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Nyquist and Exaggerator Dominate Odds to Win Preakness Stakes

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Nyquist will be looking to become the third straight Kentucky Derby winner to race to victory at the Preakness Stakes when he hits the track on Saturday as a strong -175 betting favorite at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

After claiming a 1 1/4-length victory at this year’s Kentucky Derby, paying out as +225 chalk, Nyquist remains undefeated in eight races ahead of Saturday afternoon’s Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

The Canadian-owned colt will start from Post 3 in a reduced field of 11 featuring just three horses that ran in the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago.

Nyquist raced to victory at Churchill Downs after drawing the 13 Post, two positions over from Exaggerator, who finished second while sporting +800 odds.

Exaggerator has drawn Post 5 for Saturday’s race, and once again represents Nyquist’s closest competition on the Preakness Stakes odds, perched at +375 at the sportsbooks. The Keith Desormeaux-trained colt has been busy since making his debut last June, winning four of his 10 career races, including a dominating performance en route to a victory at the Santa Anita Derby as +400 chalk.

The Preakness Stakes marks the fourth head-to-head battle between the two favorites, with Exaggerator also finishing second in the San Vicente Stakes, and a disappointing fourth in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

Stradivari, a Todd Pletcher-trained Colt, makes just his third career start at Pimlico after claiming victory in his last outing in a Keeneland allowance race last month, and rounds out the front of the betting pack with +800 odds.

The remaining eight horses in the field all sport double-digit odds, led by Collected at +1600.

Collected starts from Post 7 in his first career Grade I race after picking up four wins in five races against Grade III competition, including victories in the Sunland Park Festival of Racing Stakes and the Lexington Stakes, both at Keeneland.

Cherry Wine makes his first appearance since finishing third in the Blue Grass Stakes, and will start on the rail sporting +2500 odds.

Uncle Lino, starting from Post 2, and Awesome Speed, who owns Post 4, are next on the Preakness Stakes odds, deadlocked at +3300, while Lani, a ninth-place finisher in his first North American start at the Kentucky Derby, trails as a distant +4000 longshot.

Lani is joined at the bottom of the odds by Fellowship, Laoban, and Abiding Star, who is undefeated in his last four starts, but has yet to compete in a race longer than 1-1/16 miles.

Lockdown wins by 2 1/2 lengths in Aqueduct’s Busanda Stakes

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NEW YORK (AP) Lockdown won her stakes debut Sunday, beating Libby’s Tail by 2+ lengths in the $100,000 Busanda for 3-year-old fillies at Aqueduct.

Libby’s Tail, the 3-5 favorite, set the pace with Lockdown right behind before taking charge and turning for home.

Kendrick Carmouche rode for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott as Lockdown got her second win in three starts.

“She has such a long stride, you just have to time her run and she’ll take you home from there,” Carmouche said.

The time was 1:44.75 for the one mile, 70 yards.

Lockdown, the 2-1 second choice, paid $6.60, $2.50 and $2.10. Libby’s Tail returned $2.30 and $2.10 and No Sweat paid $3.20 to show.

More New Orleans Fair Grounds horses test positive for equine herpes

BRIDGWATER, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 11: A horse relaxes in the fields at Gib Hill Stables on January 11, 2017 in Bridgwater, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)
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NEW ORLEANS — Officials at the New Orleans Fair Grounds say more horses have tested positive for equine herpes this week, resulting in the lengthening and expansion of existing quarantines.

The Receiving Barn returned a pair of positive tests, while two other barns returned 28 positive tests combined, resulting in 14-day quarantines being reset.

An additional barn was placed under quarantine when one horse there tested positive.

The virus, called EHV-1, is latent in many horses, but symptoms can emerge periodically, making it contagious. EHV-1 can cause respiratory or neurological problems, as well as aborted or unhealthy pregnancies.

Racing continues at the Fair Grounds, where officials say they’re working with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture to find places outside the Fair Grounds to isolate infected horses.