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Recap: Filly Swiss Skydiver beats Authentic to win Preakness Stakes

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Jockey Robby Albarado riding filly Swiss Skydiver, right, finishes ahead of Authentic to win the 145th Preakness Stakes.
Jockey Robby Albarado riding filly Swiss Skydiver, right, finishes ahead of Authentic to win the 145th Preakness Stakes on Saturday.
(Patrick Smith / Getty Images)

Filly Swiss Skydiver won the 145th running of the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, beating out Kentucky Derby winner Authentic by inches.

Filly Swiss Skydiver beat out Kentucky Derby winner Authentic in a photo finish to win the Preakness Stakes on Saturday.

Swiss Skydiver is the first filly to win the Preakness since 2009.

Swiss Skydiver wins Preakness Stakes

In the most abnormal of Triple Crown years, it seemed only fitting that the only filly in the 145th Preakness Stakes, Swiss Skydiver, won the final race in the series. She was only the sixth filly to ever win the Preakness and first since 2009, when Rachel Alexandra won this iconic race at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md.

Swiss Skydiver really had to dig in through the stretch as favorite Authentic pulled up almost even to the filly. Authentic was able to easily put away Tiz the Law in the Kentucky Derby, but he couldn’t put away the second-place finisher in the Kentucky Oaks. The winning margin was a neck.

The race set up oddly with Thousand Words going to the front in a very slow opening quarter of 24.48 seconds in the 1 3/16 mile race, a sixteenth of a mile shorter than the Kentucky Derby.

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Preakness Stakes horses: Liveyourbeastlife

Post 11: Liveyourbeastlife

Trainer: Jorge Abreu

Jockey: Trevor McCarthy

Owner: William Lawrence

Purchase price: $200,000

Lifetime record: 8-2-1-1 ($110,035)

Morning line odds: 30-1

Jon White’s case for win: Liveyourbeastlife does seem to be improving. The Kentucky-bred Ghostzapper colt is coming off his best performance to date when second in the Jim Dandy at odds of 14-1.

White’s case against win: The outside post in a field of 11 at Pimlico is no bargain. In a nutshell, Liveyourbeastlife almost certainly must run much better than ever before in order to pull off a Preakness shocker.

White’s final ranking: 11th

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Latest odds ahead of the 145th running of the Preakness Stakes

A small number of fans watch the fifth race ahead of the 145th running of the Preakness Stakes on Saturday.
(Nick Wass / Associated Press)

Lots of late interest in Art Collector as post time crept to about an hour away. Authentic still remained the favorite but there seems to be more interest in the winner of the Blue Grass Stakes and Ellis Park Derby.

(Morning line in parentheses)

1. Excession (30-1) 53-1

2. Mr. Big News (12-1) 13-1

3. Art Collector (5-2) 2-1

4. Swiss Skydiver (6-1) 13-1

5. Thousand Words (6-1) 6-1

6. Jesus’ Team (30-1) 33-1

7. Ny Traffic (15-1) 20-1

8. Max Player (15-1) 12-1

9. Authentic (9-5) 3-2

10. Pneumatic (20-1) 13-1

11. Liveyourbeastlife (30-1) 30-1

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Looking back at Bob Baffert’s Preakness win with Justify

Mike Smith rides Justify to victory during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby in May 2018.
(Morry Gash / Associated Press)

Our final look at Bob Baffert’s five triumphs in the Preakness Stakes with the same horse that won the Kentucky Derby. From the Los Angeles Times archives:

Justify wins Preakness in 2018

BALTIMORE — Suddenly the Belmont Stakes got very interesting.

Justify, who has won every race with dominance, showed the Triple Crown is not a certainty after horses seriously challenged him deep in the stretch as he started to tire. He still won the 143rd Preakness Stakes on Saturday by a half-length and is probably headed to Belmont Park in three weeks to see if he can become the 13th Triple Crown winner.

Of the 134,487 in attendance at Pimlico Race Course, no one except the jockeys can say they actually saw the race. Midafternoon a heavy fog enveloped the track and it got only worse as the afternoon wore on.

