Mr. Commons, a non-Derby runner, will make his Triple Crown debut later today with an appearance in the 2011 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. The latest Sports Betting Odds have the Artie Schiller sired, John Shirreffs trained colt listed at +2500 odds to win this evening's 136th running of the Preakness Stakes. Mr. Commons is listed at +1000 moneyline odds to record a top three finish at Pimlico.
John Shirreffs has never won the Preakness Stakes, but he is no stranger to the big stage, having won the Kentucky Derby in 2005 with Giacomo and numerous graded stakes races, including the Breeders' Cup Classic, with the great Zenyatta.
Today he will make another run at the second jewel of the Triple Crown series with the lightly raced Mr. Commons.
Mr. Commons, who broke his maiden in January, has made two starts since doing so, participating in an Allowance race in late February as well as the Santa Anita Derby in early April. Commons took third at the Grade 1 Santa Anita, finishing behind Derby racers Midnight Interlude, who will also run in today's Preakness, and Comma To The Top.
Unfortunately for Mr. Commons, he got saddled with the far outside gate (14) at Wednesday's post draw, a position that has yielded just one Preakness winner (2009 Rachel Alexandra – gate 13).
Shirreffs made light of the poor situation by comparing it to the notoriously bad outside post at Churchill Downs.
"It's better than the 20," Shirreffs said.
With Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, a rider Shirreffs uses regularly, sitting aboard Astrology, the trainer has turned to Victor Espinoza to guide Mr. Commons this evening. Espinoza is most famous for piloting War Emblem to Kentucky Derby and Preakness wins in 2002.
Mr. Commons 2011 Preakness Stakes Odds:
To Win +2500
To Finish in the Top Three +1000