The 2016 Preakness Stakes field is set.
Undefeated Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist leads the field of 11 horses that make up the 2016 Preakness Stakes and will run from the No. 3 post position on Saturday at Pimlico. The 2-year-old looks to continue his historic run this weekend after posting the fastest Kentucky Derby time (2:01.31) in 13 years and becoming the only undefeated champion to win "The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports" since 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew.
Nyquist is expected to gallop the Preakness Stakes track on Thursday and Friday in preparation for the second leg of the Triple Crown. Famed trainer Bob Baffert, who trained last year's Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and will saddle Collected in the No. 7 post this weekend, told the Courier-Journal this week that it will be difficult for anyone to stop Nyquist's eight-race winning streak.
"He's really fast. He stays out of trouble. He has a winning attitude. Horses like that, they're tough to – it's like, 'Pass me to win.' I've always thought he reminded me of Smarty Jones."
That's pretty strong company. If you'll recall, Smarty Jones won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes back in 2004 and just missed out on the Triple Crown, losing by just a length at the Belmont Stakes by Birdstone. Nyquist's victory at the Kentucky Derby was by one-and-one-fourth lengths over Exaggerator, who will be in the field this week to take his fifth shot at dethroning the Derby champ. There are many in the horse racing world, including NBC analyst Randy Moss, who believe that these are the only two horses that have a chance to win the 2016 Preakness Stakes.
"The Preakness looks like a two-horse race between Nyquist and Exaggerator. Nyquist has beaten Exaggerator all four times they've been in the same race. But Exaggerator is good enough to capitalize if Nyquist is compromised by a slow start or traffic trouble or simply just isn't at his best for a variety of reasons."
Obviously, Nyquist and Exaggerator won't be the only two horses running on Saturday. They'll be joined by Abiding Star, Awesome Speed, Cherry Wine, the aforementioned Collected, Fellowship, Lani, Laoban, Stradivari, and Uncle Lino. Lani was the only other horse besides Nyquist and Exaggerator in the Kentucky Derby field. Here are the post positions for the 2016 Preakness Stakes.
The morning line odds for the 2016 Preakness Stakes have Nyquist listed as a 3-5 favorite, which basically means that it would take a $10 bet to win $16. It also means that oddsmakers have given him a 62.5 percent chance to win. Exaggerator enters at 3-1 (25 percent chance to win) and Stradivari is the only other horse that enters the 2016 Preakness Stakes with better than 10-1 odds, coming in at 8-1 (11 percent chance to win).
[Photo by Jim Dietz/Getty Images]