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 Fellowship, one of the contenders for the 2016 Preakness Stakes to be run at Pimlico Race Course.
Owner: Jacks Or Better Farm Inc.
Trainer: Mark Casse
Pedigree: Awesome of Course – Go Girlfriend Go, by Demidoff
Last Race Result: 4th Place, Pat Day Mile (5/7/16)
Fellowship was one of the last horses to miss the cut for the Kentucky Derby, and we really felt like he would've had a shot at Churchill Downs had he been given the chance to run against the big boys.
Of course, we probably would've been wrong.
Fellowship finished third in the Holy Bull Stakes, the Fountain of Youth Stakes and the Florida Derby, respectable results considering the fact that he had to go up against Nyquist once and Mohaymen three times in said races.
When Fellowship was pulled out of the Kentucky Derby, he was entered into the Pat Day Mile. He never really got his footing about him on the track, and he finished fourth, getting beaten out by Sharp Azteca, another of the Preakness Stakes contenders.
Still, there are signs that Fellowship is turning the corner. His last workout before the Pat Day Mile was a blazing four furlongs in 47 seconds flat, a time which insinuates he could be a fantastic closer in a race like the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Fellowship has seemed to improve with distance in his career in spite of the fact that he's consistently had poor Beyer Speed Ratings. His first win came at 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream Park after failed attempt at both six furlongs and seven furlongs. His best of his three prep races at Gulfstream as a three-year old was the 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby in which he beat out Mohaymen and stood toe-to-toe with Nyquist until the eventual Kentucky Derby champ pulled away in the closing furlongs.
That's why it was a bit surprising that Fellowship was ultimately run in the Pat Day Mile, a shorter race at a distance which hadn't appealed to him in the past. That's also why we think it makes sense for trainer Mark Casse to bring Fellowship here to Pimlico. He's certainly qualified with almost $600,000 in career earnings under his belt, even if those earnings were really more of a product of running in a ton of races rather than having success at the highest level.
Fellowship isn't going to have a lot of company at the back of the Preakness Stakes. He's a closer by nature like Exaggerator is, but aside from him and Cherry Wine, there aren't any other closers in this race. The traffic should be cut down substantially as a result, and that could bode well for all three of the late-arriving ponies in the stretch run.
We'll want to see how Fellowship works out at Pimlico, but we're more impressed with his price of 30 to 1 than we are with many of the other colts around him with similar prices. Under the right circumstance in which he can make a late charge without any traffic around him, we could definitely see a situation in which he could hit the board and maybe even pull off the shocker. It's a longshot for sure, but you could do much worse with your Preakness Stakes bets.
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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