California Chrome to start Preakness from three post

Wed May 14, 2014 8:24pm EDT
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By Steve Ginsburg

BALTIMORE (Reuters) - The chances of California Chrome extending his Triple Crown run received a boost on Wednesday when the Kentucky Derby champion was given the number three post for Saturday's Preakness Stakes.

Oddsmakers made the Art Sherman-trained colt, winner of all four of his races this year, an overwhelming 3-5 favorite in the 10-horse field at Pimlico Race Course.

"I thought 6-5 was probably more like it," said the 77-year-old Sherman. "I can understand being the favorite but 3-5 is a lot of weight on you."

At 5-1, the second choice in the early line is Social Inclusion, who finished third in the Wood Memorial last month under Luis Contreras. Trained by 85-year-old Manny Azpurua, the lightly raced bay will break from the eight hole.

Co-third choices at 10-1 are Ride On Curlin, who finished seventh in the Derby, and Bayern, runner-up of the Derby Trial last month with Rosie Napravnik in the saddle.

Ride On Curlin will start from the outside 10 post, while Bayern breaks from the five.

At 12-1 odds is Dynamic Impact, winner of the Grade III Illinois Derby last month and one of only three Preakness starters who raced in the May 3 Derby at Churchill Downs.

Social Inclusion owner Ron Sanchez was "a little concerned" about the eight post "but not now, with Ria Antonia and Kid Cruz inside with less speed and with two speed horses (Pablo Del Monte and Ride On Curlin) outside, that'll help us.   Continued...

May 14, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Exercise rider Willie Delgado aboard California Chrome during morning workouts in preparation for the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports