Despite closing out the Kentucky Derby in a convincing fashion, questions remain about American Pharaoh and whether this horse has true Triple Crown pedigree. Although American Pharaoh remains a heavy favorite going into Saturday’s race, the Bob Baffert trained thoroughbred will see stiff competition on the shorter, faster Pimlico track.
Stablemate and perennial contender Dortmund will be in the mix but at slightly longer odds given the horse’s liking for a slightly longer track than the speedy 1 3/16th mile Pimlico. Expect Kentucky Derby second place finisher Firing Line to give the two front runners a serious challenge, but potential stealth horse Materiality will skip the Preakness for the Belmont according to mega trainer Wayne Lukas.
The list of serious challengers gets a little shorter after Firing Line and some chatter has been heard around Danzig Moon. A fast, smart colt who has had top two finishes in big races, Danzig Moon could be a factor. The Preakness is a race that can be won from the front so a fast horse with high odds may just be a great value bet.
So where will the smart money be? No doubt on American Pharaoh and that’s where it should be. The three year old has the speed and the stamina to win all legs of the Triple Crown so the talent is certainly there. Barring a stumble out of the gate or getting caught in a crowd, the only question after that will be can American Pharaoh win the Belmont Stakes and the 2015 Triple Crown?
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