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Bob Baffert wins Preakness with American Pharoah

Jockey Victor Espinoza rides American Pharoah to victory in the 2015 Breeders' Cup Classic.
(Mark Humphrey / Associated Press)

Continuing our look at Bob Baffert’s victories in the Preakness Stakes with the same horse that won the Kentucky Derby. From the Los Angeles Times archives:

American Pharoah wins in 2015

BALTIMORE — Here we go again. Horse racing is dangling that Triple Crown carrot.

Except this time, when the big race rolls around June 6 at Belmont, there can be no question that there will be a different feel about this most recent hope, a 1,200-pound muscular ballet dancer named American Pharoah, whose misspelled royal name befits his equine status.

After all, why would a little thing like a 11/2-mile race in the biggest pressure cooker in the sport, after you’ve just won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in a five-week span, faze you in the least?

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Preakness Stakes horses: Pneumatic

Post 10: Pneumatic

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Jockey: Joe Bravo

Owner: Winchell Thoroughbreds

Purchase price: Homebred

Lifetime record: 5-3-0-1

Morning line odds: 20-1

Jon White’s case for win: It helps Pneumatic, Max Player and Excession that their trainer has won the Preakness twice (Curlin in 2007 and Rachel Alexandra in 2009) among his 9,000-plus total victories. In only his third career start, Pneumatic acquitted himself well to finish third in the 1 1/16-mile Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 23. That race was won by the highly regarded Maxfield. Pneumatic then finished fourth in the Belmont Stakes before winning the 1 1/16-mile Pegasus Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths at Monmouth Park on Aug. 15. Off Pneumatic’s performance in the Pegasus and the impression that we might not have seen his best yet, the Kentucky-bred Uncle Mo colt just might run his way into the superfecta Saturday at a very nice price in the betting (though it seems likely his odds Saturday will be shorter — perhaps considerably shorter — than his 20-1 on the morning line).

White’s case against win: Pneumatic is still relatively light in experience. His five lifetime starts are the fewest of everyone in the Preakness. In all likelihood, Pneumatic will need to run better than he ever has before in order to win Saturday.

White’s final ranking: Fourth

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Preakness Stakes horses: Authentic

Jockey John Velazquez rides Authentic, right, to victory at the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5.
(Jeff Roberson / Associated Press)

Post 9: Authentic

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: John Velazquez

Owner: Spendthrift Farm and Myracehorse Stable

Purchase price: $350,000

Lifetime record: 6-5-1-0 ($2,871,200)

Morning line odds: 9-5

Jon White’s case for win: Authentic provided Baffert with his sixth Kentucky Derby victory to tie Ben Jones’ record. Of Baffert’s prior Kentucky Derby winners, all five subsequently won the Preakness. The five were Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), War Emblem (2002), American Pharoah (2015) and Justify (2018). American Pharoah and Justify swept the Triple Crown. If either Authentic or Thousands Words gets the job done Saturday, it will be Baffert’s record-breaking eighth Preakness victory. Baffert also has won the Preakness with two horses who were defeated in the Kentucky Derby, Point Given (2001) and Lookin At Lucky (2010). Going into the Preakness, Authentic sports five wins and a second from six career starts. His lone defeat came when he ran second to the now-retired Honor A.P. in the 1 1/8-mile Santa Anita Derby. Authentic looked razor-sharp in his two workouts at Churchill Downs leading up to the Preakness. He worked five furlongs in :59.20 on Sept. 19. It was the fastest of 38 works at the distance that morning. Authentic then worked four furlongs in :47.60 on Monday. It was the fastest of 37 works at the distance that day. Jockey Martin Garcia was aboard the Kentucky-bred Into Mischief colt Monday. “He worked awesome,” Garcia said. The shorter distance of the Preakness vis-a-vis the Kentucky Derby figures to be a plus for Authentic. It looks like it’s all systems go for Authentic to snag a second jewel in this year’s Triple Crown by adding a Preakness triumph to his win in the Run for the Roses.

White’s case against win: Maybe Authentic will have to fight harder early than he did in Louisville. Maybe his Kentucky Derby effort will have taken too much out of him. Because he’s never raced at Pimlico, maybe he won’t like the track. But keep in mind, everybody in this year’s Preakness is in this same boat.

