Derby winner Nyquist draws No. 3 post as Preakness favorite

BALTIMORE (AP) — Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist will start from the No. 3 post Saturday as the overwhelming favorite in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.

Unbeaten in eight races, Nyquist was made the 3-5 morning-line choice at Wednesday’s post position draw.

The selection was justified, according to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who will saddle Collected.

“I’d probably be surprised if he didn’t win,” Baffert said. “He’s going to be tough to beat.”

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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.

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 by winning the Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes.

Derby runner-up Exaggerator is the second choice behind Nyquist at 3-1. Trained by Keith Desormeaux and ridden by Keith’s brother Kent, Exaggerator drew the No. 5 post position.

Stradavari, at 8-1, was the third choice, as selected by Pimlico handicapper Keith Feustle.

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Post time for the race, which will be televised on NBC, is 5:45 p.m. Central time. The field includes Lani, a Japanese-bred horse who finished ninth in the Derby, and eight entrants who didn’t run in the Derby.

Post positions and morning line odds for the 11-horse field:

1. Cherry Wine,  20-1

2. Uncle Lino, 20-1

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3. Nyquist, 3-5

4. Awesome Speed, 30-1

5. Exaggerator, 3-1

6. Lani, 30-1

7. Collected, 10-1

8. Laoban, 30-1

9. Abiding Star, 30-1

10. Fellowship, 30-1

11. Stradavari, 8-1