Saturday was payday for people who put their horse betting money on Exaggerator to win the Preakness Stakes. Although Nyquist was the odds-on favorite to win the race, he was unsuccessful in his bid to win the Triple Crown and finished third behind Cherry Wine. On a sloppy but sealed track, Nyquist couldn’t keep up with the early pace set by Uncle Lino. He led briefly at the 1/2 mile pole, but by the stretch he faded, and Exaggerator won by3 1⁄2 lengths. Cherry Wine had hit his head on the starting gate and was second-to-last for much of the race but saved ground on the rail and rallied in the stretch to take second place over Nyquist by a nose.
Three-year old colt Exaggerator has finished in the top 5 five times and has won four times in his 10 races. In any other circumstances he would be the horse betting odds-on favorites, but the Preakness Stakes he has to settle for playing underdog to Nyquist, the actual favorite for people who bet on horses. Heavy rain – like, actual liquid water in the form of droplets that have condensed from atmospheric water vapor and become heavy enough to fall under gravity, not a horse called Heavy Rain – is in the forecast for Saturday, May 21st, when the 141st Preakness will be run.
Well, of course he has a name. In fact, he is named after a musical instrument make active during the 17th and 18th centuries. But he has not made a name for himself yet. That all may change, however, on May 21st at the Preakness Stakes. In addition to obvious horse betting favorite Nyquist and Exaggerator – favorite to in the category of “horses who would win Preakness in an alternative reality where Nyquist doesn’t exist” – the most often repeated name among people who bet on horses is that of Stradivari. Why is that?
Cherry Wine may have drawn post 1 in the Preakness Stakes, but Nyquist remains the horse betting favorite for the second leg of the Triple Crown – to be raced this Saturday 21st. The draw for the race was held on May 18th and went thusly:
Like any good sequel, the Preakness Stakes – the second leg of the Triple Crown Championship – will feature returning characters. First and foremost, fan and horse betting favorite, our hero, Nyquist. Also, we of course have the Rochefort to Nyquist’s D’Artagnan, Exaggerator. Lani has also been confirmed, while Gun Runner has not been ruled out. But it is the new additions to the cast that our protagonist has to keep an eye out on. At least eight new shooters – horses who did not run in the Kentucky Derby – will attempt to give Nyquist a run for his money – or rather his owner’s money (horses have no use for currency as opposed to people who bet on horses).
A horse – who happens to be called Exaggerator – walks into a racetrack – say, Pimlico Race Course – and is asked, “why the long face?” And he says, “because Nyquist is already here.” Seriously though, it appears as if the fate of the Kentucky Derby winner and Triple Crown horse betting favorite Nyquist and his perennial runner-up Exaggerator is to fulfill the roles of Achilles and the tortoise – or the Coyote and the Roadrunner, to put it in terms anyone can understand. Exaggerator seems doomed to always be two steps behind Nyquist, whether in competition – where he has already lost four times to the undefeated colt – or even if they’re just commuting from one place to another.
Suddenbreakingnews and Brody’s Cause will skip the Preakness Stakes and wait for the Belmont Stakes. The horse betting landscape for the second race of the Thoroughbred Triple Crown has thus cleared space for new participants, though not for new favorites – undefeated colt and Kentucky Derby champion remains the choice for people who bet on horses. The only equines that weren’t shell-shocked enough by what transpired at the Run of the Roses to be crazy enough – crazy as a horses – to want to take on Nyquist again are Exaggerator and Lani, and maybe Gun Runner too.
Few people would bet on horses other than Nyquist in the Preakness Stakes, and few horses would bet on themselves either. Most of the Preakness field could be comprised of Kentucky Derby rejects, as well as others that skipped the Run of the Roses by choice. That group includes Cherry Wine and Laoban, which failed to scratch in and wounded up in the list of also-eligibles for the Derby, as well as Awesome Speed, Collected, Stradivari, and Uncle Lino. An exception is Exaggerator, whose trainer Keith Desormeaux said he would come back in the Preakness, while Gun Runner’s and Creator’s trainer Steve Asmussen said he would wait until later on before making up his mind for the Preakness, even though he didn’t sound too eager to defy horse betting odds again by facing Nyquist.
Early Preakness betting odds put the eight-race undefeated Nyquist against the field. The colt's victory at the Kentucky Derby on Saturday has trainer Doug O'Neill's horse as a heavy favorite to repeat his success at Pimlico Race Course on May 21st in Baltimore. Exaggerator, the runner-up behind Nyquist on Saturday, is also second on the odds board. As of Monday, according Exaggerator and Lani are the only early returns from Churchill Downs that will be racing in Baltimore in addition to Nyquist. Laoban and Cherry Wine are scheduled to run at Pimlico though they did not participate in the Run of the Roses. Regardless of who runs, Nyquist should be leading the charge when it’s all said and done.