It’s D-Day for Rachel Alexandra and jockey Calvin Borel as they head into today’s 134th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico as the people’s choice to win. This morning Planet Hollywood listed the prize filly as an 8-5 favorite going out of the 13 post in a field of 13 at the Maryland track.
“It puts a new player in the game and certainly it’s great for racing,” said Vic Vivio, supervisor and horse race analyst at Palace Station. “The fact that Borel picked her over Mine That Bird shows us something.”
Borel rode Mine That Bird to a stunning 6½ length victory in the Derby at odds of 50-1. Lucky’s Race & Sports Books has a prop bet of +1500 (15-1 odds) that Mine That Bird will win the Triple Crown and -2700 (1-27) that he won’t. Mine That Bird, now ridden by Mike Smith, was listed at 6-1 going from the 2 post.
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Other contenders figure to be No. 9 Pioneerof The Nile (second in the Derby) No. 5 Friesan Fire (no factor after a rough Derby ride), No. 3 Musket Man (third in the Derby), No. 7 Papa Clem (fourth in the Derby) and newcomer Big Drama out of the 1 post (two Stakes wins). For bettors who like long shots and gaming phrases, there’s No. 11 Take The Points at 30-1 on the morning line.
Around town, the Suncoast in Summerlin will be handing out $2,000 over seven drawings during Saturday’s race card at Pimlico. Race and sports manager Eddie Ricca said that there would be six $250 drawings starting at 2 p.m. The big drawing for $500 will take place five minutes after the Preakness results are declared official. “I like the family tie with Musket Man, the girl Rachel and Papa Clem,” Ricca said.
The M Resort will again be having in-race wagering and prop bets similar to two weeks ago for the Kentucky Derby. Race and sports supervisor Mike Colbert said that in-race wagering will be taken all the way up to when the horses reach the 16th pole. The props involve Rachel Alexandra vs the field (Rachel +170, field -200) and the Rachel-Pioneerof The Nile combo vs the field (-110 both ways).
“We expect an even bigger handle for the Preakness,” Colbert said. “The people who were here for the Derby and experienced in-race wagering now know it’s available for other races. A lot of people are interested to see if the filly can beat the boys.”
Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Mark Mayer