White’s final ranking: First

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War Emblem wins for Bob Baffert in 2002

 Jockey Victor Espinosa waves in the winners circle after riding War Emblem to victory.
Jockey Victor Espinosa waves in the winners circle after riding War Emblem to victory at the Preakness Stakes in 2002.
(Heather Hall / Getty Images)

Continuing our look back at Bob Baffert’s five victories in the Preakness Stakes after winning with the same horse in the Kentucky Derby. From the Los Angeles Times archives:

War Emblem wins 2002 Preakness Stakes

BALTIMORE — That so-called one-dimensional colt who won the Kentucky Derby a couple of weeks ago showed his opposition some new looks at chilly Pimlico on Saturday. War Emblem sat off the lead instead of making it, spurted away after he felt Victor Espinoza’s whip for the first time and, by winning the Preakness, gives trainer Bob Baffert his third shot at the Triple Crown in six years.

Affirmed was the 11th and most recent Triple Crown winner, in 1978, and since then no trainer other than Baffert has won the first two legs in the series more than once. War Emblem will try to take the 49-year-old former quarter horse trainer where Silver Charm and Real Quiet couldn’t. After winning the Derby and the Preakness, both horses finished second in the Belmont Stakes, Silver Charm losing to Touch Gold in 1997 and Real Quiet getting outrun at the wire against Victory Gallop in 1998.

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Preakness Stakes horses: Max Player

Max Player works out on a track at Belmont Park in June.
(Seth Wenig / Associated Press)

Post 8: Max Player

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Jockey: Paco Lopez

Owner: George Hall and SportBLX Thoroughbred Corp.

Purchase price: $150,000

Lifetime record: 6-2-1-2 ($463,500)

Morning line odds: 15-1

Jon White’s case for win: Off Max Player’s third-place finishes in the Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes, he has a license to finish at least third in the Preakness. After being as far back as 13th at one point during the Kentucky Derby, the Kentucky-bred Honor Code colt came on to finish fifth, an effort that was far from a disgrace.

White’s case against win: As in the case of Mr. Big News, Max Player’s come-from-way-back running style means there is an increased chance he could experience traffic woes. Since winning the 1 1/8-mile Withers Stakes at Aqueduct on Feb. 1, Max Player has not finished one-two in three straight starts.

White’s final ranking: Eighth

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Preakness Stakes horses: Ny Traffic

Ny Traffic runs during a workout at Churchill Downs on Sept. 4.
(Darron Cummings / Associated Press)

Post 7: Ny Traffic

Trainer: Saffie Joseph Jr.

Jockey: Horacio Karamanos

Owners: John Fanelli, Cash Is King, LC Racing, Paul Braverman and Team Hanley

Purchase price: $27,000

Lifetime record: 10-2-3-2 ($565,470)

Morning line odds: 15-1

Jon White’s case for win: When Ny Traffic finished second in the 1 1/8-mile Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on July 18, he came within a nose of defeating Authentic. That effort indicates Ny Traffic should not be taken lightly in the Preakness. Granted, Ny Traffic finished eighth, 13 3/4 lengths behind Authentic, in the Kentucky Derby. But Ny Traffic had a rough time of it that day. Joseph reported that Ny Traffic emerged from the race with “a couple of cuts” and lost his right front shoe. Ny Traffic needed “a staple in his [left front] ankle from a cut he got,” Joseph said. Following Ny Traffic’s ordeal in Louisville, he shows up in the Preakness following a brisk four-furlong workout in :48.00 at Churchill Downs on Sept. 27.

White’s case against win: Ny Traffic comes into the Preakness with a five-race losing streak. Not only that, any way you slice it, Ny Traffic has lost both times he has run against Authentic.

White’s final ranking: Sixth

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Latest odds for 145th running of the Preakness Stakes

Betting windows are empty at Pimlico racetrack in Baltimore on Friday
Betting windows are empty at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Only a small group of fans were allowed into the track for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes.
(Steve Helber / Associated Press)

There were not a lot of big surprises in early betting for the Preakness Stakes. Less than two hours before post, Authentic remains the heavy favorite, followed by Art Collector and Thousand Words. There seems to be more interest in Pneumatic and less interest in Swiss Skydiver than the morning line maker thought.

