Kentucky Derby Runner Happy Jack Joins Preakness Field; Epicenter Considered The Favorite – CBS Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Happy Jack, who finished 14th in the Kentucky Derby last week, took part in the Preakness Stakes, the Jockey Club of Maryland said.

After breaking her maiden streak on her first try at Santa Anita earlier this year, Happy Jack finished 0 to 4 in graded races, including the Derby. He finished in distant third in both the San Felipe Stakes Division 2 and Division 1 Santa Anita Derby.

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The 3-year-old pony is the son of Oxbow, who went to Pimlico Racecourse in 2013 with two wins to his name and won the Preakness rope tournament 15-1.

Father and son both raced to Calumet Ranch in Lexington, KY.

Coach Doug O’Neill said Happy Jack is recovering well from the Derby and will likely move to Baltimore on Tuesday.

“He is checking all the boxes of a horse that left his recent race in good condition,” he said. “We like the Preakness distance, and we prefer the shorter course of 20 horses in the Derby.”

Jockey Tyler Gaffalione will get the mount, O’Neill said.

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Happy Jack is at least the third Derby athlete to go on to the second leg of the Triple Crown, alongside Epicenter runner-up and Simplification fourth.

Owner Rick Dawson said Thursday that Rich Strike, the unpredictable 80-1 winner of Run for the Roses, will skip the race for more races and target the Belmont Stakes.

Even before Dawson’s announcement, rate expert Keith Feustle of the Maryland Jockey Club said he was counting Epicenter as his favorite in the Preakness.

“Once I heard Epicenter was a ‘walker,’ I had no doubt in my mind that he would become the most beloved character for Preakness,” Feustle said. I’m thinking in my head that if Zandon doesn’t go, there’s a good chance Epicenter will be in the 7-5 range.”

Zandon, who finished third in the Derby, is not ruled out, according to coach Chad Brown.

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Here are some other contenders in the field: Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Oath, Early Voting Brown intern, Derby Day Grant-winning Creative Minister and Daniel’s Skippylongstocking winner Alonso.

https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2022/05/13/happy-jack-preakness-stakes-epicenter-favorite/ Kentucky Derby Runner Happy Jack Joins Preakness Field; Epicenter Considered The Favorite – CBS Baltimore

Alley Einstein

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