BALTIMORE - A five-motorcycle police escort led four vans carrying nine Preakness runners from Baltimore-Washington International Airport to Pimlico Race Course yesterday.

Arrival time was 3:40 p.m, and about 90 minutes later they were assigned post positions for Saturday's race. Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver looked terrific as he bounced toward his stall in the stakes barn, and trainer Todd Pletcher likes his No. 8 spot in the gate.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

"I really don't think post position is that important in a 12-horse field with a long run to the first turn,'' Pletcher said. "But I think the 8 is very good. It will give Calvin [Borel] a chance to survey the situation.''

Track oddsmaker Frank Carulli made Super Saver the 5-2 favorite and Lookin At Lucky (post 7) the 3-1 second choice. Paddy O'Prado (9-2, post 10) was the only other one below 10-1, with Northern Giant (4) and Yawanna Twist (5) the biggest prices at 30-1. Dublin (12) and Caracortado (9) were 10-1, Jackson Bend (6) 12-1, Schoolyard Dreams (2) 15-1 and First Dude (11), Pleasant Prince (3) and Aikenite (1) 20-1.

All but Dublin, Northern Giant and Schoolyard Dreams were on a flight that left Louisville at noon. Dublin and Northern Giant checked in Tuesday, and Schoolyard Dreams is scheduled to ship in Friday from Monmouth Park.

Hurricane Ike was withdrawn Wednesday morning with an unspecified injury to his left hind leg.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The forecast for Saturday is sunny with a high temperature of 75.