Preakness Stakes Preview: Favorite Nyquist Draws No. 3 Post Position 

on May 19, 2016
Preakness Stakes Nyquist Doug O'Neill

If the forecasts are correct, it will rain during the Preakness Stakes, and Nyquist and trainer Doug O’Neill will capture their second straight Triple Crown race. (Image: Penelope Miller/ americasbestracing.net)

The 141st Preakness Stakes breaks the gate on May 21 a little after 6:45 pm local time in Baltimore and two forecasts for the second leg of the Triple Crown are approaching near certainty.

First, it’s going to rain, heavily at times, as meteorologists say there’s a 90 percent chance of downpour conditions. Second, Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist is going to win the Preakness, at least according to the majority of thoroughbred experts.

Still undefeated in his career, Nyquist, named after Gustav Nyquist of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, has quickly convinced the racing community and bettors alike that he’ll win the Preakness in commanding fashion. Leading up to the showdown, Nyquist is listed at 3/5 to win the Stakes, a clear favorite over the other 10 horses.

Kentucky Derby runner-up Exaggerator (3/1) returns for the second act and is predicted to once again finish second. Derby ninth-place finisher Lani (30/1) is the only other Derby competitor returning for the Preakness.

Current odds:

  • Cherry Wine 20/1
  • Uncle Lino 20/1
  • Nyquist 3/5
  • Awesome Speed 30/1
  • Exaggerator 3/1
  • Lani 30/1
  • Collected 10/1
  • Laoban 30/1
  • Abiding Star 30/1
  • Fellowship 30/1
  • Stradivari 8/1

No. 1 in No. 3

Post positions were announced on May 18, and Nyquist landed the No. 3 position.

“The three is exactly what I wanted,” Nyquist trainer Doug O’Neill told reporters. “We still have a fast horse inside that we respect a lot, but we’re just going to break good and ride with confidence and see what happens.”

Posts are numbered inside out, meaning Nyquist will start as the third horse in from the rail. Post preferences are dictated by each horse and whether he or she likes to explode out of the gate or maintain pace before determining strategy.

American Pharoah, the colt that made history last year by becoming the first Triple Crown winner since 1978, began the Preakness in post one. Over the last 30 years, just three times has the Preakness winner broke the gate in lane three.

Worth noting is that Nyquist’s neighboring post mate is also his half-brother. Uncle Lino in post No. 2 and Nyquist have the same father in Uncle Mo.

Pimlico on Blocks?

The second-oldest horse racetrack in the United States, Pimlico has hosted the Preakness Stakes every year since its inauguration in 1873. That could soon change, however, should Pimlico owner Frank Stronach opt to move the racing major.

Stronach is reportedly interested in expanding his Laurel Park racetrack with an investment of upwards of $500 million in order to create a first-class entertainment complex. Stronach has hinted that should those plans be realized, the Preakness would likely relocate to Laurel, Maryland.

There’s obvious opposition to Stronach potentially altering the future of one of the most decorated horse races in the world. Located just 15 miles from Washington, DC, moving the Preakness to Laurel would essentially rid the Baltimore market from benefitting from the annual race.

“It’s like taking the Colts to Indianapolis,” Baltimore Development Corporation President William Cole told the New York Times.