Kentucky Derby winner Orb will attempt become the 13th horse since 1978 to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown when he faces eight rivals in Saturday's 2013 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Maryland (Post time: 6:20 pm Eastern; TV: NBC). Orb drew the rail position and is the even money morning line favorite. The last horse to win from the rail at the Preakness was Tabasco Cat in 1994.
The post position draw for the Preakness doesn't carry near the importance as it does for the Derby due to the much smaller field size. Specifically, the rail isn't the "post of death" as it is in the Derby due to the position of the Preakness starting gate at Pimlico. At the Derby, the 1-hole literally looks right at the rail on the far turn of the course, leaving the rider very few options once the gate opens. At the Preakness, the starting gate is moved more towards the middle of the track and the field is half the size of the Derby. Additionally, Orb tends to come from off the pace which reduces the chances of getting pinned at the start that occurs when horses try to get the lead from the rail.
A stylish winner of a rainy and sloppy Derby just two weeks ago, Orb is trying to keep alive the hopes and dreams of racing fans waiting for the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed swept all three races in 1978. As is the case every year, the task won't be easy.
Joining Orb in the Preakness are:
Departing: Winner of the Grade 2 Illinois Derby and third in the Louisiana Derby this spring.
Goldencents: Winner of the Santa Anita Derby but a disappointing 17th in the Derby.
Mylute: Fifth place finishers in the Derby.
Will Take Charge: A trouble-filled eighth place finisher behind Orb in Louisville.
Titletown Five: Fourth in the Derby Trial back on April 27.
Oxbow: A good sixth in the Derby after laying close to a extremely fast pace.
Itsmyluckyday: Second to Orb in the Florida Derby but a no-show in the Derby when he finished 15th.
Govenor Charlie: Winner of the Grade 3 Sunland Derby in late March.
Below are the entries, post positions and morning line odds for the 2013 Preakness Stakes:
|1||Orb||J. Rosario||S. McGuaghey||Even|
|2||Goldencents||K. Krigger||D. O'Neill||8/1|
|3||Titletown Five||J. Leparoux||D.W. Lukas||30/1|
|4||Departing||B. Hernandez, Jr.||A. Stall, Jr.||6/1|
|5||Mylute||R. Napravnik||T. Amoss||5/1|
|6||Oxbow||G. Stevens||D.W. Lukas||15/1|
|7||Will Take Charge||M. Smith||D.W. Lukas||12/1|
|8||Govenor Charlie||M. Garcia||B. Baffert||12/1|
|9||Itsmyluckyday||J. Velazquez||E. Plesa, Jr.||10/1|