BALTIMORE, MARYLAND (WAVE) - As Preakness 140 nears the field may be short, but the storylines are plentiful.
The Derby winner always intrigues, can American Pharoah become the 14th Kentucky Derby winner since 1978 to wheel back two weeks later and win the Preakness Stakes? Of course, 1978 being when Affirmed last completed the Triple Crown.
Trainer Bob Baffert has had plenty of success here at Pimlico, a total of 5 Preakness wins, including with all three of his Kentucky Derby winners, Silver Charm in 1997, Real Quiet in 1998 and War Emblem in 2002.
Jockey Victor Espinoza is also 2-for-2 in the Preakness with Derby winners, with War Emblem and California Chrome in 2014.
However, post position #1 has only produced one winner, Tabasco Cat in 1994, in the last 55 years.
Then there is the story of Mr. Z. Ahmed Zayat, who also owns American Pharoah, did not appear to have any interest in running the Derby 13th place finisher. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas was the middle man in a deal between Zayat and Calumet Farm owner Brad Kelley, also a Lukas client. The colt has a new owner, new silks and drew post position 3, right outside of Baffert's duo of American Pharoah and Dortmund.
Dortmund is getting little attention despite that fact that he won his first 6 career starts and finished third on the first Saturday in May.
Firing Line was a game second in the Derby, and looked great in his open gallops at Churchill Downs earlier this week.
Lexington Stakes winner Divining Rod is owned by Roy and Gretchen Jackson, who also owned Barbaro.
Tale of Verve was entered in the Kentucky Derby, but did not draw into the field, since El Kabeir and International Star scratched after 9 a.m. on Friday, when betting opened on the race. The Dallas Stewart trainee won by 2 lengths at a mile and 3/16ths at Keeneland on April 23.
We'll be back at the Stakes Barn on Friday morning. Catch my LIVE reports on WAVE 3 News Sunrise.