LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's been 21 years since post position three produced a winner in the Preakness. That didn't deter oddsmaker Keith Feustle from making California Chrome a 3-5 morning-line favorite for Saturday's second leg of the Triple Crown. Prairie Bayou was the last horse from post position three to win the mile and three-sixteenth test.
Trainer Art Sherman said starting from post three should not be a problem for his versatile colt. And while he's still a bit leery about running California Chrome back just two weeks after his Kentucky Derby triumph, he likes the way the horse has come back from the mile and a quarter race.
“It always bothers me coming back in two weeks, like I think it does most trainers,” Sherman told a group of reporters outside his Pimlico barn Wednesday. “It takes a horse a good 10 days to bounce out of a race good, but he’s holding his weight, which is a big factor. He’s eating good; he finished every oat last night. He seems to be thriving in this type of training, so I’m sure not changing anything. Let’s go for it.”
In fact Sherman estimates that California Chrome has put on 35 pounds since his Derby win 11 days ago.
“The challenge is there,” Sherman said. “I’m not one to run back in two weeks. I know it’s a tradition, but it’s hard on the horses. I can see where they have a lot of fresh shooters; they miss the Derby and then they come for you at the Preakness. It’s going to be even worse when I get to the mile-and-a-half race at the Belmont; they’re going to have a lot of horses in the wings waiting for me there.
“I’ve got to keep my horse happy and fresh and hope he’s in top shape. I don’t have to do much with him. He’s one of those horses that almost trains himself. He does what he has to do and you can see in the afternoon what he does. I don’t have to prove anything. He’s on a five-race winning streak. There is always pressure, but sometimes I look back at the races and he even blows my mind the way he moves away from the field – some good horses. I just keep my fingers crossed that he has a good trip.”
Steve Andress and Eric Crawford will be in Baltimore and begin their reports from Pimlico Thursday. Here's a look at the post positions with morning line odds for Saturday's race:
1. Dynamic Impact 12-1 2. General A Rod 15-1 3. California Chrome 3-5 4. Ring Weekend 20-1 5. Bayern 10-1 6. Ria Antonia 30-1 7. Kid Cruz 20-1 8. Social Inclusion 5-1 9. Pablo Del Monte 20-1 10. Ride On Curlin 10-1
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