(Morning line in parentheses)

1. Excession (30-1) 50-1

2. Mr. Big News (12-1) 14-1

3. Art Collector (5-2) 7-2

4. Swiss Skydiver (6-1) 12-1

5. Thousand Words (6-1) 5-1

6. Jesus’ Team (30-1) 30-1

7. Ny Traffic (15-1) 20-1

8. Max Player (15-1) 10-1

9. Authentic (9-5) 6-5

10. Pneumatic (20-1) 11-1

11. Liveyourbeastlife (30-1) 30-1

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Preakness Stakes horses: Jesus’ Team

Post 6: Jesus’ Team

Trainer: Jose D’Angelo

Jockey: Jevian Toledo

Owner: Grupo Seven C Stable

Purchase price: $30,000

Lifetime record: 10-2-3-2 ($146,640)

Morning line odds: 30-1

Jon White’s case for win: There is some hope for Jesus’ Team to get a minor award as a longshot off his last three races. He finished fourth in the Haskell and second in the Pegasus at Monmouth, then ran third in the 1 1/8-mile Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga on Sept. 5.

White’s case against win: It’s extremely hard to envision Jesus’ Team winning the Preakness when his most recent victory came in a claiming race. The last time he won, he defeated $25,000 claimers at Gulfstream Park on May 8.

White’s final ranking: Ninth

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Real Quiet wins for Bob Baffert in 1998

Jockey Kent Desormeaux, right, celebrates as he rides Real Quiet across the finish line to win.
Jockey Kent Desormeaux, right, celebrates as he rides Real Quiet across the finish line to win the 123rd running of the Preakness Stakes on May 16, 1998.
(Jon Levy / Getty Images)

Continuing our look back at the Los Angeles Times’ coverage of Bob Baffert’s five wins at the Preakness Stakes after winning with the same horse in the Kentucky Derby:

Real Quiet wins Preakness in 1998

BALTIMORE —The massive power outage that crippled Pimlico Race Course for hours Saturday didn’t mean a watt to Real Quiet.

Making a move on the far turn that impressed jockey Kent Desormeaux more than his winning burst in the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago, the lightly regarded, much-derided colt added the Preakness to his treasure chest with a 2 1/4-length victory and put his trainer, Bob Baffert, in position again to sweep the Triple Crown.

A year ago, Baffert got only two-thirds of the loaf when Silver Charm was outrun by Touch Gold in the Belmont Stakes. Now Baffert launches another crusade for racing’s Holy Grail with Real Quiet, the slim-lined colt who cost only $17,000 at auction but who looks like $5 million today. That’s the Triple Crown bonus that owner Mike Pegram, Baffert and Desormeaux will tap into if Real Quiet wins the Belmont on June 6.

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Preakness Stakes horses: Thousand Words

Thousand Words works out at Churchill Downs on Sept. 4.
(Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

Post 5: Thousand Words


Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: Florent Geroux

Owner: Albaugh Family Stables and Spendthrift Farm

Purchase price: $1 million

Lifetime record: 7-4-1-0 ($327,000)

Morning line odds: 6-1

Jon White’s case for win: Thousand Words moves up a notch in my rankings this week mainly because his five-furlong workout in 1:00.60 at Churchill Downs on Sept. 26 was much better visually and time-wise than his five-furlong workout in 1:02.40 there on Sept. 19. The Florida-bred Pioneerof the Nile colt did not have blinkers for his Sept. 19 workout. He did have blinkers for his drill Sept. 26. In an equipment change Saturday, Thousand Words will race with blinkers. In his four career wins, he’s raced with blinkers twice and without them the other two times. Thousand Words had blinkers on when he won the 1 1/16-mile Los Alamitos Futurity last year and 1 1/16-mile Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita earlier this year. Thousand Words was supposed to have run in the Kentucky Derby. However, in the paddock before that race, he reared, lost his balance and fell on his side. He was automatically scratched as a precaution. A $1-million auction purchase, Thousand Words has shown enough in some of his races to suggest he could prove a tough customer in the Preakness.

White’s case against win: Thousand Words lost by 11 1/4 lengths the one time he faced Authentic in the 1 1/16-mile San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita on March 7. Thousand Words will be racing with blinkers Saturday in an equipment change. He had blinkers on in his two worst performances, losses by 11 1/4 and 29 3/4 lengths.

