Derby, Oaks winners face off in Preakness

May 13, 2009 at 3:36 PM
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BALTIMORE, May 13 (UPI) -- Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird and Kentucky Oaks winner Rachel Alexandra headline a field of 13 entered for Saturday's Preakness Stakes.

The second jewel of Thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown, run at historic Pimlico Race Course, also includes the second-, third- and fourth-place Derby finishers, Pioneerof the Nile, Musket Man and Papa Clem. Also running Saturday is beaten Derby favorite, Friesan Fire.

Rachel Alexandra ran away with the Oaks on the day before the Derby, winning by 20 1/4 lengths. Mine That Bird scored by 6 3/4 lengths in the Derby. Calvin Borel rode both winners and has opted to stay aboard the filly in the Preakness. Mike Smith will take over the reins for Mine That Bird.

Early in the week, Mine That Bird's owner discussed trying to freeze Rachel Alexandra out of the Preakness by entering other colts in to the field, which has a maximum of 14 starters. He later backed off the idea. Rachel Alexandra becomes the first Oaks winner ever to run in the Preakness.

Post Positions will be drawn Wednesday night for the 1 3/16-mile Preakness. The third jewel of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, will be run June 6 at Belmont Park in New York.

The last horse to sweep the Triple Crown was Affirmed in 1978.

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