After claiming the first leg of the Triple Crown event with a victory in the Kentucky Derby, the next test for the American Pharaoh is the 140th Preakness Stakes slated for May 16th. With nearly 50 years gone without a Triple Crown winner, can the American Pharaoh take advantage of being the horse betting odds favorite to win the three-tier event by bagging another crucial victory this weekend, or will we have another spoilsport from the other contenders? Let’s find out by looking at the American Pharoah, its horse racing odds to win the Preakness, its past accolades, and what we think about its chances to lift the Triple Crown.
Taking a Look at the 2015 Preakness Horse Betting Odds on American Pharoah
Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah closes his eyes for a bath after training for the 140th Preakness Stakes. pic.twitter.com/JVgtbOv3hR
— ESPN (@espn) May 14, 2015
Background Profile of the American Pharaoh and Horse Racing Lines
Owner/ Breeder: Zayat Stables
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Jockey: Victor Espinoza
Awards: American Champion Two-Year-Old Male Horse
Odds to Win the 2015 Preakness Stakes: 4-5
Major Wins: Kentucky Derby 2015, Arkansas Derby 2015, Rebel Stakes 2015, FrontRunner Stakes 2014, Del
Mar Futurity 2014
Since finishing at No. 5 in his career debut, American Pharaoh has bounced back and risen to become one of the hottest winning picks for horse race betting enthusiasts, putting together a 5-race winning streak by a combined 23¼ lengths. In his last race, the Kentucky Derby, the three-year trained colt breezed to a comfortable win, beating his closest competitor by a full length to earn a career-best 111 Equibase Speed Figure.
Reasons Why American Pharaoh Can Win the Preakness Stakes 2015
Previous Kentucky Derby winners have proved to be formidable competitors (and winners) in the Preakness Stakes. For instance, two of the last three Derby winners (California Chrome and I’ll Have Another) have gone on to claim the Preakness. In addition, the Colt’s jockey Victor Espinoza has won the Preakness in two of the three times he has won at the Kentucky Derby, and he was the rider on California Chrome when he went for the double in 2014.
Also, his trainer Bob Baffert is a Hall of Famer with a proven winning track record, same as his owner-breeder Zayat Stables. If you add up all that, American Pharaoh strongly figures to be a hot favorite to claim the win this weekend
Trainer Bob Baffert has won the Kentucky Derby four times, and three of the four horses (Silver Charm, 1997, Real Quiet, 1998, and War Emblem, 2002) went on to win the Preakness Stakes as well. In total, Baffert has won the Preakness Stakes five times, with Point Given (2001) and Lookin At Lucky (2010) joining the above-mentioned trio of dual classic winners.
Most worryingly, the No. 1 post assigned to American Pharaoh for the Preakness is not the best of starting positions, as only one of the last 54 Preakness winners have bagged a win from that post. Speaking about the post, 5-time Preakness winner Baffert said “I never like the 1 hole.” The trainer went on and said “That’s the first time I’ve ever drawn the rail here. I’ve been so lucky. You don’t like to see it, but if he’s the best horse we’ll find out.”
In order to beat the odds, Espinoza will thus need to adopt a different running style than the one used in the Kentucky Derby, where the American Thoroughbred Colt tracked Firing Lane and Dortmund from outside before sweeping past them in final stretch of the race. Moreover, the Preakness Stakes will be the American Pharaoh’s quest for a fourth win in 9 weeks after a 5½-month layoff, so fatigue could be an issue based on the cramped schedule.
Final Betting Remarks
Though the No. 1 post is unfavorable for the Bay-colored colt, the field of eight runners (which is the smallest field to enter the Preakness since 2000) should work some sort of advantage to American Pharaoh and even out the competition. After all, entering the Kentucky race, no horse had ever won the Derby from the No. 17 spot where American Pharaoh had been drawn, but that didn’t stop him from cruising to victory. Achieving a similar feat in the No. 1 post, however challenging as it looks, should therefore be possible for this streaking horse, shouldn’t it?