Jockey John Velazquez riding Authentic gallops to the finish line to win the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Darron Cummings/Associated Press

In a matter of hours, the Preakness Stakes will bring down the curtain on the 2020 Triple Crown season.

Race organizers were probably bemoaning their bad luck as the Kentucky Derby unfolded. Authentic not only derailed Tiz the Law’s Triple Crown quest but also gave the Belmont Stakes winner little reason to make the trip to Baltimore.

Tiz the Law isn’t running in the Preakness, with his team instead focusing on the Breeders’ Cup Classic in November. That leaves Authentic as the clear favorite in the 11-horse field.

                       

Post Positions

  • 1. Excession (30-1)
  • 2. Mr. Big News (12-1)
  • 3. Art Collector (5-2)
  • 4. Swiss Skydiver (6-1)
  • 5. Thousand Words (6-1)
  • 6. Jesus’ Team (30-1)
  • 7. Ny Traffic (15-1)
  • 8. Max Player (15-1)
  • 9. Authentic (9-5)
  • 10. Pneumatic (20-1)
  • 11. Liveyourbeastlife (30-1)

Odds courtesy of the Preakness Stakes.

                  

Race Predictions

  • Win: Authentic ($900,000)
  • Place: Ny Traffic ($300,000)
  • Show: Thousand Words ($165,000)

           

As the odds illustrate, Authentic and Art Collector are commanding the lion’s share of attention heading into the race.

In addition to his Derby triumph , Authentic reeled off victories in the Sham, San Felipe and Haskell Stakes while running second to Honor A. P. in the Santa Anita Derby. Art Collector took first place in both of his graded stakes events this year (Blue Grass Stakes and Ellis Park Derby).

If recent history is any indicator, though, the likelihood of those two going first and second is slim.

The length of the race is likely one reason for that—a level of parity is inevitable when the track only runs 1 3/16 miles.

And Ny Traffic could do enough to ruin one or both of Authentic’s and Art Collector’s days.

The three-year-old came second in the Louisiana Derby, Matt Winn Stakes and Haskell Stakes prior to a disappointing eighth-placed showing at Churchill Downs. His run was most notable for an early bump on Honor A. P. that effectively took the Derby contender out of the race.

The trio of runner-up finishes serve as a testament to Ny Traffic’s ability, though.

Like Authentic, Thousand Words gets the Bob Baffert bump. He has trained seven horses who went on to win the Preakness Stakes.

Thousand Words went nice,” the legendary trainer said of the colt’s first training session at Pimlico, per Bob Ehalt of BloodHorse. “He’s always been a nice horse.”

Thousand Words was a late scratch from the Derby after rearing up in the paddock before the race. That could work to his benefit for his first Triple Crown showcase since he will be a little fresher.

Authentic is the favorite for a reason, but nobody would be too surprised to see him fall short Saturday.

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