The second jewel of the Triple Crown is this weekend.  You think the Kentucky Derby snuck up on us -- I can't believe the Preakness Stakes is already around the corner.  But the question is, "who are the big contenders this time around?"

Animal Kingdom, winner of the derby (almost two weeks ago), is entered in Saturday's race at Pimlico Race Course.  However, Todd Pletcher has new plans in store for this race.  Pletcher is/was the trainer of Uncle Mo, one of the favorites going into the Kentucky Derby, but was scratched due to intestinal problems.  For the Preakness, Pletcher is shipping in a different colt he has in training. 

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Pletcher's new prospect, known as Dance City, has only had four starts, but has ran well in each race, according to the trainer.  The horse has been training for the Preakness at Churchill Downs and will be shipped to Baltimore.  Meanwhile, Animal Kingdom won't arrive for the Preakness until Saturday.  Nehro, the second-place finisher in the derby, won't be arriving at all for Preakness.  His owner, Amed Zayat, plans to hold off until the Belmont Stakes because the horse has had a jammed pack schedule of races and Zayat wants his horse fresh for the Belmont. 

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The Preakness will go off at 6:18pm Eastern time this Saturday.  NBC's telecast begins at 4:30pm at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.

For updates and/or more information on the Preakness, check out "The Baltimore Sun."

Do you plan on betting on the race this Saturday?  If so, do you tend to go for the horse everyone else is planning on cheering for or do you try to pick the underdog?  Animal Kingdom was not one of the favorites going into the Kentucky Derby so it will be interesting to see if it was a fluke and if another underdog takes the win this time around.