3 takeaways from the 2021 Preakness post position draw

May 12th, 2021

Post positions for the 146th running of the $1 million Preakness (G1) were drawn on Tuesday afternoon. A field of 10 has been entered for the 1 3/16-mile classic at Pimlico, which serves as the second leg of the Triple Crown.

1. Expect Medina Spirit to set the pace from post 3

It’s becoming clear Medina Spirit is at his best when employing front-running tactics. Not only did he lead from start to finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1), he won the Robert B. Lewis (G3) in gate-to-wire fashion and broke his maiden when dueling for the lead.

In contrast, Medina Spirit has gone 0-for-3 when tracking the pace, so his strategy for the Preakness seems straightforward. After drawing post 3, with a pair of deep closers to his inside, Medina Spirit will almost certainly set the pace on Saturday.

2. Concert Tour risks a wide trip from post 10

If any horse lost the draw, it’s probably Concert Tour. The gate-to-wire Rebel (G2) winner is marooned in post 10 with several speed rivals to his inside. Since dueling with stablemate Medina Spirit for early supremacy is unlikely to be a beneficial strategy, Concert Tour seems more likely to adopt the pace-tracking tactics he employed when battling to victory in the San Vicente (G2).

But this strategy comes with the risk of a wide journey. Depending on how much speed Midnight Bourbon displays, Concert Tour may wind racing three paths off the rail throughout. In a field as competitive as the Preakness, every yard of ground counts, and giving up a couple of lengths by racing wide could be difficult to overcome.

3. Midnight Bourbon drew well in post 5

Arguably no horse has more options for working out a perfect trip than Midnight Bourbon, who boasts front-running speed coupled with the versatility to press or track the pace. If Medina Spirit guns for the lead, Midnight Bourbon can settle into a pressing position. If Concert Tour employs aggressive tactics from the far outside post, Midnight Bourbon can settle behind them both. Or—if no one shows an interest in setting the pace—Midnight Bourbon can seize the initiative, as he did when wiring the Lecomte (G3).

Midnight Bourbon has also shown the ability to rally from midpack when staying on after a troubled start to finish sixth in the Kentucky Derby, so if the Preakness unfolds at an unexpectedly hot tempo, Midnight Bourbon can drop well off the pace if necessary.

Stay tuned to TwinSpires Edge for more Preakness news and notes as the second leg of the Triple Crown draws closer.