Longshot local Norman Asbjornson, who lives and trains at the Bowie Training Center in Bowie, Maryland, will make his bid at Triple Crown glory tomorrow evening as one of the 14 contenders in the 2011 Preakness Stakes. The latest Sports Betting Odds have the bay colt pegged as the least likely to win the prestigious event; Asbjornson is presently listed at +3200 moneyline odds to wear the blanket of black-eyed susans that goes to the Preakness victor..
Norman Asbjornson, who did not participate in the Kentucky Derby, should be well rested coming into tomorrow's Preakness Stakes run. The horse last raced in early April at the Grade 1 Wood Memorial where he finished fourth behind Toby's Corner, Arthur's Tale, and Uncle Mo.
Prior to that race, Norman Asbjornson placed second at the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes, which also took place at the Aqueduct Race Track in Ozone Park, New York. Asbornson, the son of Real Quiet (1998 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner), has two career victories to his credit, but neither came in a graded stakes affair.
Despite Norman Asbjornson's relative lack of success against better competition, trainer Christopher Grove likes what he is seeing out of the animal as it preps for tomorrow's Preakness.
"He has really come around," Grove said. "It appears that he got hold of the track (Pimlico) and got the stamina boosting work that we needed."
Grove also noted that the colt turned in "the best time he has ever had at a mile" in the Pimlico practice run.
The Maryland based trainer was not pleased with Norman Asbjornson's No. 2 post draw, though, given the horse's well-documented gate woes.
"We wanted a little further outside, somewhere where he didn't have to stand in the gate as long," Grove said. "We'll have to deal with it right now, and he'll have to deal with it. It's going to put you right in the thick of the race early, so it's something Mr. Pimentel's going to have to deal with early in the race."
Mr. Pimentel would be 30 year old jockey Julian Pimentel, who has been aboard Norman Abjornson for both of his graded stakes races.
Norman Asbjornson Preakness Stakes 2011 Odds:
To Win +3000
To Finish in the Top Three +1200