California Chrome is the heavy favorite to win the 2014 Preakness Stakes, checking in at 3/5 odds on Friday's morning line, according to And Down The Stretch They Come. He was a steady climber as the favorite to win the Kentucky Derby, as well, but topped out at 2/1 odds on race day.
California Chrome's strong showing in Louisville may have set him up for a run at the Triple Crown. According to Matt Gardner at ADTSTC, California Chrome is entering the Preakness "looking as strong as any recent winner of the Derby."
While early speed horses like Social Inclusion and Bayern are positioned to the outside of California Chrome in the starting gate, the Derby winner has displayed such a wonderful ability to utilize his high cruising speed to put himself into good positions early in the race that should serve him well at Pimlico.
A slightly longer course could be a benefit to California Chrome, who is content to make late charges. The next two favorites on the early line -- Social Inclusion at 5/1 and the Bob Baffert-owner Bayern at 10/1 -- could test California Chrome's patience early.
One thing that apparently won't be a factor is California Chrome's health. The horse reportedly developed a throat blister, sparking rumors that he would be scratched for the Preakness. Assistant trainer Alan Sherman assured reporters that California Chrome "is in perfect shape."
Full Preakness odds:
|1||Dynamic Impact||Miguel Mena||12/1|
|2||General a Rod||Javier Castellano||15/1|
|3||California Chrome||Victor Espinoza||3/5|
|4||Ring Weekend||Alan Garcia||20/1|
|6||Ria Antonia||Calvin Borel||30/1|
|7||Kid Curz||Julian Pimentel||20/1|
|8||Social Inclusion||Luis Contreras||5/1|
|9||Pablo Del Monte||Jeffrey Sanchez||20/1|
|10||Ride On Curlin||Joel Rosario||10/1|