New Shooters Look to End Nyquist’s Triple Crown Bid at Preakness

The undefeated Nyquist is the one to beat in the Preakness Stakes (G1), but there are several interesting new shooters looking to derail his bid to keep his Triple Crown hopes alive.

The last six Preakness winners have come out of the Kentucky Derby, the last that did not being the filly Rachel Alexandra in 2009, who won the Kentucky Oaks (G1) on the eve of Derby Day. Before that it was Bernardini, who won the Preakness in 2006, who skipped the Kentucky Derby and had won the Withers Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct.

The colt getting the most betting action among the new shooters is Stradivari, currently at Preakness odds of 12-1, behind just Nyquist (5-7) and Exaggerator (9-2).

Trained by Todd Pletcher, the colt will be making his stakes debut and just his fourth career start. He beat first level allowance foes by 14 ½ lengths in his last outing, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 100, which stacks up nicely. Nyquist’s high number is 103 while Exaggerator earned a 103 for his Santa Anita (G1) victory and a 101 for his Derby runner up finish.

Pletcher is a seven-time Eclipse Award winning trainer, but is just 1 for 45 in the Kentucky Derby and has been blanked with seven starts in the Preakness, his best finish coming with Impeachment in 2000, who checked in third behind the winner Red Bullet.

Collected will be sent out by Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who is no stranger to Pimlico, winning the Preakness five times, the most recent with Lookin at Lucky in 2010. He ran second with Bodemeister in 2012.

The Baffert trainee Collected won the Lexington Stakes (G3) at Keeneland in his last outing on April 15. He has now won four of his six career starts. His current betting odds for the Preakness are 20-1.

Dazzling Gem did not earn enough points to get into the Kentucky Derby, checking in third in the Louisiana Derby (G2) and fourth in the Arkansas Derby (G1) in his two prep races.

Trained by Brad Cox, the colt has just four starts under his belt and may have as much upside as any of the runners in the Preakness field. His current odds are 20-1.

Cherry Wine is another that did not earn enough points in the Road to the Kentucky Derby points races. The colt was fourth in the Rebel Stakes (G2) and then was third in the Blue Grass (G1). He was beaten just a head in his last start, which cost him a ticket to Louisville for the Run for the Roses.

He is trained by Dale Romans, who won the 2011 Preakness with Shackleford. Cherry Wine is listed at 25-1 in early Preakness wagering.

Awesome Speed (33-1), Laoban (40-1) and Fellowship (33-1) are also going to be newcomers to the Triple Crown races.

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