The field for the 147th running of the Preakness Stakes is set. The big story in Baltimore this year is that Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike is skipping the race and will focus on the Belmont Stakes. Thus no chance for a Triple Crown winner this year.
2nd place derby finisher, Epicenter, is the early favorite in this race. Epicenter went off as the Kentucky Derby favorite and had the lead until long-shot Rich Strike slipped by on the inside and stole the show.
The 2022 Preakness field has just 9 horses this year. Only Epicenter (2nd), Simplification (4th), and Happy Jack (14th) return from the Derby. Six new three year olds will get the chance to run in their first 2022 Triple Crown race.
|Brian Hernandez Jr.
|D. Wayne Lucas
|Irad Ortiz Jr.
|Saffie Joseph Jr.
One interesting horse to watch will be filly Secret Oath. She won this year’s Kentucky Oaks and has the speed to contend with the boys in this race. D. Wayne Lucas is hoping his girl can best the boys for his 15th Triple Crown race win.
There will likely be a first time Preakness winning jockey this year. Of the 9 riders only Tyler Gaffalione has a victory with his win in 2019 on War of Will.
Jockeys Joel Rosario and John Velazquez have 18 Preakness starts between them without a win. Will this be one of their years? Rosario will be riding the favorite Epicenter while Velazquez is on 6-1 shot Simplification.
I don’t look for a huge upset like the Derby for this race. The smaller field means less congestion and the faster horses should prevail. Simplification may be the one to beat Epicenter in the 2022 Preakness Stakes.
Enjoy the race!