After a wild 2013 Kentucky Derby, the focus of the horse-racing community has shifted to the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes from Pimlico Race Course.
With the Preakness scheduled for Saturday, May 18, the excitement around Derby winner Orb and the horse’s search for the elusive Triple Crown has the sport at a fever pitch.
Orb is a safe bet to contend, but all of the following colts have a chance to walk away from this premier race with the victory.
The 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb will come into the Preakness Stakes as the main focus of the sport. The scrutiny and media attention the horse and its staff will receive over the next two weeks will be more than they have ever experienced.
Orb may have run an amazing Derby and stole the show, but if the training team and handlers allow the horse to get flustered by all of the extra attention, this is a Triple Crown threat that will have a hard time contending.
If the pre-race rituals all go off without a hitch, though, Orb has the strength and speed to be a serious contender to win the second leg of the Triple Crown. With jockey Joel Rosario riding Orb beautifully at the Derby, this could be the dream season horse-racing fans have been waiting for.
The Triple Crown hunt is officially on.
One of the favorites to win at the Kentucky Derby was Goldencents, but after finishing an abysmal 17th overall, the expectations for the horse at Pimlico have fallen substantially.
As a horse-racing fan, do not count this horse out.
The sloppy conditions of Churchill Downs impacted the start and overall run for Goldencents, but a huge win at the Santa Anita Derby a month prior proves that with perfect race conditions, this is a horse that can seal a victory.
Add in that this colt is trained by defending Derby-winning Doug O’Neill and backed by part-owner and Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino, and the spotlight will once again be on Goldencents in this race.
Oxbox was fortunate enough to get the No. 2 post in the Kentucky Derby, but the sloppy conditions doomed his chances of running down a victory.
However, a very respectable sixth-place finish at the Derby proves this colt will still contend at the Preakness.
Oxbow has quite the team in his corner as well, with legendary trainer D. Wayne Lukas and Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens riding the momentum created at the Derby to hope for an even more impressive run on May 18.
With the hope that Pimlico Race Course will be dry for this race and the stallion will get a solid post position, the horse-racing community should expect to see Oxbow in the top three by the end of the Preakness Stakes.