Laughing Fox is one of several new faces on the Triple Crown trail that are trying their luck in the 144th Preakness Stakes (6 p.m., NBC). MetroBet will dive into his racing résumé, human connections and pedigree below.
Laughing Fox was last seen rallying for the victory in the Oaklawn Invitational, which carried an automatic Preakness berth. He went four-wide turning for home in the inaugural $300k event on Kentucky Derby day but still managed to catch the leaders and win by a neck. Laughing Fox was briefly on the road to the Kentucky Derby after two straight wins over non-stakes rivals to kick off his three-year-old campaign, but he offered little in the Rebel Stakes before finishing a distant fourth in the Arkansas Derby. Those races have come back strong though, as he ran behind Omaha Beach and Game Winner in the former before finishing behind Omaha Beach again as well as Improbable and Country House in the latter.
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The pedigree on Laughing Fox is more than sound, especially for the 1 3/16th-mile distance of the Preakness. His sire is Union Rags, winner of the 2012 Belmont Stakes. His dam is Saskawea, a daughter of Stormy Atlantic that won several stakes in her native Canada between 2006 and 2009 in various circumstances. Saskawea might have won two legs of the Canadian Triple Tiara in 2007 were she not up against Sealy Hill, the lone filly to ever win the Woodbine Oaks, Bison City Stakes and Wonder Where Stakes in the same year since the series was launched in 1999.
Steve Asmussen trains Laughing Fox, and he’s a winner of the middle jewel of the Triple Crown twice over. He guided the remarkable Curlin to victory in 2007 before he accomplished the feat again in 2009, this time with filly Rachel Alexandra. Ricardo Santana Jr, Asmussen’s go-to jockey, regains the mount on Laughing Fox. He’s yet to win a Triple Crown race but took down three Grade Is at Churchill on Kentucky Derby weekend, all for Asmussen.