BALTIMORE — Having the Preakness favourite has by no means bothered Bob Baffert earlier than, and it does not trouble him with Justify.
Coming off a formidable victory within the Kentucky Derby, Justify is the 1-2 morning-line favourite for Saturday’s second race in a discipline of eight horses. Derby runner-up Good Magic is the second selection at Three-1, however Justify is the horse to beat, with an opportunity to provide Baffert his seventh Preakness winner and a shot at a second Triple Crown in 4 years after American Pharoah completed the feat in 2015.
Baffert is Four-Zero within the Preakness with the Derby winner and does not see any cause Justify does not have one other huge run in him.
“I like being the favorite,” Baffert stated Wednesday. “I don’t want to be 50-1. I like knowing that I have a chance to win. When you come in, and you’re like, ‘Well, I don’t know, we’re going to need the Stanford marching band to interfere a little bit,’ then you don’t feel that well. I just feel that when you know that there’s a chance you can pull this off, and when you can win on the big arena, that’s what it’s all about.”
Justify already gained on horse racing’s largest stage when he held off a hard-charging Good Magic to seize the Derby on a muddy observe at Churchill Downs. Rain is anticipated at Pimlico Race Course within the days main as much as the Preakness and on race day, which might arrange an analogous state of affairs to how jockey Mike Smith took Justify out to the lead earlier than the ultimate flip and pulled away.
“I think it’s less pressure for us because the Kentucky Derby, for me, it was so special,” Baffert stated. “Coming in here, I feel the same as I did when I won it with the other ones.”
Baffert gained the Derby and Preakness with Silver Allure in 1997, Actual Quiet in 1998, Conflict Emblem in 2002 and American Pharoah three years in the past.
Justify will face three different challengers from the Derby, Good Magic, Lone Sailor and Bravazo, and 4 horses who skipped the Derby to level to the Preakness, Quip, Tenfold, Sporting Likelihood and Diamond King.
After Justify and Good Magic, No. 1 Quip is third at 12-1. No. 2 Lone Sailor is 15-1, No. 6 Tenfold and No. eight Bravazo are 20-1, and No. Three Sporting Likelihood and No. Four Diamond King are 30-1 on the morning line.
If Justify runs his finest race, the remainder of the sector might be working for second place.
“He’s the best horse,” stated D. Wayne Lukas, who trains Bravazo and Sporting Likelihood. “He looks terrific. He’s doing well. I watched him all week. He’s going to be very, very hard to handle.”
Quip is the brand new shooter finest positioned to provide Justify a run after profitable the Tampa Bay Derby. Elliott Walden of WinStar Farm, which co-owns Justify and Quip, confirmed his allegiance on the draw by sporting a “Justify” hat and hopes the favourite wins for apparent causes.
“It would point him toward the Triple Crown,” Walden stated. “But if for some reason he stubs his toe, we feel real good about Quip’s chances to be the horse to upset him, if that happens.”
The percentages are in opposition to that, until a bruised heel Justify was handled for acts up after coaching on an off observe at Pimlico. Justify arrived Wednesday about 90 minutes earlier than the post-position draw, and Baffert expects to take him on the observe for the primary time Thursday morning to see how he’ll deal with it.