Sire: War Front
Trainer: Al Stall, Jr.
Jockey: Brian Hernandez, Jr.
Owners: Claiborne Farm & Adele B. Dilschneider
Notable Races: 1st, G3-Illinois Derby; 3rd, G2-Louisiana Derby; 1st, Texas Heritage Stakes
Positives: Won the Illinois Derby in stylish fashion at Hawthorne and was a good third to Revolutionary and Mylute in the Louisiana Derby on March 30, two horses that came back to run well in the Kentucky Derby. Departing prefers to sit several lengths off the pace which should be the perfect running style in a Preakness that looks to have plenty of early speed. He's trained well following his Illinois Derby victory and heads to Pimlico as the main threat to Orb's chances of winning the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
Negatives: If we're picking nits with Departing it's hard not to focus on the fact his win in the Illinois Derby came against a field much weaker than the one he'll face in the Preakness and in the Louisiana Derby he lost to a couple of horses that were no match for Orb in Kentucky. Departing is also garnering a lot of attention heading into the Preakness and probably won't offer much in the way of odds at post time; it's highly likely that Departing will go off as the second choice in the Preakness.