Art Collector Streaking Into the Preakness
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
The 2020 Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course mighty have been delayed from May until October 3, but now the typical second leg of the Triple Crown comes as the final leg in 2020, and features a field of 11 going 1 3/16 miles.
While all eyes will be on trainer Bob Baffert as he tries to break the Preakness win record with Kentucky Derby hero Authentic, Art Collector is bringing his own streak into the $1 million race. The son of 2006 Preakness winner Bernardini has crossed the finish line first in his last five races, and is coming off wins in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) and the Runhappy Ellis Park Derby. He defeated fellow Preakness runner Swiss Skydiver at Keeneland, and trainer Tom Drury feels the bay colt has recovered well from a minor injury that kept him out of the Derby. Art Collector is the second choice on the morning line at 5-2.
He joins Preakness contenders such as Mr. Big News, third in the Kentucky Derby at 46-1 for trainer Bret Calhoun. The son of Giant’s Causeway won the Oaklawn Stakes at 46-1 earlier this year, and often runs well at a price. Gabriel Saez will be aboard, trying to win his first Preakness Stakes.
Jockey John Velazquez has won nearly every major race in North America, but a Preakness win still eludes him. He has the mount on Authentic, and piloted that bay colt to a popular victory in the Kentucky Derby. Authentic has only been beaten once in six career starts; that was by Honor A. P., who is now retired to stud in Kentucky.
The only jockey to win the Preakness before is Robby Albarado, who piloted Curlin to score in 2007. He rides the filly Swiss Skydiver, a four-time graded stakes winner this year who was second in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) last out and seeks to be just the sixth filly to win the Preakness. Ken McPeek trains.
Trainer Steve Asmussen won the Preakness with Curlin and Rachel Alexandra, and has three entered for the 2020 edition. Excession drew the rail, and is coming off a narrow loss behind top rated Nadal in the Rebel (G2) at Oaklawn Park in March. He worked a bullet at Churchill Downs on September 22, signaling his readiness for this race. Max Player is already dual Grade 1 placed this year, and finished fifth in the Derby in his first start for Asmussen. The son of Honor Code is out of a Not for Love mare, as was California Chrome when he won the Preakness in 2014. Asmussen’s final entrant is Pneumatic, winner of the Pegasus at Monmouth Park last out. The son of Uncle Mo has won three of five lifetime.
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