BALTIMORE — Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist will start from the No. 3 gate Saturday in the Preakness as the overwhelming favorite in the 11-horse field.
Unbeaten in eight races, Nyquist was installed the 3-5 morning-line choice at Wednesday’s draw.
The selection was justified, according to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who will saddle new shooter Collected.
Baffert says of Nyquist: “I’d probably be surprised if he didn’t win. He’s going to be tough to beat.”
Starting from the 13th post position in the Derby, Nyquist won the 20-horse race by 1 1/4 lengths over Exaggerator. Nyquist can expect far less traffic against a smaller field at the Preakness, which covers 1 3/16th miles at Pimlico Race Course.
Nyquist trainer Doug O’Neill enters the Preakness seeking to keep alive his hopes of winning the Triple Crown. A year ago, American Pharoah became the 12th Triple Crown winner and the first since Affirmed in 1978.
Exaggerator has the best odds behind Nyquist at 3-1. The horse, trained by Keith Desormeaux, drew the fifth post position.
Stradavari, at 8-1, was the third choice, as selected by Pimlico handicapper Keith Feustle.
The race is scheduled for around 6:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday. The field includes Lani, a Japanese-bred horse who finished ninth in the Derby, and eight new shooters.
From the pole: Cherry Wine, Uncle Lino, Nyquist, Awesome Speed, Exaggerator, Lani, Collected, Laoban, Fellowship, Awesome Speed and Abiding Star, Fellowship and Stradavari.