Kentucky Derby winner Justify draws gate No. 7 for Preakness

By Robert Kieckhefer, UPI Racing Writer  |  Updated May 17, 2018 at 12:11 PM
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Kentucky Derby winner Justify drew gate No. 7 -- the same spot they had at Churchill Downs -- in an eight-horse field for Saturday's Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

Post positions are not nearly as important in the small field as in the 20-horse stampede from the gate that is the Derby. Nonetheless, the draw will require jockey Mike Smith to get a clean start to secure a decent run for Justify into the first turn at Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore.

"Anything here with eight horses, you can't get a bad draw," said Elliott Walden, president and CEO of WinStar Farms, co-owner of both Justify and Quip, who drew the inside post. China Horse Club, Starlight Racing and Head of Plains Partners also share in the two colts.

Justify seeks to become the 13th Triple Crown winner. His trainer, Bob Baffert, saddled the most recent sweep of the three races, that by American Pharoah in 2015. Before that, the most recent Triple Crown winner was Affirmed in 1978.

Jockey Mike Smith aboard Justify crossing the finish line to win the 144th Running of the Kentucky Derby on May 5 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Photo by Jason Szenes/UPI

Historically, Triple Crown sweeps have come in bunches -- Omaha in 1935 and War Admiral two years later; Whirlaway in 1941, Count Fleet in 1943, Assault in 1946 and Citation in 1948; Seattle Slew in 1977 and Affirmed the following year.

If Justify, a son of Scat Daddy, wins the Preakness, he next would have to conquer the 1 1/2-miles Belmont Stakes in New York three weeks later to claim the crown.

Good Magic, who finished second in Louisville, is back for another try. He drew stall No. 5 and trainer Chad Brown said, "I'm fine with the draw. We should be close early."

Justify, who remains undefeated after just four career starts, is the 1-2 morning-line favorite for the 1 3/16-miles Preakness. Good Magic is second on the morning line at 3-1 although Brown said earlier in the week that, to reverse the order of finish in the Derby, he would have to improve and Justify would have to regress.

All other Preakness entrants are posted at double-digit odds.

The field for the 144th running of the Preakness Stakes, with jockey, trainer and morning-line odds:

1. Quip, Florent Geroux, Rodolphe Brisset, 12-1 2. Lone Sailor, Irad Ortiz Jr., Tom Amoss, 15-1 3. Sporting Chance, Luis Contreras, D. Wayne Lukas, 30-1 4. Diamond King, Javier Castellano, John Servis, 30-1 5. Good Magic, Jose Ortiz, Chad Brown, 3-1 6. Tenfold, Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen, 20-1 7. Justify, Mike Smith, Bob Baffert, 1-2 8. Bravazo, Luis Saez, D. Wayne Lukas, 20-1

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