Fresh off an impressive victory in the Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs, Kentucky-bred Mage seeks to keep his Triple Crown hopes alive as he headlines the 148th running of the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico on Saturday, May 20. Five of the seven entrants in the second leg of the Triple Crown are bred in Kentucky.

Owned by OGMA Investments LLC, Ramiro Restrepo, Sterling Racing, and CMNWLTH and trained by Gustavo Delgado, Mage rallied strongly in the stretch of the 1 ¼-mile Derby to defeat fellow Kentucky-bred Two Phils by a length at the finish. Bred in Kentucky by Grandview Equine, the son of Good Magic drew post position No. 3 for the Preakness and is the 4-5 morning line favorite.

Mage, who shipped to Pimlico earlier in the week, appears to have bounced back nicely from his Derby win.

“It was the same routine since we got here. He looked better, had more energy,” said Gustavo Delgado Jr., trainer Gustavo Delgado’s son and assistant on Mage’s shipping to Pimlico. “He wanted to do more. His exercise rider, J.J. Delgado said he’s doing good.”

National Treasure is the second choice on the morning-line, following the scratch of First Mission, and is listed at odds of 3-1 for owners SF Racing and Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Robert Masterson, Stonestreet Stables, Jay Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital, and Catherine Donovan. Trained by Bob Baffert, who is seeking a record-breaking eighth victory in the Preakness, National Treasure most recently finished fourth in the Santa Anita Derby. The son of Quality Road was bred in Kentucky by Peter Blum Thoroughbreds.

Kentucky-bred Blazing Sevens skipped the Kentucky Derby in favor of the Preakness. Like Mage, Blazing Sevens is by Good Magic and is trained by Chad Brown. Most recently a distant third in the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) at Keeneland, Blazing Sevens is owned by Rodeo Creek Racing LLC, and he was bred in the Bluegrass by Tracy Farmer. Brown has won the Preakness twice before with Early Voting and Cloud Computing.

“The fact that we skipped the Derby, with the points, giving (Blazing Sevens) six weeks rest makes him similar to the other two,” Brown said.  “This horse got started earlier. He won the Champagne. They are really different horses to compare.

“His Blue Grass was very good, a very good step in the right direction,” Brown continued. “But it wasn’t quite good enough to set him up to run the race of his life in the Derby, which is what you need to do.”

Rounding out the Kentucky-bred contingent are Red Route One, a Winchell Thoroughbreds homebred son of Gun Runner trained by Steve Asmussen, and Perform—a third son of Good Magic in the Preakness. The latter is campaigned by Woodford Racing, Lane’s End Farm, Phipps Stable, Ken Langone, and Edward Hudson Jr., and is conditioned by Shug McGaughey. Red Route One finished second in the Rebel Stakes (G2) earlier this season and most recently won a stake at Oaklawn Park. Perform captured the Federico Tesio Stakes at Laurel in his most recent outing.