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Second step: Justify back in action for leg two of Triple Crown

Justify: an impressive winner of the Kentucky Derby at the start of the month
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Preview: USA, Saturday 11.48pm BST (live on ATR)

Pimlico: 143rd Preakness Stakes (Grade 1) | 1m1½f, 3yo

The second step on the US Triple Crown trail beckons for burgeoning star Justify on Saturday, when the Kentucky Derby hero lines up against seven rivals for the $1,500,000 Preakness Stakes.

Bet365 are offering 2-1 about the unbeaten son of Scat Daddy becoming the 13th winner of the Triple Crown, which concludes with the Belmont Stakes on June 9. He may well be odds-on if successful in leg two.

Bob Baffert's stable star defied sloppy conditions in the Kentucky Derby to dominate from the front under Mike Smith, and much of the same will be expected at Pimlico in similar conditions with rain and thunderstorms forecast in Maryland.

Justify has to defy a quick turnaround, just two weeks on from his Churchill Downs heroics, but Baffert, the last trainer to land the Triple Crown with American Pharoah three years ago, is not concerned.

He said: "He's been running every three weeks and had a tough schedule, but he looks good and healthy.

"The main thing is he's just a really good horse. That's what makes him so great. He's a superior horse, just like American Pharoah."

Justify: back in action two weeks after his Kentucky Derby heroics, as is runner-up Good Magic
Kentucky Derby runner-up Good Magic has two and a half lengths to find with Justify, although jockey Jose Ortiz feels the Chad Brown-trained son of Curlin can reverse the form.

Ortiz said: "It's a small field and if we have a clean trip I'm sure we could turn the tables on Justify. We just have to make up two and a half lengths. It's not like he beat us by ten lengths.

"I will have to turn it into a match race. It looks like a match race on paper. You can't give Justify an inch."

Quip, Diamond King and Lone Sailor boast progressive profiles but appear to have place claims at best.

Also on Saturday

Pimlico: Dixie Stakes (Grade 2) | 1m½f, 3yo+ | (7.07pm BST, recording to be shown on ATR)

Last year's Breeders' Cup Mile winner World Approval bids to bounce back from defeat in the Frank E Kilroe Stakes in the $250,000 Dixie Stakes earlier on the card.

The three-time top-level scorer finished fifth at odds of 1-2 in the Santa Anita contest in March but did triumph in this Grade 2 event last season.

World Approval: below par when fifth in the Frank E. Kilroe Stakes
Trainer Mark Casse said of John Velazquez's mount: "My only thought was he put in a lot of effort his first time back and he bounced a little last time. He's feeling good now though."

Just Howard and Divisidero, who is making his debut for trainer Kelly Rubley, look the likeliest challengers.

Arlington Park: Arlington Matron Stakes (Grade 3) | 1m1f, 3yo+ f+m (10.44pm BST)

The Wesley Ward-trained Con Te Partiro aims to enhance her Duke of Cambridge claims in the Arlington Matron Stakes at Arlington Park.

Successful in the Sandringham Handicap last year, the daughter of Scat Daddy is set for a return to Royal Ascot next month and runs in this Grade 3 contest under Corey Nakatani as a stepping-stone to a trip across the Atlantic.


Read exclusive previews from 6pm daily on racingpost.com


 

The main thing is he’s just a really good horse. That’s what makes him so great
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