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California Chrome to face fresh competition in Preakness next weekend

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California Chrome will once again be the odds-on favorite as he attempts to take the second jewel in thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown next Saturday. Although his margin of win at the finish line was only 1-3/4 lengths over fast charging Commanding Curve, it was big enough to scare away all but two of his Kentucky Derby rivals for the Preakness. These are Ride On Curlin (7th in the Derby) and General a Rod (11th), who will be joined with a fresh crop of competitors including Social Inclusion (third in the Wood Memorial), Bayern, Pablo De Monte, Kid Cruz, Dynamic Impact, Ring Weekend and Ria Antonia. Commanding Curve will be saved for the Belmont Stakes on June 7th instead.

There are also a couple of jockey changes that may impact the race as well, including the fact that Joel Rosario (who won the 2013 Derby aboard Orb) is jumping from General a Rod to Ride on Curlin (replacing Calvin Borel), and Pimlico sweetheart Rosie Napravnik has been tapped to ride Bob Baffert's Bayern, who she rode to a 1st place finish at the Derby Trial Stakes April 26 at Churchill Downs, only to be disqualified and placed 2nd behind Embellishing Bob for interference in the stretch. Napravnik received a three-day suspension that she is serving this week. Napravnik came in dead last at the Kentucky Derby on Vicar's in Trouble, but certainly hopes to do a whole lot better (including besting her third place finish in last year's Preakness aboard Mylute) on Saturday..

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