At Preakness, they’re playing ‘musical chairs’



May 17, 2019 - 5:02 PM

Justify #7 ridden by jockey Mike Smith wins the 143rd running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 19, 2018 in Baltimore, Md. Patrick Smith/Getty Images/TNS

BALTIMORE (AP) — The jockey shuffle heading into the Preakness has a “musical chairs” feel to it.

Of the 13 jockeys in Saturday’s race, nine who rode in the Kentucky Derby are aboard a different horse in the Preakness. Most notably, Hall of Famer Mike Smith is now riding favored Improbable with familiar trainer Bob Baffert, bumping Irad Ortiz to Bourbon War.

“It seems to be a little bit more than maybe most of the time, but this isn’t uncommon,” Smith said. “Especially during this Triple Crown stuff, there’s a lot of musical chairs. A lot of people picked up horses at the last minute and won the Derby, won the Preakness and won the Belmont, for that matter.”

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