As rain pummels and slops the 1 3/16 mile track, favored Nyquist hopes to take down the 141st Preakness Stakes for a shot at Triple Crown glory Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.
The National Weather Service’s prediction of 100 percent rain has rung true prior to the race, which would make for a second straight year of muddy conditions at the Preakness while the favorite guns for the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
Last year, American Pharoah dealt with an almost torrential downpour with rain coming from all directions to charge ahead for a seven-length Preakness victory. He, of course, went on to win the Belmont and the first Triple Crown in four decades, a feat Nyquist and his connections hope to repeat.
And while Nyquist hasn’t won in the slop before, trainer Doug O’Neill said he doesn’t believe the less than ideal conditions will affect his contender firing out of the No. 3 post. Nyquist has remained the betting favorite at 4/5 odds, which have steadily increased ever since he won the Kentucky Derby by 1 1/4 lengths two weeks ago at Churchill Downs.
"With a horse like Nyquist, I'm not overly concerned about the weather," O'Neill told reporters Friday. "As far as rain or shine, we're not going to change anything shoeing-wise He's going to wear the same shoes he's got on. We'd just love to have a beautiful day."
Still, according to reports the track was just listed as “muddy,” which does open the door for such competitors like Exaggerator at 9/5 odds, Collected at 13/1, and Stradivari at 7/1. The rest of the 11-deep field is littered with longshots, with Fellowship currently given the worst odds at 50/1.
— Gene Kershner (@EquiSpace) May 21, 2016
However, there are live reports that suggest some of the heavy rain has stopped.
Muddy doesn't quite cover it at Pimlico today, but at least the driving rain has stopped. pic.twitter.com/cVscKk4PjL
— Gerry Sandusky (@GerrySandusky) May 21, 2016
Post Time: 6:45 p.m. ET
Actual Start Time: It will take the 11 contenders and their jockeys some time to make it from their stalls to the starting gate, so the race should begin at roughly 7 p.m.
TV Channel: NBC
Live Stream: NBC Live Extra
Posts and Latest Odds For 2016 Preakness Stakes
No. 1 Cherry Wine 21/1
No. 2 Uncle Lino 40/1
No. 3 Nyquist 4/5
No. 4 Awesome Speed 45/1
No. 5 Exaggerator 9/5
No. 6 Lani 25/1
No. 7 Collected 13/1
No. 8 Laoban 60/1
No. 9 Abiding Star 30/1
No. 10 Fellowship 50/1
No. 11 Stradivari 7/1