Oddsmakers on Monday made Muth, the Bob Baffert colt who was held out of the Kentucky Derby because of Churchill Downs’ ban on the trainer, the 8-5 morning line favorite in the 149th Preakness Stakes.

It’s the first time since 2012 the Derby winner ran back in the middle jewel of the Triple Crown and did not line up as the favorite. Mystik Dan, who won the Run for the Roses on May 4 in a thrilling three-way photo finish, is the second choice at 5-2.

After initially expressing reservations about running his colt back on such short rest, trainer Kenny McPeek saw positive results in training and at the feed tub and decided to give Mystik Dan a shot at Pimlico Race Course. No horse has won the first two legs of the Triple Crown since Justify in 2018, a Baffert horse who swept the series with a victory in the Belmont.

“All systems go,” McPeek said Saturday. “The horse is doing fantastic.”

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Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. will once again get the mount on the son of Goldencents out of Ma’am.

The two horses will be side to side in the starting gate, with Muth drawing Post 4 and Mystik Dan in Post 5. They previously faced off in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, with Muth coming in first and Mystik Dan finishing third.

“I thought it was perfect. Right next to Muth. Perfect. Hopefully, we leave there clean and get a little better trip than we did last time [when third in Arkansas Derby]. I think it’s a very level playing field,” McPeek said. “I think we could stalk right behind [Muth] or be off of him. We will leave that up to Brian. He knows the horse really well. We are excited to be part of another historic race.”

In his undefeated campaign as a 3-year-old, Muth would have qualified for the Kentucky Derby had he been allowed to enter. In six career starts, the son of Good Magic out of Hoppa has finished no worse than second.

Jockey Juan Hernandez, who has ridden in all six of Muth’s races, will again be in the irons for Preakness.

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Celebrated by some for his Hall of Fame career, reviled by others due to accusations of doping, Baffert won his record eighth Preakness last year with National Treasure — a day that was marred by the breakdown of another one of his runners, Havnameltdown, in the Chick Lang Stakes. The colt was euthanized on the track.

Baffert’s second horse in this year’s race, Imagination, drew the outside post in the nine-horse field and received odds of 6-1. The son of Into Mischief out of Magical Feeling is coming off a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby. Frankie Dettori, the 53-year-old Italian jockey known for his stellar riding career in England and “flying dismount,” will be aboard with a chance at winning his first Triple Crown race.

“[Muth] is a nice horse. He won his last out [Arkansas Derby],” Baffert said. “At the end of the day, Mystik Dan is going to get a lot of support. Just being there with two nice horses, to me, with a competitive field, it’s going to be a good race.”

The other two Derby runners in the field, fourth-place finisher Catching Freedom (third post) and 17th-place finisher Just Steel (seventh post), will go off at odds of 6-1 and 15-1, respectively.

Seize the Grey, who won the Pat Day Mile Stakes on the Derby undercard, will go off at odds of 15-1 out of Post 6.

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The only other horse without double-digit odds is Chad Brown trainee Tuscan Gold, a lightly raced colt who finished third in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby behind Catching Freedom. He will go out of the eighth post with jockey Tyler Gaffalione up.

Rounding out the field are Mugatu in the Post 1 and Uncle Heavy in Post 2. Both have odds of 20-1.

The $2 million Preakness is set to go off Saturday around 7:01 p.m.

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