By Beth Harris Associated Press
BALTIMORE — Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome was made the Preakness Stakes’ odds-on favorite at 3-5 on Wednesday, and he drew an inside post position in the 10-horse field that includes a filly for the first time in five years.
Trained by Art Sherman and ridden by Victor Espinoza, California Chrome will break from the No. 3 post, which has produced 10 winners in the previous 138 runnings of the 13/16-mile race.
“Three is fine with me,” Sherman said. “Most of the speed is on the outside of me. If they go, they go, I can tuck in right behind them without any problems. I think my horse will perform.”
So does California Chrome’s co-owner Steve Coburn, who dared to look ahead.
“One race at a time,” he said, “but I’m still thinking Triple Crown.”
If California Chrome wins Saturday, next up would be the Belmont Stakes on June 7. Just11 horses have swept the Derby, Preakness and Belmont and none since 1978.
California Chrome brings a five-race winning streak into the Preakness, having won that many by a combined 26 lengths.
Speedster Social Inclusion was the 5-1 second choice of new Pimlico oddsmaker Keith Feustle. The colt drew the No. 8 post. He skipped the Kentucky Derby and is one of seven new horses lining up to challenge California Chrome on Saturday.
Bayern and Ride On Curlin are the co-third choices at 10-1. Bayern, who drew the No. 5 post, is trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, who will be seeking a sixth Preakness win. Ride On Curlin finished seventh in the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago.
Once again, Ride On Curlin drew an outside post, landing in the No. 10 spot after breaking from the 19th position in the Derby.
General a Rod is the only other Derby horse to try the Preakness. He was 11th at Churchill Downs.
There is a trio of 20-1 shots in the field: Kid Cruz, Pablo Del Monte and Ring Weekend.
Illinois Derby winner Dynamic Impact drew the No. 1 post.
Filly Ria Antonia is the longest shot at 30-1. She will try to become the first filly to win the Preakness since Rachel Alexandra in 2009.