakness Stakes charges ahead in the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
The Preakness is held on the third Saturday in May each year and is the number two biggest equestrian event in North America, right after the Kentucky Derby. Named after the colt who won the first Dinner Party Stakes in 1973, it’s also almost as heavily-attended as the Derby, with big bets and equally major coverage.
Nine horses will post up at 7:01 p.m. EST at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland – but Rich Strike won’t be one of them. While the Preakness almost always attracts the Derby winner, as well as other horses who ran for the roses at Churchill Downs, owner Rick Dawson chose not to enter this year’s champion. That means for the 42nd time in 44 years, there will be no Triple Crown winner. The remaining contenders will run the 1 3/16 mile course and battle it out for the $1.5 million purse.

Six of them have connections and ties to Ocala.

Contenders with Florida Ties

Post Position: 1
Morning Line Odds: 6-1
Color Sex: Bay colt
Trainer: Antonio Sano
Owner: Tami Bobo, Ocala, Fla. and Tristan de Meric, Ocala, Fla.
Jockey: John Velazquez
Breeder: France and Irwin Weiner (Florida)
Breeding: Not This Time – Simply Confection, by Candy Ride (Arg)
Auction History: 2019 Keeneland November, $50,000 RNA from Taylor Made Sales Agency.
Last Race: Fourth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs
Record: 8-3-1-2
Earnings: $665,350
Ocala/Florida Notes: Owner Tami Bobo resides in Ocala. Purchased by and received early training from Tristan and Valery de Meric.
Creative Minister
Post Position: 2
Morning Line Odds: 10-1
Color Sex: Grey or Roan colt
Trainer: Kenneth G. McPeek
Owner: Fern Circle Stables and Back Racing LLC
Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr.
Breeder: Dell Ridge Farm LLC (Kentucky)
Breeding: Creative Cause – Tamboz, by Tapit
Auction History: $180,000 by Kenneth McPeek as agent at 2020 Keeneland September where he was consigned by St George Sales.
Last Races: Won an allowance race at Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Derby undercard on May 7.
Record: 3-2-1-0
Earnings: $140,595
Ocala/Florida Notes: Trained at Silverleaf Training Center, Summerfield, Florida.
Post Position: 3
Morning Line: 50-1
Color Sex: Chestnut Colt
Trainer: Kevin McKathan, Citra Fla.
Owner: Villa Rosa Farm and Harlo Stable
Jockey: Florent Geroux
Breeder: John C. Oxley (Kentucky)
Breeding: Curlin – Make the Sun Shine, by Malibu Moon
Auction History: $52,000 purchase by Villa Rosa Farms at the 2020 Fasig-Tipton Fall Yearling Sale where he was consigned by Gainesway.
Last Races: 11th in Toyota Blue Grass (G1) on April 9.
Record: 6-1-1-0
Earnings: $53,840
Ocala/Florida Notes: Trainer Kevin McKathan operates McKathan Brothers Training Center located in Citra, Fla.
Secret Oath
Color Sex: Chestnut filly
Post Position: 4
Morning Line Odds: 9-2
Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
Owner: Briland Farm
Jockey: Luis Saez
Breeder: Briland Farm and Robert Mitchell and Stacy Mitchell
Breeding: Arrogate – Absinthe Minded, by Quiet American
Auction History: None
Last Races: Won the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs on May 6.
Record: 8-5-0-2
Earnings: $1,295,417
Ocala/Florida Notes: Received early training from Randy Bradshaw, Williston, Florida
Early Voting
Post Position: 5
Morning Line Odds: 7-2
Color Sex: Dark Bay Colt
Trainer: Chad Brown
Owner: Klaravich Stables Inc.
Jockey: Jose Ortiz
Breeder: Three Chimneys Farm LLC (Kentucky)
Breeding: Gun Runner – Amour d’Ete, by Tiznow
Auction History: 2020 Keeneland September, purchased by Triphammer Farm for $200,000 from Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency consignment
Last Race: Second to Mo Donegal in the Wood Memorial present by Resorts World Casino (Grade 2) at Aqueduct on April 9.
Record: 3-2-1-0
Earnings: $321,500
Ocala/Florida Notes: Trained at Niall Brennan Stables in Ocala.

Post Position: 9
Morning Line: 20-1
Color Sex: Bay colt
Trainer: Saffie A. Joseph Jr.
Owner: Daniel Alonso
Jockey: Junior Alvarado
Breeder: Brushy Hill LLC (Kentucky)
Breeding: Exaggerator – Florida-bred mare Twinkling, by War Chant
Auction History: $37,000 Purchase by Daniel Alonso at 2021 OBS Spring Sale where he was consigned by Top Line Sales.
Last Race: Third in Wood Memorial won by Mo Donegal and Preakness contender Early Voting Second at Aqueduct on April 9.
Record: 9-2-1-2
Earnings: $165,100
Ocala/Florida Notes: Early training by Jimbo and Tori Gladwell’s Top Line Sales located in Ocala.

Additional Contenders

Happy Jack

Post Position: 6
Morning Line Odds: 30-1
Color Sex: Bay Colt
Trainer: Doug O’Neill
Owner: Calumet Farm
Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione
Breeder: Calumet Farm (Kentucky)
Breeding: Oxbow – Tapitstry, by Tapit
Auction History: 2019 Keeneland November. RNA from Select Sales consignment.
Last Races: 14th in Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs on May 7
Record: 5-1-0-2
Earnings: $182,200


Post Position: 7
Morning Line Odds: 12-1
Color Sex: Bay colt
Trainer: Tim Yakteen
Owner: SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Robert E. Masterson, Stonestreet Stables LLC, Jay A. Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital LLC, Catherine Donovan, Golconda Stable, Siena Farm LLC
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.
Breeder: Stone Farm and Joseph W. Sutton
Breeding: Quality Road – Kitty Wine, by Lemon Drop Kid
Auction History: $210,000 purchase by SF/Starlight/Madaket at the 2020 Keeneland September Sale were he was consigned by Stone Farm
Last Race: Won a $100,000 optional claiming allowance at Santa Anita on May 8
Record: 5-2-0-1
Earnings: $135,140


Post Position: 8
Morning Line: 6-5
Color Sex: Bay Colt
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Owner: Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC
Jockey: Joel Rosario
Breeder: Westwind Farms. (Kentucky)
Breeding: Not This Time – Silent Candy, by Candy Ride (Arg).
Auction History: 2020 Keeneland September, $260,000 purchase by Winchell Thoroughbreds from Bettersworth Westwind Farms
Last Races: Second in Kentucky Derby (G1) on May 7 at Churchill Downs
Record: 7-4-2-0
Earnings: $1,610,639

Epicenter, the Bay Colt a lot of people were watching (and betting on) at Churchill Downs, came in second at the May 7 race just behind Rich Strike and is posting at position 8 at Preakness with a mind-boggling 6-5 odds, while Simplification will be at position 1 with an optimistic 6-1 odds. The long shot horse is Fenwick at post 3 and 50-1 odds, but if the recent upset at the Derby has taught us anything, it’s never to count any horse out regardless of what the statistics might say. If they’re in the race, they can win it.

The race will be televised live on NBC Sports May 21 starting at 2pm EST.