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Preakness Stakes 2011 Contenders: Dance City Set To Challenge Animal Kingdom

Dance City is one of the new guns in the Preakness Stakes and he should serve a purpose at Pimlico on Saturday. At 12-1 odds, Dance City can't be overlooked, though he does lag behind Animal Kingdom, Dialed In and the other Kentucky Derby holdovers in the eyes of the oddsmakers. But if there's a new horse that could challenge Animal Kingdom in the second leg of the Triple Crown, it could be Dance City.

The Derby was run at a snail's pace until the horses rounded the final turn, but don't expect that to be the case in the Preakness. Dance City is one of the reasons the tempo could be much quicker, as And Down The Stretch They Come's Matt Gardner explained.

The connections of Flashpoint tried to rate him in the Florida Derby and it didn't work out at all; he needs to be up front to run his best.  Astrology doesn't appear to be a "need to lead" colt but he's shown a good deal of pace in the early stages of his past couple of efforts. Dance City has never raced further than a head back at the six furlong mark in any of his four career starts and would appear to be another colt that will need to be up front to run his best race.

Matt Gardner also did an outstanding job looking at the pedigree of each horse in the Preakness Stakes field to get a better look at the bloodlines and a better feel for the horses. You can find his Preakness pedigree profiles here.

The 2011 Preakness Stakes gets underway on May 21 at Pimlico racetrack. Stay with our 2011 Preakness Stakes StoryStream for odds, contender profiles, post positions and more. To look back at the Derby, check out SB Nation's 2011 Kentucky Derby StoryStream. Also, our horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come has two must-read resources for Derby and Preakness fans: A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.