Kentucky Derby winner Justify gets outside position for Saturday’s Preakness
BALTIMORE — Having the Preakness favorite has never bothered Bob Baffert before, and it doesn’t bother him with Justify.
Coming off an impressive victory in the Kentucky Derby, Justify is the 1-2 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s second race of the Triple Crown in a field of eight horses. Derby runner-up Good Magic is the second choice at 3-1, but Justify is the horse to beat with the chance to give Baffert his seventh Preakness winner and a shot at a second Triple Crown in four years after American Pharoah did it in 2015.
Baffert is 4-0 in the Preakness with the Derby winner and doesn’t see any reason Justify doesn’t have another big run in him.
“I like being the favorite,” Baffert said Wednesday. “I don’t want to be 50-1. I like knowing that I have a chance to win.”
Justify already won on horse racing’s biggest stage when he held off a hard-charging Good Magic to capture the Derby on a muddy track at Churchill Downs. Rain is expected at Pimlico Race Course in the days leading up to the Preakness and on race day, which could set up a similar scenario to how jockey Mike Smith took Justify out to the lead before the final turn and pulled away.
Baffert won the Derby and Preakness with Silver Charm in 1997, Real Quiet in 1998, War Emblem in 2002 along with American Pharoah.
Justify will face three other challengers from the Derby — Good Magic, Lone Sailor and Bravazo — and four horses who skipped it to point to the Preakness — Quip, Tenfold, Sporting Chance and Diamond King.