A favorable post position has been counteracted by a less-than-stellar weather report as Nyquist’s odds of winning the 141st Preakness Stakes took a slight dip three days before Saturday’s race at Pimlico.
The Kentucky Derby winner and Uncle Mo colt stood as a 10/19 favorite before Wednesday’s post-position draw, and Nyquist is till the overall morning line favorite at 3/5 odds coming out of the No. 3 gate, according to Sportsbook.ag.
However, the weather forecast calls for rain to hit the Baltimore area for much of the day before the 6:45 p.m. ET post time, and the projected sloppy track could hinder Nyquist’s opportunity to secure the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
A potentially soaked and sloppy track has helped Exaggerator, who has lost to Nyquist four times already, improve his standing among oddsmakers. Big Chief Racing’s Curlin colt improved his odds from 15/4 to 3/1.
Nyquist did claim the Derby by 1 1/4 lengths two weeks ago, despite rain littering the 1 1/4 mile track 90 minutes before the start, and the Florida Derby track was wet before he galloped around for another victory last month.
Still, Nyquist hasn’t faced extremely muddy conditions before and that might allow Exaggerator to snap his four-race losing streak to the Triple Crown threat. Exaggerator has overcome the slop for three victories in his career: at the Santa Anita Derby (Grade 1), the $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes, and the Claiborne Breeders’ Furturity (G1).
Meanwhile, other contenders’ odds have risen and fallen in the last couple of days. Stradivari went from 13/2, just behind Nyquist and Exaggerator, to 7/1, Collected rose to 10/1 from 15/1 after Gun Runner’s connections decided to hold him out of the Preakness to instead focus on the summer.
"We're going to pass on the Preakness," Gun Runner trainer Steve Asmussen told BloodHorse.com Tuesday. "We're going to continue to train at Churchill and plan on a serious summer of 3-year-old races with him. He's been in tremendous physical condition going into the Derby and coming out of it, and we expect for him to continue to physically develop."
Posts and Odds to Win 141 st Preakness Stakes
Cherry Wine 20/1
Uncle Lino 20/1
Awesome Speed 32/1
Abiding Star 35/1