The Kentucky Derby often has the most fanfare, but the Preakness Stakes is what separates the best horses from the rest.
Orb is now one-third of the way toward a Triple Crown after winning at Churchill Downs. Unfortunately for the horse, there are a number of challengers with the talent to get a win at the next race.
From the horses that had impressive showings at the Kentucky Derby to the new competitors that are unfamiliar to the public, there are plenty of options to win at Pimlico. Here are the top contenders going into the May 18 race.
Due to a bruised foot, Governor Charlie was unable to compete in the Kentucky Derby. However, the horse is now healthy and ready to contend at the Preakness.
The horse is coming off two consecutive wins, including an impressive showing at the Sunland Derby in March. He is largely untested, but the pure speed is obvious and is certain to be on full display at Pimlico.
However, the best thing Governor Charlie has going for him is his trainer. Bob Baffert did not have a horse in the Kentucky Derby, but he is one of the more accomplished trainers in the sport and has won the Preakness five times in his career.
With some extra rest after passing on Churchill Downs, he should be a top competitor in this race.
There were a lot of disappointing performances in the Kentucky Derby, from Verrazano to Goldencents, but Oxbow should be proud of a sixth-place finish after starting at about 25-1 odds.
He got out to a good start and was in second late in the race, although he could not hold on in the final stretch.
This group has a lot of experience between trainer D. Wayne Lukas and jockey Gary Stevens, both of whom have won the Preakness before, with Lukas totaling five victories over the years.
With a smaller field, Oxbow should have an easier time and should contend for a victory.
As usual at the Preakness, everyone's focus will be on the Kentucky Derby winner to see if he can win all three legs of the Triple Crown.
Even though it has hasn't happened since 1978, Orb has a good chance of accomplishing this feat. He has won five races in a row, and he showed that he can win in different ways.
At the Kentucky Derby, Orb got off to a terrible start in the mud yet was able to outrun the field to finish with an impressive victory.
With his ability to close late against a weaker field at the Preakness, the horse is very likely to win at least one more time.
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