Updated on 09/17/2011 10:31AM

History stacked against fresh faces

Senor Swinger will be coupled in the wagering with Scrimshaw in the Preakness Stakes.

BALTIMORE - Last year, 45-1 shot Magic Weisner came within less than a length of pulling off a stunning upset in the Preakness when the Maryland-bred gelding finished second to Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem. Not only would Magic Weisner have been the longest-priced horse to win the race, but also he would have bucked a major handicapping trend in the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

Only twice in the last 20 years has the Preakness been won by a horse who did not compete in the Kentucky Derby. In 1983, the Maryland-bred and -based Deputed Testamony scored a 14-1 upset in a 12-horse field that included six Derby runners. In 2000, Red Bullet, the 6-1 second choice, knocked off Derby champ and 1-5 Preakness favorite Fusaichi Pegasus.

Since 1983, there have been 89 non-Derby starters in the Preakness, with Red Bullet the lone victor. Nine others have finished second or third. For the most part, Preakness starters that did not run in the Derby were hopeless longshots whose connections were hoping to catch a bunch of tired horses from the Derby.

Of the 10 horses entered in Saturday's 128th Preakness at Pimlico, six did not run in the Derby.

Kissin Saint, the third-place finisher in the Wood Memorial, may have the best chance of making an impact and could be worth a saver win bet, especially if his morning-line odds of 20-1 hold true.

Claimed for $50,000 by trainer Lisa Lewis in January, Kissin Saint won two allowance races for Lewis and had to deal with a leg infection in between starts. In the Wood, he was returning in two weeks and was pinched at the break, though jockey Richard Migliore - who rode Magic Weisner - believes that helped him get a ground-saving trip. Still, he was beaten eight lengths.

Kissin Saint has had five weeks to recover from the Wood race, and after working Kissin Saint in company Sunday morning (no time was recorded due to fog), Migliore is confident the horse is live.

"I think a lot of this horse," Migliore said. "He has a great deal of ability, he's lightly raced. He stepped his game up every time he has run. Obviously, he will need to continue to do that to stay competitive with these kind of horses, but he certainly has trained like a horse that has improved."

Trainer Bob Baffert has won the Preakness four times since 1997, including the last two runnings. Senor Swinger will be Baffert's first Preakness starter who did not compete in the Derby.

Baffert purchased Senor Swinger privately for Bob and Beverly Lewis after a dismal showing in the Florida Derby. Baffert put him in the Wood, where he finished 9 1/4 lengths behind Empire Maker. Senor Swinger made his next start in the Grade 3 Crown Royal American Turf, which he won with a scintillating off-the-pace move.

Baffert said the horse came out of the race in good order, and with five-time Preakness-winning rider Pat Day aboard, Baffert believes the horse deserves one more shot on the dirt.

"I don't think the distance will be a problem for him, it's just a matter of what type of trip I get with him,' Baffert said.

Senor Swinger will be coupled in the wagering with Scrimshaw because the Lewises own both horses. Despite the impeccable Preakness connections, the 5-1 morning-line odds seem a little short for Senor Swinger, who has been trounced in his two Grade 1 dirt tries.

Midway Road represents trainer Neil Howard's first Preakness starter since he won the 1990 race with Summer Squall. Midway Road is owned by Will Farish, whose only other Preakness starter, Bee Bee Bee, won the 1972 Preakness at 18-1.

Midway Road had throat surgery to repair an entrapped epiglottis following his seventh-place finish in the Kentucky Jockey Club last November. In order to find races that fit his horse last winter, Howard had to start Midway Road on turf once and in a dirt sprint once. Finally, he was able to run Midway Road in a two-turn allowance race, which he won by nearly 12 lengths.

"Realistically, if he runs back to the last race, to the way he has trained and to the way his attitude has changed and the way he looks, he could hit the board," Howard said.

Cherokee's Boy and Foufa's Warrior are the obligatory Maryland-based horses taking a shot.

Cherokee's Boy is 3 for 3 at Pimlico, including a victory in the Federico Tesio, the local Preakness prep. His connections basically announced their intention to use their colt's early speed by choosing post 1. It's hard to see Cherokee's Boy keeping up with the speed of Peace Rules and Funny Cide.

Foufa's Warrior will do his running late. He was flying at the finish to be third in the Crown Royal after being left at the start. Trainer Larry Murray hopes for a fast pace and that same explosive kick.

"I can't imagine how fast he went the last three sixteenths of a mile,' Murray said. "Things are going to have to set up for him to get a piece of it. I'm hoping for a tremendous pace and I hope he kicks like he did at Churchill.'

New York Hero is a Maryland-bred colt who hails from the same New York connections that finished fifth in the 2001 Preakness with 59-1 shot Griffinite. New York Hero won the Lane's End Stakes at Turfway Park three starts back, but has since been dueled into defeat in both the Wood Memorial and Withers.

Trainer Jennifer Pedersen is hoping that new jockey Jorge Chavez can get New York Hero off the early pace.

"I think he wants to run long and he likes to chase down horses, have something ahead of him,' Pedersen said. "I went there with the [second] longest shot on the board and I didn't disgrace myself and it looks like I'm doing the same thing again.'