The 141 Preakness Stakes is restricted to only 14 Preakness Stakes runners and will run on Saturday, May 21, 2016, for the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Here is the latest look at Lani, one of the contenders for the 2016 Preakness Stakes to be run at Pimlico Race Course.
Owner: Koji Maeda
Trainer: Mikio Matsunaga
Pedigree: Tapit – Heavenly Romance, by Sunday Silence
Last Race Result: 9th Place, Kentucky Derby (5/7/16)
History has once again repeated itself. The UAE Derby winner is given 100 Derby Points towards qualification for the Run for the Roses, but it would be fair of horse racing enthusiasts to ask why that should be the case. Never has a winner of the premier three-year old race in Dubai gone on to win the Kentucky Derby, nor has a winner of said race even won a Triple Crown race. Heck, just placing in the money in a Triple Crown race is insanely rare for UAE Derby winners or any international colts for that matter.
Lani never had a shot at the Derby. He clearly looked the part of the most nervous horse in the field in front of the second biggest crowd in Kentucky Derby history, and those nerves were parlayed into a horrid start which saw him bumped just a bit and ultimately pushed eight-wide in spite of the fact that he drew a good post in the No. 8 slot.
Those who are set to support the Japanese pony in the Preakness will point to the fact that Lani closed strong and made it up from the back of the pack to ninth, but sadly for him, there isn't a colt headed to Pimlico in all likelihood which he finished in front of at the Kentucky Derby.
There are some things to like about Lani for sure, though. He's got great breeding in him for distance, and he showed that at the Kentucky Derby when he ran a very wide race and ultimately still looked like he had plenty left in the tank at the end of the day. If stamina isn't an issue, running against a field of horses, most of which ran on Derby Day in some respect, might play into his hands.
However, Lani never did train well at Churchill Downs even though he made his way to America just days after winning the UAE Derby. We don't expect that to change at Pimlico.
Even though you can get a relatively high price right now of +2500 on Lani to win the Preakness Stakes, we just can't imagine that's worthwhile, especially without knowing whether this field will fill up or not. If you're a believer that Lani can buck the trend and reach the line first at Pimlico on May 21, we suggest just waiting until the morning line odds come out. Surely at that point, you'll still be able to get at least a price of 20 to 1, if not significantly high.
Even so, there are more horses with better promise who could surprise at the Preakness Stakes. With his poor showing at the Kentucky Derby, we can't imagine Lani is in for a shocking showcase in the second leg of the Triple Crown.
With a maximum of 14 horses accepted into the Preakness Stakes field, there is a significant vetting process to qualify the horses among this group of three-year olds. Horses which finished in the Top 5 at the Kentucky Derby are automatically eligible, while the remaining slots are awarded based on career earnings in both graded stakes races and restricted races.
The Road to the Preakness Stakes ended with the day of racing at the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 7, though the Preakness Stakes field won't be finalized until the post draw on Wednesday, May 18.
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