BALTIMORE — Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome was made the odds-on favorite at 3-5 on Wednesday for the Preakness Stakes, and he drew an inside post position in the 10-horse field that includes a filly for the first time in five years.
Trained by Art Sherman and ridden by Victor Espinoza, California Chrome will break from the No. 3 post, which has produced 10 winners in the previous 138 runnings of the 1 3/16-mile race, the last being Prairie Bayou in 1993.
“Three is fine with me,” Sherman said. “Most of the speed is on the outside of me. If they go, they go, I can tuck in right behind them without any problems. I think my horse will perform.”
So does California Chrome’s co-owner, Steve Coburn, who dared to look ahead.
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“One race at a time,” he said, “but I’m still thinking Triple Crown.”
If California Chrome wins Saturday, next up would be the Belmont Stakes on June 7. Only 11 horses have swept the Derby, Preakness and Belmont, and none since 1978.
California Chrome brings a five-race winning streak into the Preakness, having won that many by a combined 26 lengths.
Speedster Social Inclusion was the 5-1 second choice of new Pimlico oddsmaker Keith Feustle. The colt drew the No. 8 post. He skipped the Kentucky Derby and is one of seven new horses lining up to challenge California Chrome.
Bayern and Ride On Curlin are the co-third choices at 10-1. Bayern, who drew the No. 5 post, is trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, who is seeking a sixth Preakness win. Rosie Napravnik will ride the colt, trying to become the first female jockey to win the race.
Calvin Borel will ride the filly Ria Antonia, who is the longest shot in the field at 30-1. Ria Antonia finished sixth in the Kentucky Oaks.
• Extremely dry conditions and temperatures over 100 degrees led officials to cancel racing at Santa Anita on Thursday. The forecast calls for a high of 108 degrees, which would set a record in Arcadia, Calif.