Dreams can be fulfilled as quickly as they can be dashed at the Preakness Stakes for any connections hoping to saddle a Triple Crown thoroughbred. The last two years California Chrome and American Pharoah each built off awesome showings at the Kentucky Derby and secured victories at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, but many before them have faltered in pursuit of horse racing’s biggest prize.
Just three years ago, 15-1 Oxbow upset 3-5 favorite Orb. In 2011, 13-1 longshot Shackleford blew past the favored Animal Kingdom, and Fusaichi Pegasus was supposed to snap the Triple Crown drought in 2000 but fell to Red Bullet by 3 3/4 lengths.
And that’s just in the last 15 years.
History clearly isn’t kind to Derby winners at the Preakness, which isn’t something Nyquist trainer Doug O’Neill or owner Reddam Racing want to hear right know as they prep for Saturday’s race, but the seven longshots in this year’s projected field do have hope.
Using odds compiled by Sportsbook.ag, here are the biggest longshots in the 141st Preakness Stakes. Many skipped the Derby, which gives them two weeks of extra rest compared to 10/19 favorite Nyquist.
Sired by Demidoff, Fellowship has only two victories in 12 career starts and the last came in October. Still, he’s faced the best of the best over the last four months at the Fountain of Youth, Holy Bull, and Florida Derby, and Fellowship should be fresh after skipping the Kentucky Derby.
Uncle Lino 28/1
Eighteen days ago, Uncle Lino dashed away for the second victory of his career at the California Chrome Stakes, and in seven career starts he owns two wins, two runner-ups, and two third-places. Before the 1 1/16-mile California Chrome, Uncle Lino also placed behind Preakness contender Exaggerator and Derby contender Mor Spirit at the Santa Anita Derby (Grade 1).
Awesome Speed 30/1
With four wins in five starts, and the most recent at the Federicio Tesio on April 9, Awesome Speed stands out due to his success and his lineage. His sire, Awesome Again, won the 1998 Breeders Cup Classic.
A dreadful ninth place finish at Churchill Downs doesn’t bode well for trainer Mikio Matsunaga’s Lani, but the performance could’ve been an outlier. Sired by the famous Tapit, Lani took down the 1 3/16-mile UAE Derby roughly six weeks before pointing to Kentucky. That’s the same distance as the Preakness.
Like Nyquist, Laoban calls Uncle Mo is sire. Unforunately, he hasn’t strung together eight consecutive victories like his fellow foal. But Laoban has faced the likes Preakness contenders Cherry Wine and Collected in his last three races, and pulled off a fourth-place finish at the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) last month.
Abiding Star 40/1
Another Unclo Mo 3-year-old, Abiding Star has won four straight races including the Parx Derby 11 days ago and five of his seven career starts have been a mile or longer.