Kentucky Derby 2013: Strong Finishers That Will Fail at Preakness Stakes

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistMay 8, 2013

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 04:  Javier Castellano (center) atop Normandy Invasion leads the field as Joel Rosario atop Orb (far left) races from behind through the fourth turn to victory in the running of the 139th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

After Mother Nature helped make the 2013 Kentucky Derby one of the sloppiest and wildest Run for the Roses in a long time, the focus of the horse-racing world has shifted to the second leg of the Triple Crown—the 2013 Preakness Stakes.

The Preakness Stakes is approaching fast—scheduled for Saturday, May 18, at Pimlico Race Course—and the hype that this year’s Derby has caused has also created high expectations for the horses that did well at Churchill Downs. 

All of the following horses are either possible or probable for the 2013 Preakness Stakes (h/t, but if these colts do run, they will fail to make the impact they are expected to after their great showing last weekend.

All stats and info via Horse Racing Nation.



The expectations for Orb at the Preakness Stakes are through the roof, and a victory is the only finishing spot acceptable to many horse-racing fans; it’s Triple Crown or bust for Orb.

The sloppy surface of Churchill Downs threw a wrench into the works of the top horses in the field last Saturday, but Orb was just lucky enough to find the perfect line and run the best race of his life at the perfect moment.

While there is no doubting that Orb—winner of five straight races including the Derby—has the talent and speed to win, the better racing surface of Pimlico will give every other horse an equal shot at the victory.

As good as Orb is, the field is too strong for him to steal the Preakness too.


Normandy Invasion

A fourth-place finish at the Kentucky Derby isn’t usually viewed as a bad sign, but after Normandy Invasion stormed to an early dominant lead last Saturday, he fell off the lead pace and barely climbed back to fourth at the very end.

The longer distance played a big part in Normandy Invasion’s inability to contend for a win, and with the Preakness just an eighth of a mile shorter than the Derby, this horse may not be able to sustain momentum for the whole race.

Despite being a serious favorite in both last Saturday’s Derby and April’s Wood Memorial, Normandy Invasion will not have the stamina to be a real threat to spoil Orb’s chances of winning the second leg of the Triple Crown.



After a stellar finish at the Derby—Mylute ran all the way through the field to finish in fifth place—the expectations are that this horse will have an even better day in the smaller field of the Preakness Stakes.

While the stage has been set for Mylute to succeed, the only reason this horse finished so high in the derby is because jockey Rosie Napravnik ran the best possible race on the sloppy conditions.

Other horses failed to hit their strides on the wet course at Churchill Downs last Saturday, but as long as the weather holds up and the track is dry at Pimlico, Mylute will be outclassed by a dangerous field of stallions.