The 142 Preakness Stakes is restricted to only 14 Preakness Stakes runners and will run on Saturday, May 20, 2017, for the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Here is the latest look at Hence, one of the contenders for the 2017 Preakness Stakes to be run at Pimlico Race Course.
Owner: Calumet Farm
Trainer: Steven Asmussen
Pedigree: Street Boss – Floating Island, by A.P. Indy
Last Race Result: 11th Place, Kentucky Derby, 5/6/17
Hence has been an interesting pony to try to figure out over the years. He was a 24 to 1 longshot at the Southwest Stakes and finished seventh, then was entered in the Sunland Derby and pulled off a big upset as an 11 to 1 shot while posting a 103 Beyer Speed Rating. His Kentucky Derby? It wasn't great for sure. He finished 11th and never really had any foothold in the race after a poor start.
Now, Hence is once again a 15 to 1 choice at the Preakness Stakes and could be in for a real uphill battle against what should be a really good field in the second leg of the Triple Crown.
The one thing we know about Hence is that he could put this all together at some point and manage a fantastic race. You don't run a 103 Beyer Speed Rating as a three-year old pony on accident, and if you do it once, you've got the ability to do it again. Granted, 103 isn't going to be a good enough number to win the second leg of the Triple Crown, but it likely would be good enough to put Hence on the board if he was to replicate that.
That said, the idea of replication is a bit farfetched when you consider how bad the rest of his races have been. The rest of the Beyers in Hence's career? 73, 82, 83, 86, 86, 80. Yikes. That's the stuff that ungraded stakes race horses are made of, not colts who are expected to challenge in Grade 1 Triple Crown races.
So why is Hence ultimately getting so much love from early sharp bettors? It's really because we know what this horse can do when he gets himself out of trouble. He's really been in a brutal amount of trouble in virtually every race he's run in his career, including at the Derby when he had a bit of a sluggish start and got boxed in a bit on the rail. He was forced four wide at the Southwest Stakes and has had starts in which he has stumbled, bobbled and been bumped – and yes, those are three separate races.
If you're going to go under the logic that you're going to get a good race in your eventually, why not now for Hence? He's going to come out of the proverbial parking lot in a race that is chock full of speed, and that might be good for him if the leaders early on end up tiring themselves out in the last quarter mile or so.
Furthermore, we know that the breeding here is legitimately of championship quality. Street Boss makes for a great sire, while A.P. Indy is only two generations down on his dam's bloodlines. Let's remember that Street Boss also sired the 2016 Kentucky Oaks winner, and he did so to Danza, the 2014 Arkansas Derby winner.
Winning is definitely in Hence's blood, but we're going under the assumption that we want to see him ultimately win a race at this type of level before we're ready to jump. You'll probably end up finding some better value elsewhere, though we'll caution you that there's a distinct possibility that you could be kicking yourself if you don't toss him into your exotics and he has a flawless run.
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 finish 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 6, though the Preakness Stakes field won't be finalized until the post draw occurs on Wednesday, May 17.
|Always Dreaming||Brooklyn Boyz Stables, et al||Todd Pletcher||John Velazquez||Track Odds|
|Classic Empire||John C. Oxley||Mark Casse||Julien Leparoux||Track Odds|
|Cloud Computing||Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence||Chad Brown||Javier Castellano||Track Odds|
|Conquest Mo Money||Judge Lanier Racing||Miguel Hernandez||Jorge Carreno||Track Odds|
|Gunnevera||Peacock Racing Stables||Antonio Sano||Mike Smith||Track Odds|
|Hence||Calumet Farm||Steve Asmussen||Florent Geroux||Track Odds|
|Lookin at Lee||L and N Racing LLC||Steve Asmussen||Corey Lanerie||Track Odds|
|Multiplier||Gary Barber, et al||Brendan Walsh||Joel Rosario||Track Odds|
|Senior Investment||Fern Circle Stables||Ken McPeek||Channing Hill||Track Odds|
|Term of Art||Calumet Farm||Doug O'Neill||Jose Ortiz||Track Odds|
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|Previous Preakness winners||The Birth of the Preakness||How the Preakness got its Name|
|History of Pimlico Race Course||Pimlico's Historic Clubhouse||The Woodlawn Vase|
|The Painting of the Weather Vane||The Visa Triple Crown||Preakness Stakes Contenders|
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