Looking at Lee is headed to the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes for many reasons. The biggest reason, however, is to win the second jewel of Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown.

When the horses crossed under the wire in the Churchill Downs mud on Kentucky Derby day, some may have wondered who that runner was coming up the rail. Closing with a flourish and covered in mud, Looking at Lee just didn’t have enough race track as he was 2 ¾ lengths behind frontrunner Always Dreaming. Finishing five lengths in front of third place Battle of Midway, the 40 to 1 long shot that broke from post one gave his hall of fame conditioner every reason to think he should head to Pimlico.

“Looking at Lee ran the best race of his life in the Kentucky Derby,” says trainer Steve Asmussen. “The horse deserves all the credit for stepping up his game when it matters the most. The Derby is a race that offers so many obstacles and I am very proud of how handled the mud and the traffic. He’s a horse that always tries”

As a horse that has not won in his last seven starts, this son of Looking at Lucky just made it in to the Run for the Roses. Even though he has been winless since August of 2016, Asmussen has seen the promise in a runner that has finished second three times and third twice since his seven-furlong win at Ellis Park. With ten total races under the saddle, making like his pappy in the Preakness (2010 winner) is something his team thinks can happen.

“I think when you consider his seasoning, he has as good a shot as any to win the Preakness,” says Asmussen. “I am extremely excited about how he came out of the Derby. You try and put your horse in the best position to be successful and handle all of them in different ways. The unique thing about these Triple Crown races is the horses only have one chance to compete in them and we think he deserves that opportunity.”