Derby runner-up, Firing Line has amassed nearly $1 million in earnings over six races, but can he buck his reputation for finishing second in big events? Firing Line drew the No. 8 post position for the 2015 Preakness which put the horse as a 4-1 choice on the Morning Line odds behind his biggest rivals, the Bob Baffert-trained duo of American Pharoah and Dortmund who are at the No. 1 and No. 2 post positions respectively.
“He’s an unbelievable horse,” owner Arnold Zetcher said. “If you take all of his seconds and add them up all up, it’s 1 or 2 lengths. And the fact he came in second in the Kentucky Derby, I’m really excited about that.”
— Nicole Russo (@DRFRusso) May 15, 2015
Entering the Derby, Firing Line had twice finished second behind Dortmund. Firing Line beat Dortmund at Churchill Downs, which would have been cause for celebration except that American Pharoah finished first.
Top Four Reasons To Bet On Firing Line To Win The 2015 Preakness Stakes
Event: 2015 Preakness Stakes
Date: May. 16, 2015
Start Time: 6:18 PM ET
Location: Pimlico Raceway, Baltimore, Maryland
TV Info: NBC
Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
1. Firing Line lost by a length to American Pharoah
Firing Line lost by only a length to American Pharoah 2 weeks ago in the Kentucky Derby. A length isn’t that far of a distance in horse racing. More importantly, Firing Line may have thought that he had the race won after passing his rival, Dortmund, in the stretch of the Derby. American Pharoah might have caught Firing Line off-guard.
— Ron Mitchell (@BH_RMitchell) May 14, 2015
2. Gary L. Stevens is Firing Line’s jockey
Some feel that Gary L. Stevens is the greatest jockey to ever live. He can certainly make the case to be the greatest jockey to ever live. When it comes to the Preakness Stakes, Stevens has a history of riding well. He won the Preakness Stakes in 1997 aboard Silver Charm for trainer Bob Baffert. In 2001, he won the Preakness Stakes for Baffert again aboard Point Given. Stevens won his third Preakness Stakes in 2013 for D. Wayne Lukas in 2013 aboard Oxbow.
3. Firing Line can let others do the dirty work upfront in the Preakness
Stevens put Firing Line right up against Dortmund in the Kentucky Derby because he didn’t believe that any horse was going to go after the son of Big Brown early on in the race. If Stevens hadn’t been aggressive, he knew that Dortmund might have stolen the race. In the Preakness, it looks like other front-runners are signed on; especially Divining Rod, meaning that Stevens could keep Firing Line 1 to 2 lengths off of Dortmund. That might be enough for Stevens to get Firing Line home first.
4. Firing Line hasn’t peaked
Firing Line hasn’t peaked as a three-year-old yet. His second place finish to American Pharoah in the Kentucky Derby wasn’t better or worse than most of his other races. He could improve on Saturday in the Preakness Stakes. That makes Firing Line one of the contenders to upset American Pharoah on May 16.
2015 Preakness Stakes Betting Odds
Post time: 6:18 p.m. Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Purse: $1.5 million. Distance: 1 3/16 miles. TV: NBC. Radio: ESPN 680 in Louisville.
post position. horse (weight) jockey/trainer odds
1. American Pharoah (126) Espinoza/Baffert 4-5
2. Dortmund (126) Garcia/Baffert 7-2
3. Mr. Z (126) Nakatani/Lukas 20-1
4. Danzig Moon (126) Leparoux/Casse 15-1
5. Tale of Verve (126) Rosario/Stewart 30-1
6. Bodhisattva (126) McCarthy/Corrales 20-1
7. Divining Rod (126) Castellano/Delcaour 12-1
8. Firing Line (126) Stevens/Callaghan 4-1