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Can anyone take down Orb at the Preakness?
That's a question we'll all be asking before the second leg of the Triple Crown, as racing fans hope Orb can take one step closer to ending a drought dating back to 1978. And with the possibility that many horses from the Kentucky Derby will skip on the Preakness, it may only be a few horses that didn't race at Churchill Downs that stand in Orb's way.
So which potential participants that skipped the Derby could end Orb's run for glory? Which horses do you need to know leading up to Pimlico's sprint?
You've come to the right place to get those answers, folks.
Perhaps this horse is aptly named, as Departing has a habit of departing the field late in the race. Sorry, I couldn't resist.
With four wins and a third-place finish in five races—including a victory at the mile-and-an-eighth track at the Illinois Derby, just slightly shorter than the Preakness—Departing is not a horse to be taken lightly.
And trainer Al Stall has already told Pimlico officials the horse will run in the Preakness, according to Chris Korman of The Baltimore Sun, so Orb better be ready for a challenge.
Govenor Charlie is a legitimate threat to win the Preakness. Though inexperienced, the horse has two wins in three starts and finished second at the Santa Anita Derby. But the horse's real claim to fame was a record time at the Sunland Derby, running a blistering 1:47.54.
While trainer Bob Baffert hasn't yet decided if he'll run the horse at the Preakness, it would be a major shock if he was left out of the field. With strong tactical speed and an obvious ability to absolutely blaze through a shorter track, Govenor Charlie could be Orb's worst nightmare.
While Departing and Govenor Charlie will be considered legitimate contenders come the Preakness, Bellarmine will likely be considered a dark horse to upset Orb at the second leg of the Triple Crown.
But that doesn't mean you should sleep on this horse. Remember, Bellarmine won an allowance race at Churchill Downs in the lead-up to the Derby. Sure, it wasn't the Illinois Derby or Sunland Derby, but a win is a win, right?
Departing and Govenor Charlie are the real threats if we're being honest. But Bellarmine could end up surprising some folks with a strong run at the shorter Pimlico track.