2020 Preakness Stakes

A wild Triple Crown series closes out Saturday going 9.5 furlongs in Pimlico's 11th race at 5:36 ET Post. Among the storylines, a handful of runners from the Derby led by wire-to-wire winner Authentic get a slight cutback in distance and a worthy filly in Swiss Skydiver steps in to face the boys. The last time a filly took the Preakness was the great Rachel Alexandra in 2009. The time before that…you couldn't even grab a drink if you lost (1924).

#1 Excession 30/1

Last seen lighting up the place payouts at 80/1 in the Rebel, this one enters off Final Figures of 72 and 70, both the slowest of the entire field. This would make sense considering he only offers the early spring races to pit against a field with much more recency. A tall task, he'll need to make up all the missed development today's rivals have had throughout this sophomore season and break out off just one month of workouts.

#2 Mr. Big News 12/1

Off the always important New Pace Top (NPT) set in April, continued to mature concerning energy distribution relaxing his 4F Figure creating a bigger Final Figure in the Derby for the second straight race. The dirt spread (4F minus Final) progressed over that stretch as +1 to -2 to -10. The 7-point jump in Final Figure between last couple is significant enough to fear some regression but all in all, has enough positive looks going for him to consider the double-digit odds.

#3 Art Collector 5/2

Comes in off three consecutive Finals over 80. The only other 80s earned throughout this field came from Derby weekend and no other time in the field's careers. It's a foundation that cements him the one to beat, but I'll offer he had a groove going there and now will need to fire coming off an unplanned 55-day rest.

#4 Swiss Skydiver 6/1

She ran a 72/81 in the Oaks, good for around 5th when compared to the Derby Figures. Can certainly take a step forward here seemingly working back to 110% after having to weather a big May DTOP. The dirt spreads last three have built from +1 to -6 to -10 last out.

Check out Swiss Skydiver's smarts in this fun tweet from trainer Kenny McPeek: https://twitter.com/KennyMcPeek/status/1311401684481048580?s=20

#5 Thousand Words 6/1

Has the right trainer at the helm to break out and show the promising talent he displayed over his first 3 races, but we're deep in the sophomore run now and lately, this one looks like an even money shot to cause his own trouble. Has only run well when allowed to relax into 4F Figures in the mid 60s, a spot that would leave him much out of position against this group.

#6 Jesus' Team 30/1

The promise of triggering a Reversal (REV) pattern 4 back after showing good speed in previous races hasn't materialized. He hasn't run back to the Final Figure of that REV race in 3 tries much less develop off it. Skeptical this is the spot to start now.

#7 NY Traffic 15/1

Looked promising going into the Derby after nearly getting to Authentic in the Haskell, but popped a 4F Figure of nearly 80 there, expending 9 points more early energy than the previous race. Accompanying that by running on for a lifetime top Final of 78 triggers the DTOP designation, often a sign of next out regression.

#8 Max Player 15/1

Runner developed quickly setting and breaking through three straight DTOPs while lightly-raced. While DTOPs often signal regression, lightly-raced runners are eligible to break through them as they are still developing and do not have an estimated ceiling yet. The dirt spreads last 3 going -9 to -16 to -14 are the biggest late energy spreads in this field. Last out's 81 is a competitive accompanying Final Figure. With some speed lined up amongst the top betting options here, Max has potential to receive a set-up with his late-running style. Since closers are dependent upon being given a set-up as well as avoiding traffic, we need ensure we're receiving proper value to back them. If the morning line holds, I could see taking a shot with this one.

#9 Authentic 8/5

Your Derby winner spiked an eye-popping 81/84 DTOP. While this is a certain spot for regression, runner does have room to go a few points backwards, yet still win. Concerning, however, the career foundation lies 8-9 points slower than this, and I don't remember the last 84 Final I seen in a dirt route. Tough to back such a repeat performance of this nature, especially yielding odds of favoritism.

#10 Pneumatic 20/1

Has been a pretty consistent type and likely had more to give off that 66/73 SOFT designation of last. He's the lightest-raced runner in the bunch and 1 of 4 who don't come off a September race. Lack of development in Finals and spreads leaves this one labelled just “consistent.” Will need to see a breakout performance from the connections.

#11 Liveyourbeastlife

Tough spot still running a current campaign off a 77/73 DTOP, he has enjoyed slower 4F Figures in the 60s as of late allowing him to hold respectable Final Figures around 74 but now in a spot where both numbers need to skyrocket.

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