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Preakness 2015 analysis

Newsday's Ed McNamara provides his analysis of the 2015 Preakness field. The race will take place Saturday, May 16, 2015 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

AMERICAN PHAROAH

AMERICAN PHAROAHTrainer: Bob BaffertJockey: Victor EspinozaRecord: 6-5-0-0Last 3:
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Chris Graythen

AMERICAN PHAROAH

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: Victor Espinoza

Record: 6-5-0-0

Last 3: 1-1-1

Saddle cloth No. 1

Odds: 4-5

Comment: Those who prematurely anointed him the next super horse didn't think he'd have to be fully extended to take the Derby. Showed grit and class in the first fight of his career after four straight runaways. The big question: Did the stretch duel with Firing Line take too much out of him, or will Pharoah move forward? Nine of the last 18 Derby winners repeated in the Preakness. He's the horse to beat again, but like most Derby heroes, will offer no betting value at Pimlico, and being down on the rail is no bargain.

DORTMUND

DORTMUNDTrainer: Bob BaffertJockey: Martin GarciaRecord: 7-6-0-1Last 3: 3-1-1Saddle
Photo Credit: AP

DORTMUND

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: Martin Garcia

Record: 7-6-0-1

Last 3: 3-1-1

Saddle cloth No. 2

Odds: 7-2

Comment: Faded in the final furlong after dueling Firing Line to upper stretch through moderate fractions. Might be better with a target in front of him, because he won his first three starts that way. Maybe his slight attack of colic the week before the Derby took something out of him and he'll run better this time. It was only his first loss, so give him another chance. Still a strong contender, and his odds may be more generous than they should be.

MR. Z

MR. ZTrainer: D. Wayne LukasJockey: Corey NakataniRecord: 13-1-4-4Last
Photo Credit: AP / Garry Jones

MR. Z

Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas

Jockey: Corey Nakatani

Record: 13-1-4-4

Last 3: 13-3-9

Saddle cloth No. 3

Odds: 20-1

Comment: Checked repeatedly early in the Derby, which kept him from showing his usual speed. Field's most experienced runner, not a plus considering his 12 straight losses, but he has been second four times and third four times in stakes. Sold Wednesday to Calumet Farm by Ahmed Zayat, who owns American Pharoah. Likely pace casualty could make a significant impact if he puts early pressure on Pharoah and Dortmund, posted inside him.

DANZIG MOON

DANZIG MOONTrainer: Mark CasseJockey: Julien LeparouxRecord: 6-1-2-0Last 3:
Photo Credit: AP / Garry Jones

DANZIG MOON

Trainer: Mark Casse

Jockey: Julien Leparoux

Record: 6-1-2-0

Last 3: 5-2-4

Saddle cloth No. 4

Odds: 15-1

Comment: Had a rough trip in the Derby (bumped, steadied), yet still was a respectable fifth. If the pace is faster, he should be coming on late, but he's 0-for-3 in stakes, with only a maiden win. Career highlight was a distant second to Carpe Diem in the Blue Grass, so maybe he's just a teaser who gives the illusion he's better than he is. Might fit underneath if you're playing exotics, but a win bet would be a major reach.

TALE OF VERVE

TALE OF VERVETrainer: Dallas StewartJockey: Joel RosarioRecord: 6-1-1-2Last
Photo Credit: AP / Garry Jones

TALE OF VERVE

Trainer: Dallas Stewart

Jockey: Joel Rosario

Record: 6-1-1-2

Last 3: 1-2-4

Saddle cloth No. 5

Odds: 30-1

Comment: Didn't draw in from the also-eligible list for the Derby, which was good, because he had no business being considered for it. Doesn't belong in the Preakness, either. Stewart's Derby long shots Golden Soul (2013) and Commanding Curve (2014) ran second, but this guy has no shot.

BODHISATTVA

BODHISATTVATrainer: Jose ContrerasJockey: Trevor McCarthyRecord: 11-3-1-4Last 3: 1-2-4Saddle
Photo Credit: AP

BODHISATTVA

Trainer: Jose Contreras

Jockey: Trevor McCarthy

Record: 11-3-1-4

Last 3: 1-2-4

Saddle cloth No. 6

Odds: 20-1

Comment: Maryland-based colt won a stakes at Pimlico, which is about all he has to recommend him. Named for a Buddhist term meaning "enlightened one." Unlike the Buddha, he's a lightweight, and thinking he can beat top 3-year-olds shows an absence of cosmic insight. Ran fifth last fall at Aqueduct in the Remsen, his only graded stakes. Continues the Preakness tradition of local no-hopers who clutter the field.

DIVINING ROD

DIVINING RODTrainer: Arnaud DelacourJockey: Javier CastellanoRecord: 5-2-1-2Last 3:
Photo Credit: AP / Garry Jones

DIVINING ROD

Trainer: Arnaud Delacour

Jockey: Javier Castellano

Record: 5-2-1-2

Last 3: 1-3-2

Saddle cloth No. 7

Odds: 12-1

Comment: Didn't beat much in Keeneland's Lexington Stakes after running third behind subsequent Derby flop Carpe Diem in Tampa Bay Derby. Eligible to improve for Lael Stables, owner of the ill-fated Barbaro, who broke down in 2006 Preakness after dominating the Derby. Could slip into the triple with a perfect trip if one of the top three has a bad day.

FIRING LINE

FIRING LINETrainer: Simon CallaghanJockey: Gary StevensRecord: 6-2-4-0Last 3:
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andy Lyons

FIRING LINE

Trainer: Simon Callaghan

Jockey: Gary Stevens

Record: 6-2-4-0

Last 3: 2-1-2

Saddle cloth No. 8

Odds: 4-1

Comment: Expended the most energy and probably ran the best of any horse in the Derby, dueling with Dortmund and putting him away before American Pharoah pounced. Then he fought hard before going down by a length. So, will the effort knock him out or do a lot of good? Finally finished ahead of Dortmund, but he's 0-for-3 (all seconds) against top company. Maybe the Preakness will be his breakthrough, or maybe he's an "almost" type. Regardless, he's a solid contender.

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