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Nic Ladds 16th May 2009 - 12:22

Big Drama to provide big upset in the Preakness

The Preakness Stakes is the second leg of the American Triple Crown and has a hot favourite in the shape of Rachel Alexandra at odds of 7/4.

This great race sits sandwiched between the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes and usually attracts a lot of runners who have already participated in the Kentucky Derby and this year is no exception.

The shock winner of that race Mine That Bird takes his place as 11/2 third favourite in the betting which some may see as a surprise as he won the Kentucky Derby but he won it at odds of 50/1.

It was an impressive victory as he romped clear by 6 ¾ lengths but it would appear the betting public and bookmakers alike are sceptical as to whether he can follow up that victory at Pimlico.

Some doubt whether this track will suit him but one thing for sure judging by the manor of his previous victory is he will be running on strongly at the end and is more than capable of a place.

Second behind Mine That Bird that day was Pioneerof The Nile who can be backed at odds of 4/1 this time.

He looked every bit the winner of the Derby until two furlongs out when he was gathered in but with the winner uncertain to repeat that performance, Pioneerof The Nile comes here with an excellent chance.

The disappointing favourite Friesan Fire last time takes his chance again at odds of 15/2 and while he is undoubtedly talented, he was so poor last time out that it would take a brave punter to put their faith in him this time.

Our selection for the Kentucky Derby was Papa Clem who was unlucky to be held in to fourth just a nose and a head away from second. His sire, Smart Strike won this race and on breeding he is in with a big chance.

He came in to that race after some stunning reports on the gallops and there is no reason why he will not be in good form this time around and looks sure to be there or there abouts at odds of 10/1.

The final Derby contender who comes here if Musket Man who is also 10/1 in the betting having finished third last time out.

However, Musket Man's style of running suggests that he will be better over longer distances and this trip which is shorter than the one in Kentucky may not be adequate enough for him.

One of great interest is Big Drama at odds of 12/1 who passed on the Kentucky Derby to come straight to the Preakness Stakes due to a minor injury.

In the Florida Derby he broke the track record before being disqualified for interfering with the runner up but that still goes down as a mighty impressive performance.

Before that he had barely put a foot wrong and is a multiple winner with a fantastic chance at a tasty price coming in to the Preakness.

The one they all have to beat is the 7/4 favourite Rachel Alexandra who comes here having trounced the field in the Kentucky Oaks by 20 lengths.

She started her career with a win and a couple of runner-up efforts as a two-year-old but since turning three has been unstoppable and has won her last four starts under jockey Calvin Borel who is clearly skilled at getting the best out of her.

They have won their races by a combined, jaw-dropping total of 43 ½ lengths and if she turns up on song, she is going to make all the boys work extremely hard to get anywhere near her.

Rachel Alexandra truly looks a worthy favourite and wouldn't put anyone off backing her.

However for those who fancy something at a bigger price and after the favourite so bitterly disappointed in the Kentucky Derby then a chance is taken with Big Drama at 12/1, who will be fully fit for this, has blistering pace and looks a great each-way bet against the favourite.

Be sure not to miss one of the highlights of the American racing calendar with the race going off at 11.15pm GMT from Pimlico race course

Big Drama - 12/1

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