Preakness odds: Bob Baffert’s Improbable looking for first win of the year

BALTIMORE (AP) — At a field with no top 3 finishers from the Kentucky Derby, the chances that Hall of Fame coach Bob Baffert would not have the favorite in the Preakness are, well, Improbable.
Baffert will seek out a record-setting eighth Preakness victory Saturday with 5-2 morning line favorite Improbable, who will start in the No. 4 post in a field of 13 horses.
War of Will, the second choice at 4-1, received the No. 1 place in Wednesday’s draw.
For the first time since 1951, the Preakness will not incorporate the four horses which crossed the finish line in the Kentucky Derby. Improbable finished fifth and was moved up to fourth following the disqualification of Maximum Security for hindrance.
It was the only time in six career races that Improbable failed to finish first or second. On Saturday, co-owner Elliott Walden expects that his horse gets back on course after watching another of his horses, Justify, roll to a Triple Crown triumph in 2018.
« I feel like we’re preferred by default this year, » Walden conceded. « But this horse has a good resume. He ran very well in the Derby without hitting the plank. »
Improbable can expect a ride within a field, after being bunched closely from the 19-horse Kentucky Derby.
« Happy with the 4 article. Post positions here are a bit anti-climactic, » Walden said. « There is not a lot whole lot to it. We just hope he gets off clean and he is able to get at a nice rhythm. »
Baffert did not attend the draw, but he will no doubt be in the center of items Saturday. Baffert and R.W. Walden, who saddled seven winners in the late 1800s, are currently tied across the Preakness leaderboard.
War of Will, meanwhile, is stuck onto the railroad with the No. 1 post — the same place he started from in the Kentucky Derby, when he finished eighth and was moved up to seventh.
« We definitely know it is not quite as bad as the Derby, » coach Mark Casse explained. « One thing about it: that the 1 hole can be immensely great or it may be exceedingly bad. From the Derby it was really bad, so I am presuming we’re going to have really good this time. »
Another two Derby participants in this race are Bodexpress and Win Win Win. Bodexpress (14th in the Derby, moved up to 13th) will separate from the No. 9 article and can be 20-1 on the morning . Win Win Win (10th to 9th in Churchill Downs) is 15-1 from the 13 hole.
Bodexpress is striving for his first career success, together with hopes of getting the first maiden to win the Preakness since Refund captured a four-horse race in 1888.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, 83, is searching for his seventh Preakness victory with Market King, 30-1 on the morning lineup and beginning from the No. 8 post.
« I don’t believe the post position matters a lot since he’s an excellent gate horse, » Lukas said. « I really don’t think he is the quickest but he’ll be close. From the time they reach the clubhouse turn, he must be placed somewhere where we are comfortable. »
This is Lukas’ 44th Preakness entrance, more than any trainer at the 144-year history of the race.
Alwaysmining attracted the No. 7 article and chances of 8-1. Not only is Kelly Rubley trying to become the first female coach to win the Preakness, however, the final Maryland-bred horse to finish first in the race was Deputed Testamony at 1983.
« I think it’s about the horse compared to the simple fact that I am a woman coach, » Rubley said. « The horse brought me here, and I’m very proud of him. »
Everfast, entered before the draw on Wednesday, was the longest shot in the field in 50-1.
The horse is trained by Dale Romans, who won the 2011 Preakness with Shackleford.
« Some of the best contenders are missing, so we’ll have an opportunity, » Romans said from Louisville, Kentucky.
Preakness odds and starting posts (Westgate)
WAR OF WILL 4/1
BOURBON WAR 12/1
WARRIOR’S CHARGE 12/1
IMPROBABLE 9/4
OWENDALE 10/1
MARKET KING 40/1
ALWAYSMINING 8/1
SIGNALMAN 25/1
BODEXPRESS 20/1
EVERFAST 50/1
LAUGHING FOX 30/1
ANOTHERTWISTAFATE 7/1
WIN WIN WIN 12/1

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