Bet Now

Talk about raining on the parade. Heading into the 141st Preakness Stakes on Saturday, the talk of the town was Nyquist, who was aiming to become the second consecutive Triple Crown winner. After how dominant he was in the Kentucky Derby, it was all but assumed he’d take the Preakness and head to the Belmont Stakes with everything in the balance. However, inclement weather and a strong performance by Exaggerator changed the course for Nyquist, who simply wasn’t able to navigate the mud on Saturday.

When the lines opened, the previously undefeated Nyquist was the 5/7 favourite to win the Preakness Stakes. However, as rain started to hammer the track, the odds shifted around a little a bit. Stradivari, a relatively unknown 3-year-old, shot up the board to join Nyquist and Exaggerator, who was 3/1, among the favourites. Some doubt set in about Nyquist and whether he’d be able to navigate such a sloppy track. The answer proved to be a definitive 'no'.

Although Nyquist gave all he could, it was Exaggerator who ran away with the race. He hugged the rail the entire way and even though he trailed by as many as 13 lengths at one point, he passed the pack to claim the second jewel of the Triple Crown. It was a sweet victory for him as he had previously lost all four showdowns with Nyquist. Jockeyed by Kent Desormeaux and trained by his brother, Keith, the brothers were thrilled to end their losing streak to Nyquist, who ended up in third behind Cherry Wine. Stradivari finished fourth.


Belmont: The Test of the Champions

Although the prospect of a Triple Crown has been dismissed, there will be plenty of intrigue in the final jewel. The main headline will be the expected duel between Nyquist and Exaggerator. Did the bad weather simply slow Nyquist and will he get back on track at Belmont Park? Or did Exaggerator finally solve his rival? The mile-and-a-half Test of the Champion will have the answer for us on June 11.

In addition to the two stars, we’re expecting to see Cherry Wine back in the starting gates. He’s not getting much attention these days, but he did a great job at the Preakness. He’s another strong closer and could be a factor at the Belmont Stakes. We’re also expecting to see his stablemate Brody’s Cause, who finished seventh at the Kentucky Derby, but won the Blue Grass Stakes earlier this year. Japanese-trained Lani is also listed as a probable, even though he finished fifth in the Preakness and ninth in the Kentucky Derby. Prior to that, Lani had won three of his previous four starts. We'll see if any of these longshots can give the champs a run for their money.