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Sunday , 24 June 2018
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Justify attempts repeat in Preakness

Justify will try to repeat his easy Kentucky Derby win in tomorrow’s Preakness at Pimlico in Baltimore, Maryland. The Preakness is the second race in the American Triple Crown. The trip is 1 3/16 miles, a sixteenth of a mile shorter than the Kentucky Derby. Justify is the odds-on favourite in the field of eight. One question mark surrounds Justify.  After the Derby he developed a bruised heel. However, even if he is not at one hundred per cent, Justify would look to have the beating of the others. Mike Smith again takes the ride for trainer Bob Baffert.

The only real threats to Justify’s dominance come from horses who also ran in the Derby. Three other horses in the field are also coming out of the Derby. Good Magic finished second in Kentucky and has every chance of running in the first three again. He is the 3/1 second choice for trainer Chad Brown and jockey Jose Ortiz.

Another sloppy track for Justify

With a field of 20, many Derby also-rans endure rough trips in the race. In a horse with otherwise good form, a poor performance in the Derby can often be overlooked.

As in the Derby, the track for the Preakness is likely to be sloppy. Lone Sailor finished eighth in the Derby after a troubled trip. However, his only win in nine lifetime starts came on a sloppy track. He should find this smaller field easier to handle. Irad Ortiz, Jr., brother of Jose Ortiz and one of America’s top riders, takes the ride. He will be riding Lone Sailor for the first time. This rider change looks key.  Tom Amoss is the trainer.

Neither Bravazo, who ran sixth in the Derby after being bumped at the start, nor any the four others who didn’t run in the Derby, look capable of troubling the heavy favourite Justify.

 

About Chris Pitt

Chris Pitt is a racing historian and freelance journalist. He has written three books including 'A Long Time Gone', chronicling Britain's lost racecourses, and 'Go Down to the Beaten', stories of jockeys who didn't win the Grand National. He founded the Midlands Racing Club and was formerly racing correspondent for BBC Radio WM.

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