Mage Draws Post Three as 8-5 Preakness Favorite

Mage | Jim McCue

GI Kentucky Derby winner Mage (Good Magic) drew post three in the field of eight set to go in the $1.65-million GI Preakness S., to be held Saturday, May 20, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. The second jewel of the Triple Crown drew only one starter from the Kentucky Derby, but it was the one who won the Derby and the only one with a chance for a Triple Crown. Mage was installed as the 8-5 favorite at the draw, which was held at Baltimore's Guinness Open Gate Brewery.

Gustavo Delgado, Jr., assistant to his father, Mage's trainer Gustavo Delgado, Sr., indicated before the draw that an outside post would be the team's ideal choice.

“It doesn't make any difference,” said Delgado, Jr. immediately after the draw. “We can't think too much about the things we can't control. I think everybody has a fair amount of time to get their position. It's an eight-horse field. All eight will have a shot to win the race, which is what you want.”

Mage won the 18-horse Derby from post eight after lingering far back early and tipping about seven wide into the lane. Bred by Grandview Equine and owned by OGMA Investments, LLC, Ramiro Restrepo, Sterling Racing LLC, and CMNWLTH, Mage sports a  4-2-1-0 record and comes into the Preakness with earnings of $2,107,200. A $235,000 KEESEP yearling and $290,000 EASMAY 2-year-old, Mage first turned heads with a front-running sprint debut at Gulfstream Jan. 28 and qualified for the Derby by pushing champion Forte (Violence) within a length in the GI Curlin Florida Derby.

Co-owner Restrepo was asked about his reaction to Mage facing all new rivals from the Derby to the Preakness. “It didn't cross my mind. I've really been focused as much as possible on our horse. I was more concerned with: Did he ship well? How'd he walk on Sunday? How's he taking to the track? How are his energy levels? Who he faces is the last thing on my mind. If I start worrying about all these extra things, I'll go mad. I'll have no hair left to lose. So, I try to focus on what we have. He's a handy horse. And we have one of the best in the game on top of him.”

Among the seven new shooters in the 148th Preakness will be Brad Cox's 'TDN Rising Star' First Mission (Street Sense), who has been tabbed as second choice at 5-2. Cox, whose best finish in the May 6 Derby from his four starters was a third with Angel of Empire (Classic Empire), seeks his first Preakness win, but has a Derby to his name after Mandaloun (Into Mischief) was promoted to first in the 2021 edition. He also won the 2021 GI Belmont S. with Essential Quality (Tapit).

Other storylines of note to watch this year in the 1 3/16-mile Classic include Hall of Famer Bob Baffert's first Triple Crown starter–4-1 third choice National Treasure (Quality Road)–since Medina Spirit (Protonico)'s third in 2021. Baffert has a co-leading seven Preakness wins and seeks a record-breaking eighth. In addition, Chad Brown–who won last year with Early Voting (Gun Runner)–and Steve Asmussen both seek their third Preakness win. And finally, sophomore sire Good Magic has three of the starters in the eight-horse field. The Preakness is scheduled for 7:01 p.m. EDT as race 13 Saturday.

The entire field, from the rail out, with trainers, jockey assignments, and early odds is as follows:

#1 National Treasure (Quality Road) (Bob Baffert, John Velazquez, 4-1)

#2 Chase the Chaos (Astern {Aus}) (Ed Moger, Jr., Sheldon Russell, 50-1)

#3 Mage (Good Magic) (Gustavo Delgado, Sr., Javier Castellano, 8-5)

#4 Coffeewithchris (Ride On Curlin) (John Salzman, Jr., Jaime Rodriguez, 20-1)

#5 Red Route One (Gun Runner) (Steve Asmussen, Joel Rosario, 10-1)

#6 Perform (Good Magic) (Shug McGaughey, Feargal Lynch, 15-1)

#7 Blazing Sevens (Good Magic) (Chad Brown, Irad Ortiz, Jr., 6-1)

#8 First Mission (Street Sense) (Brad Cox, Luis Saez, 5-2)

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