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Rachel Alexandra leads the early wagering.
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Anne M. Eberhardt

Rachel Alexandra Heavy Early Betting Choice

Filly the 3-2 choice.

How much did the addition of the filly Rachel Alexandra mean to the dynamics of the May 16 Preakness Stakes (gr. I)? According to the patrons at Pimlico Race Course the day before the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, it meant everything.

In the advance wagering, on-track only, Rachel Alexandra was the heavy 3-2 favorite. The daughter of Medagalia d’Oro won the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), and the Preakness was not on the radar. But she was purchased by Jess Jackson and Harold McCormick, transferred to the barn of trainer Steve Asmussen, and pointed to the 1 3/16-mile race.

Rachel Alexandra was made the 8-5 morning-line favorite, but the bettors hammered her in the advance wagering. The 3-year-old filly dropped below that price, while the next lowest odds were 7-1, shared by Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird and the runner-up in that race, Pioneerof the Nile .

Here are the early wagering odds:

Big Drama, 9-1

Mine That Bird, 7-1

Musket Man, 18-1

Luv Gov, 25-1

Friesan Fire , 8-1

Terrain, 25-1

Papa Clem, 14-1

General Quarters, 17-1

Pioneerof the Nile , 7-1

Flying Private, 25-1

Take the Points, 14-1

Tone it Down, 19-1

Rachel Alexandra, 3-2