tampabay.com

Odds-on favorite? Easy: Street Sense

Associated Press
Published May 17, 2007


BALTIMORE - Street Sense has already defied long odds by winning the Kentucky Derby. The colt will be a short price in Saturday's Preakness Stakes.

"I'm not a gambler and I'm the world's worst handicapper, but this is what I know, " Street Sense trainer Carl Nafzger said. "One thing gets you to the winner's circle - the horse is what gets you there."

Street Sense was made the 7-5 favorite Wednesday, and a victory would set up a Triple Crown shot in the Belmont Stakes on June 9.

A field of nine 3-year-olds was entered for the 13/16th mile Preakness at Pimlico Race Course. Street Sense drew the No. 8 post, one spot farther out than Derby runnerup Hard Spun, the 5-2 second choice. In the Derby, their posts were reversed.

"I've always liked the eight post, " Nafzger said. "It's outside. You get a good look at the field, and you've got a straight run to the first turn."

Preakness favorites have won five of the past six.

Street Sense is coming off a 21/4-length win in the Derby two weeks ago thanks to jockey Calvin Borel's brilliant, rail-hugging trip against 19 rivals.

There won't be as much traffic to navigate this time. Should Street Sense win, a Triple Crown bid might be the perfect remedy for racing a year after Derby winner Barbaro's ill-fated breakdown in the Preakness.

Two other Derby horses will try again - third-place finisher Curlin and sixth-place finisher Circular Quay. Others entered were C P West, Flying First Class, Mint Slewlep, Xchanger and King of the Roxy.

Hard Spun will be ridden by Maryland's leading jockey, Mario Pino, and leave from the No. 7 post.

"It was a good number for the Derby, so hopefully it will work for the Preakness, " Hard Spun trainer Larry Jones said.

Pimlico oddsmaker Frank Carulli had an easy time handicapping the field.

"Unlike a lot of races, there is a good one-race gauge, and, of course, it is the Kentucky Derby itself, " he said. "With the favorites living up to expectations in the Derby, it made the line a lot easier."

Fast Facts:

 

When/where: 6:15 p.m. Saturday; Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore. Second leg of the triple crown.

TV: Ch. 8

Field: Nine 3-year-olds

Distance: 13/16 miles

Favorite: Street Sense, 7-5

Total purse: $1-million

Winner's share: $600, 000

Weather: Mid 70s, with a 40 percent chance for showers.