Steve Asmussen will shoot for a third black-eyed susans blanket tomorrow evening when his trainee, Astrology, takes to the track at the legendary Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. Astrology, which garnered the one hole in Wednesday's post draw, is listed at +1800 moneyline odds to win the 2011 Preakness Stakes in the latest Sports Betting Odds.
Steve Asmussen knows how to win the Preakness Stakes, but doing so this year will be a tremendous challenge for the prominent trainer for at least a couple of reasons. First off, Astrology, while ample in pedigree (sired by A.P. Indy, who was sired by the great Seattle Slew), will not be mistaken for either Curlin (2007) or Rachel Alexandra (2009) anytime soon. Secondly, his colt will start on the rail, a position that has yielded just two Preakness winners since 1951 (Bally Ache – 1960, Tabasco Cat – 1994).
Despite those drawbacks, there are a couple of positives, besides the solid pedigree and first class training, for those in Astrology's camp to hang their collective hats on. The colt, which last raced at the Grade 2 Jerome Handicap on April 23rd, has never finished worst than second in a graded stakes event.
Astrology took first at the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes last October and he followed up that victory with three consecutive second place runs (Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes [G2], Sunland Derby [G3], and Jerome Handicap [G2]).
It was the colt's performance at the Jerome that has co-owner George Bolton excited about its' Preakness prospects.
"He was pinned on the rail and lost a little ground going around the turn, it was very muddy, and he came flying at the end," Bolton said. "They (Asmussen) thought it was a good enough effort to keep going, not to backtrack, but to take another shot going forward with him. That's why we're here."
Astology will also have the benefit of Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith guiding him around Pimlico tomorrow. Smith, who will be appearing in his 13th Preakness Stakes, won the event in 1993 aboard Prairie Bayou.
Astrology Preakness Stakes 2011 Odds:
To Win +1800
To Finish in the Top Three +600