Kentucky Derby victor Justify draws 7 post for Preakness

Doug Mendoza
May 17, 2018

All four of Baffert's previous Kentucky Derby winners went on to also win the Preakness Stakes - Silver Charm, Real Quiet, War Emblem and American Pharoah. His victory at the Kentucky Derby was decisive, winning by two-and-a-half lengths in awful, wet track conditions. Should Justify finally show he is mortal, Good Magic would be the most likely victor and would give Brown his second consecutive Preakness. Now with a smaller field (just eight horses in the Preakness compared to 20 in the Derby), is there anything that can hold Justify back from winning on Saturday?

"She had never wowed you in the morning, but that morning she worked out of the gate with three other horses, and we looked at each other and said, 'What do we have here?'" Egan said. He has a great trainer and bloodline but he will have to improve (or get lucky) to beat Justify on Saturday. He qualified to run in the Kentucky Derby but skipped the race to target the Preakness.

"I'm fine with the draw", said Brown, who won't arrive in Baltimore until Friday.

"Her dam, Diva's Gold [by Tenpins], had been claimed for $15,000 by Bob Krangel, and they became attached to her", said Egan, whose wife, Jordyn, is Director of Development for the Maryland Horse Industry Foundation.

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, aboard his popular stable pony Starbuck, was already leading back last year's GI Hopeful S. victor and 'TDN Rising Star' Sporting Chance (Tiznow) to the stakes barn as some light rain continued to fall shortly after sunrise. He's the expected third choice in the betting and will probably exceed 10-1 in the win pool. Justify became just the third horse since 1915 to win the Derby with only four career starts. A Tomlinson Rating of 320 or higher means a horse deserves consideration while a 400 or higher is considered extremely strong. "I've tended to do pretty well in math, and I know it's the shortest way around there", he said.

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Justify is once again in the No. 7 hole as he was in the Kentucky Derby, and that should work out well for him. Justify made history with his win at Churchill Downs, becoming the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Derby having had no racing experience as a two-year-old.

Justify will be flanked by Tenfold (20-1) on his left and Bravazo (20-1), who finished sixth at the Derby, on his right. It's a mile and an eighth against some of the better fillies in the country, and not many horses can do what we are asking of her. I hope to be a little closer with both of mine, but we may not be able to do much about it.

The driving rain on Derby day frayed Baffert's nerves, but he generally downplayed the importance of the weather.

"He shipped really well", Baffert said.

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