BALTIMORE (AP) _ Real Quiet moved to within one step of the pinnacle of American racing by winning the Preakness Saturday at Pimlico.

The Kentucky Derby winner swept into the lead nearing the quarter pole and outsprinted Victory Gallop, the Derby runner-up, to the wire on this hot, sunny day.

The victory makes Bob Baffert the first trainer to have consecutive chances at winning the Triple Crown. Baffert won the Derby and Preakness last year with Silver Charm, who was beaten by Touch Gold in the Belmont.

Real Quiet and Victory Gallop made a move together just before the half-mile pole, gunning their way around horses and into the turn. It was nip-and-tuck until the midstretch when Real Quiet took command and won in 1:54 3-5.

Despite his win in the Derby, Real Quiet, ridden by Kent Desormeaux, went off the 5-2 second favorite to 9-5 Victory Gallop.

``If I had drawn inside, I would have guaranteed you guys a victory,'' Baffert told reporters the day before the race. Real Quiet became only the second horse to win the Preakness from the No. 10 post.

Baffert had also said: ``I'd rather have a good horse in a bad post than a bad horse in a good post. He's a plodder but he's a runner.''

He was a heck of a runner on this sunny, 96-degree day. He got to the wire a clear winner 2 1-4 lengths in front of Victory Gallop. Classic Cat, making his debut in Triple Crown competition, was third.

Real Quiet paid $7, $3.60 and $3. Victory Gallop returned $3.20 and $2.80. Classic Cat, who finished ahead of Hot Wells, was $4.80 to show.