White’s final ranking: Fifth

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Looking back at Bob Baffert’s Preakness triumphs

Kentucky Derby winner Silver Charm is walked by trainer Bob Baffert at Pimlico.
Kentucky Derby winner Silver Charm is walked by trainer Bob Baffert at Pimlico on May 6, 1997.
(Ted Mathias / Getty Images)

Every time Bob Baffert has won the Kentucky Derby, he went on to win the Preakness. He’s shooting for the sixth straight time Saturday with Authentic.

“The reason I’ve won it so many times is I’ve always had the best horse,” Baffert said. “That’s why I won. I’ve won the Derby with the best horse and I’ve lost the Derby with the best horse. I think about the losses more, the ones that got away from me. The Preaknesses have never gotten away when I’m here with the best horse.”

So, this gets one thinking, how did each of those races come down. We went back in the story vault and looked at how The Times wrote about each of those races. Here’s the first of those wins.

Silver Charm wins Preakness Stakes in 1997

BALTIMORE — The Sunday Silence-Easy Goer donnybrook was supposed to be the Preakness for the ages. But that 1989 running was tossed into the back seat Saturday at Pimlico, where Silver Charm, the gray horse with the all-gray trainer, outfought Free House and Captain Bodgit in a furious finish, leaving only the Belmont Stakes standing between him and the first Triple Crown championship in 19 years.

Preakness No. 122 was a bob for two Bobs. When Silver Charm’s nose came down on the wire, trainer Bob Baffert and co-owner Bob Lewis watched in awe from their box seat, one of them sure he had won, but the other, having been burned before, not so sure.

“We did it!” Bob Lewis yelled.

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Preakness Stakes horses: Swiss Skydiver

Jockey Tyler Gaffalione pats Swiss Skydiver.
Jockey Tyler Gaffalione pats Swiss Skydiver after finishing second in the 146th running of the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs in September.
(Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

Post 4: Swiss Skydiver


Trainer: Ken McPeek

Jockey: Robby Albarado

Owner: Peter Callahan

Purchase price: $35,000

Lifetime record: 10-5-3-1 ($1,192,980)

Morning line odds: 6-1

Jon White’s case for win: The consistent and durable filly warrants respect in this, her second start versus the boys. She has finished first or second in six straight starts. Starting March 28, Swiss Skydiver has won stakes races in Florida (Gulfstream Park Oaks), Arkansas (Fantasy), California (Santa Anita Oaks) and New York (Alabama), while finishing second in a pair of stakes races in Kentucky (Blue Grass and Kentucky Oaks). Swiss Skydiver actually was a slight favorite over Art Collector in the Blue Grass at Keeneland on July 22. But the Kentucky-bred Daredevil filly had to settle for second in that 1 1/16-mile affair. Art Collector won the Blue Grass by 3 1/2 lengths. Swiss Skydiver then won the 1 1/4-mile Alabama Stakes by 3 1/2 lengths at Saratoga on Aug. 15 before finishing second to Shedaresthedevil in the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on Sept. 4. The 1 3/16-mile distance of the Preakness is not a problem for Swiss Skydiver inasmuch as she was a dominant winner of the 1 1/4-mile Alabama. Swiss Skydiver is the first filly to run in the Preakness since Ria Antonia, who finished 10th in 2014. Five fillies have won the Preakness: Flocarline (1903), Whimsical (1906), Rhine Maiden (1915), Nellie Morse (1924) and Rachel Alexandra (2009).

White’s case against win: Swiss Skydiver already has run against male foes once and lost. Also, there is a lingering concern that one of these days all of her traveling and racing this year might catch up with her.

White’s final ranking: Third

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Preakness Stakes horses: Art Collector

Preakness contender Art Collector walks on the track at Pimlico Race Course on Thursday.
(Stephen Whyno / Associated Press)

Post 3: Art Collector


Trainer: Tommy Drury Jr.

Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr.

