Eddie Olczyk’s 2018 Preakness picks

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NBC Sports’ Eddie Olczyk’s picks for the 143rd running of the Preakness are hot off the press.

Edzo accurately predicted the trifecta at this year’s Kentucky Derby by going with Justify, Good Magic and Audible.

Preakness Stakes: What Time, Where to Watch and More

Olczyk believes Justify will continue his magical run towards the Triple Crown with a victory at Pimlico, while Good Magic will fall just short once again.

Race 8                   Still Having Fun-Curly’s Rocket-Mitole

Race 9                   Ultra Brat-Elysea’s World-Blessed Silence

Race 10                 Fellowship-Switzerland-Long Haul Bay

Race 11                 Keep Your Distance-Pretty Perfection-Smiling Causeway

Race 12                 Ax Man-Title Ready

Race 13                 Justify-Good Magic-Quip

 

Preakness Stakes Schedule

What: 143rd Preakness Stakes

When: May 19th, 2018

Post Time: 6:48 p.m. ET

Where to Watch: NBC, NBC Sports App

Click for the full Preakness Stakes race weekend schedule.

Victor Espinoza plans comeback in late December

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ARCADIA, Calif. — Triple Crown-winning jockey Victor Espinoza is planning a comeback in late December after fracturing a vertebra in his neck during a training accident at Del Mar.

That’s according to his agent Brian Beach, who says Friday that Espinoza saw his doctors this week and they are pleased with his progress. However, they’re not yet ready to release the 46-year-old Hall of Fame jockey to ride again.

Beach says on his Twitter account that Espinoza “wants to be 100 percent when he comes back.”

A late December return would allow Espinoza to ride at Santa Anita, which opens its winter-spring meet on Dec. 26.

Espinoza got hurt July 22 when he fell while exercising a horse.

He rode American Pharoah to a Triple Crown sweep in 2015.

Vale Dori scores upset win for Baffert in Zenyatta Stakes

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ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) Vale Dori defeated La Force by three-quarters of a length to win the $300,000 Zenyatta Stakes in an upset at Santa Anita on Sunday.

Abel Tasman, the 1-9 favorite trained by Bob Baffert, finished next-to-last, beaten 10 1/2 lengths. Vale Dori, an 11-1 shot also trained by Baffert, ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.88 under Joe Talamo. The Grade 1 victory earned her an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Churchill Downs on Nov. 3.

Vale Dori snapped a six-race skid.

Bettors waged $474,683 to show on Abel Tasman, who was fresh off a pair of Grade 1 victories in New York under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith. But she broke poorly from the starting gate and never fired.

“I’m as shocked as everybody else, but they’ll do that,” Baffert said. “I’m worried about (Abel Tasman) because Mike said she was lethargic, and she’s up there where all these sick horses are, so I hope she’s not getting sick.”

Vale Dori returned $24.60, $13.20 and $40.60. She earned $180,000, and increased her career earnings to $1,365,567.

La Force paid $8.40 and $14.60. Shenandoah Queen was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third and paid $26.60 to show.