It Goes To Eleven

Animal Kingdom is in trouble.

Only eight times in 135 editions of the Preakness Stakes has a horse come from a double-digit post position to win the race. Graham Motion’s horse drew the 11 gate.

Uh oh.

Motion’s not exactly worried about history.

“It’s great. I couldn’t be happier, really. I just would rather be on the outside than stuck down on the inside. I was a little worried when 1 and 14 were left. I’ve started from 14 before and you’re almost on the outside rail. That’s a tough spot,” Motion said to a gaggle of reporters after the draw.

Seems really nervous, right?

Motion’s horse is listed as a 2-1 morning line favorite. That’s incredible in a field of 14 horses. Two things pop out at me: the field is very weak and Animal Kingdom is the real deal.

We won’t truly know until Saturday evening when they ring the bell.

Horsing Around Before The Draw

Some other tidbits from the draw:

*Only three horses are listed at 10-1 or better. Tremendous amount of value on the morning line. Bet at your own risk.

*Post position 6 has produced the most winners in Preakness history. Wise guy pick Sway Away breaks from the six gate.

*The ultimate hunch play: Bob Baffert & Martin Garcia team up again in the same post position as last year’s Preakness. You might remember that race. They won with Lookin’ At Lucky. This year, it’s Midnight Interlude at a ridiculous 15-1 value. I’d put him in your exotics.

*Quote of the draw from Mr. Commons’ trainer John Shirreffs, who breaks from the way outside in the 14 gate: “It’s better than the 20.” Don’t feel bad for Mr. Shirreffs. He kind of had a good horse in Zenyatta, who could beat this entire field. Easily.

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