Owner: Bruce Lunsford

Purchase price: Homebred

Lifetime record: 9-5-1-0 ($664,380)

Morning line odds: 5-2

Jon White’s case for win: This is a serious racehorse. Art Collector is four for four this year, winning by margins from 2 3/4 to 6 1/2 lengths. Since Drury took over as trainer before Art Collector’s 2020 debut, the Kentucky-bred Bernardini colt has not lost a race. Many regarded Art Collector as a Kentucky Derby contender, but he was not entered after he nicked the bulb of his left front heel with a hind hoof while galloping at Churchill Downs five days before the race. According to Drury, the heel issue was nothing major, just bad timing. Art Collector has sparkled in his two recent workouts at Churchill Downs in preparation for the Preakness. He worked five furlongs in :59.40 on Sept. 19. The only faster workout at the distance that morning was Authentic’s :59.20. Art Collector then worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 on Sept. 26. A big asset for Art Collector is his ability to succeed in various ways. In his four races this year, he has won in front-running fashion, from slightly off the pace and when rallying from seventh. Is Art Collector good enough to beat the Kentucky Derby winner Saturday? A lot of people — quite understandably — think so. It’s entirely feasible that Art Collector will be the one posing for pictures after the Preakness.

White’s case against win: The truth is it’s difficult to find a chink in his armor. Yes, this will be the farthest he has ever raced. But the strong manner in which he has come home in all of his races this year suggests this longer trip might well be a positive rather than a negative.

White’s final ranking: Second

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Preakness Stakes horses: Mr. Big News

Post 2: Mr. Big News


Trainer: Bret Calhoun

Jockey: Gabriel Saez

Owner: Allied Racing Stable

Purchase price: $95,000

Lifetime record: 8-2-1-1 ($468,553)

Morning line odds: 12-1

Jon White’s case for win: Mr. Big News showed he is not out of his league in a Triple Crown race when he closed from 10th to finish third in the Kentucky Derby at odds of 46-1. It was not the first time the Kentucky-bred Giant’s Causeway colt has given a good account of himself at huge odds. He rallied from 11th to win the Oaklawn Stakes — ironically, also at odds of 46-1 — on a sloppy track April 11. If there is a fast pace in the Preakness, Mr. Big News is a candidate to mow them down and win.

White’s case against win: His come-from-way-back running style means there is an increased chance that Mr. Big News could encounter traffic trouble. Mr. Big News has just two lifetime wins, whereas Authentic, Art Collector and Swiss Skydiver each have five career victories.

White’s final ranking: Seventh

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Preakness favorite Authentic could still win Triple Crown, the way Bob Baffert sees it

Jockey John Velazquez riding Authentic crosses the finish line to win the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5.
(Jeff Roberson / Associated Press)

The way trainer Bob Baffert tells it, if Kentucky Derby winner Authentic wins the 145th running of the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, he’ll have won the first two legs of the Triple Crown.

Never mind the shortened version of the Belmont Stakes that was run in late June. There is a new Triple Crown, in his opinion, at least for this year.

“The Breeders’ Cup [Classic], is the third leg,” Baffert said of the $7-million race Nov. 7. “But we got to get by here first.”

By virtue of Authentic’s upset win a month ago, the 3-year-old colt is the 9-5 favorite to win Saturday’s race at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Baffert also has Thousand Words (6-1) in the race. He was supposed to run in the Derby but reared up and fell on his side while being saddled and was an automatic scratch.

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Preakness Stakes horses: Excession

Post 1: Excession

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Jockey: Sheldon Russell

Owner: Calumet Farm

Purchase price: $150,000

Lifetime record: 9-1-1-3 ($288,612)

Morning line odds: 30-1

Jon White’s case for win: Excession has not started since finishing a respectable second at the gigantic odds of 82-1 in the 1 1/16-mile Rebel Stakes won by Nadal on a sloppy track March 14 at Oaklawn Park. The Kentucky-bred Union Rags colt was sidelined after the Rebel due to having a knee chip surgically removed, Asmussen told Daily Racing Form’s Marty McGee. Running that well against such a talented opponent as Nadal does make it seem possible that Excession might make some noise in the Preakness despite the long layoff.

White’s case against win: It’s very difficult to picture Excession being able to win the Preakness when he has not raced since March 14. Also, he’s the lone Preakness entrant who has not won twice or more.

White’s final ranking: 10th

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