Before the post positions are announced, American Pharoah’s odds have dipped with three days left until the 140th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. The post draw takes place Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET, and depending on where the Kentucky Derby winner is slotted and the prognostications of bettors, his odds could slide either way.
According to the latest odds from Bovada.lv, American Pharoah, trained by Bob Baffert, went from 5/8 to 2/3, and is still considered the favorite after trainer Todd Pletcher pulled all four of his competitors.
Originally, sixth-place Derby finisher Materiality at 16/1 and 10th-place finisher Carpe Diem at 14/1 were viewed as two of American Pharoah’s biggest threats in the field, but according to The Courier-Journal, Pletcher is exercising caution.
"We were considering it very seriously. Basically, it came down to we just felt two weeks was a little bit risky," Pletcher said. "We felt five weeks to the Belmont would be an advantage for him. He's been at Belmont since two days after the Derby and has been training well. He's by a Belmont-winning sire. If you come back in two weeks and you turn out to be wrong, not only could you not run well in the Preakness, it could compromise your chances in the Belmont as well."
The seven-time Eclipse Award winner typically doesn’t run his thoroughbreds on only two weeks rest, with his Competitive Edge and Stanford also pulled from the Preakness. The Journal reported Carpe Diem could be headed for the Belmont, the third and final jewel of the Triple Crown taking place on June 6.
As for the seven contenders projected to race, Derby runner-up Firing Line saw his line move from 5/1 to 17/4, and third-place Derby finisher Dortmund went from 11/2 to 9/2. Trainer Mark E. Casse’s Danzig Moon is the fourth contender who also raced a Churchill Downs, where he came in fifth.
The alternate as of now appears to be Grand Bili, who’s never appeared in a stakes race and no longer than seven furlongs. He joins Tale of Verve and Bodhisattva as 50/1 longshots.
It’s a much smaller field than we’ve come to expect at Pimlico. Horse racing fans have to go all the way back to 1986 for the last time only seven contenders were in the Preakness field. That year Snow Chief edged out Derby-victor Ferdinand.
There still is a slim chance another contender enters the field. The Triple Crown rules state a horse must be stabled at Pimlico by noon ET on Thursday in order to be eligible.
American Pharoah 2/3
Firing Line 17/4
Danzig Moon 14/1
Divining Rod 14/1
Tale of Verve 50/1
Grand Bili 50/1