Every year we hope to see a Triple Crown winner, and every year in the last 35 has left us wanting more. Orb’s triumph at the Kentucky Derby was impressive, but the true test in the pursuit of the Triple Crown takes shape at Pimlico Race Course on May 18.
Orb has a chance to become the first thoroughbred since Affirmed in 1978 to accomplish the feat. If his performance at Churchill Downs was any indication, the colt may well break that streak in 2013.
But there are several challengers with the ability to upend the Triple Crown hopeful, including Derby challengers Goldencents, Itsmyluckyday, Mylute and Oxbow. On a new track under potentially better conditions, a second-leg victory is far from guaranteed.
Let’s take a look at the post time, date, viewing information and tentative lineup for the Preakness Stakes and highlight a few horses worth watching on May 18.
Where: Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, Maryland
When: Saturday, May 18, at 6:20 p.m. ET
Television: NBC Sports Network
First Post: 10:45 p.m. ET
Preakness Post: 6:20 p.m. ET
Post Positions (via Preakness.com)
|1||Orb||Stuart Janney||Shug McGaughey||Joel Rosario|
|2||Oxbow||Calumet Farm||D. Wayne Lukas||Gary Stevens|
|3||Will Take Charge||Willis D. Horton||D. Wayne Lukas||Mike Smith|
|4||Goldencents||W.C. Racing||Doug O’Neill||Kevin Krigger|
|5||Departing||Claiborne Farm||Albert M. Stall, Jr.||Brian Hernandez, Jr.|
|6||Govenor Charlie||Michael E. Pegram||Bob Baffert||Martin Garcia|
|7||Mylute||GoldMark Farm||Tom Amoss||Rosie Napravnik|
|8||Itsmyluckyday||Trilogy Stable||Eddie Plesa Jr.||John Velazquez|
|9||Vyjack||Pick Six Racing||Rudy Rodriguez||Garrett Gomez|
|10||Titletown Five||Hornug/Martin et al||D. Wayne Lukas||Julien Leparoux|
*Odds courtesy of DRF.com
Shug McGaughey waited a long time to train a Kentucky Derby-winning horse, but it was worth the wait. Orb’s first-place run at Churchill Downs on May 4 answered a lot of questions about the colt’s ability to contend for a Triple Crown this year.
Sloppy track conditions and a field of strong competitors did little to slow the three-year-old at Churchill Downs. With a ferocious finish and a strong time of 2:02.89, the colt proved he deserved the distinction of being the pre-race favorite.
Orb will enter the Preakness as the prohibitive favorite to repeat his Derby performance, and there’s no reason to believe the McGaughey-trained horse won’t do just that. He hasn’t lost a race since November of last year, tallying five first-place finishes in that span.
A 17th-place finish at the Kentucky Derby probably wasn’t what trainer Doug O’Neill expected to see from his colt. Despite being an early favorite to triumph at Churchill Downs, Goldencents failed to live up to lofty expectations in a field that didn’t do much to challenge Orb on the 1 1/4-mile track.
The shorter 1 3/16-mile track at Pimlico may ultimately benefit the colt, especially if it is in good condition. Goldencents loves to run at the front of the pack (especially down the stretch), and the shorter track could benefit the fastest sprinter in the field in his attempt to upend Orb’s Triple Crown run.
Mylute has never finished worse that seventh in a race, and seven top-three finishes in the last 11 months speaks volumes to his ability to play the spoiler role at Pimilco on May 18.
The Kenny McPeek-trained colt finished fifth at Churchill Downs on May 4 with a workmanlike performance that has defined his career. Always near the front of the pack within striking distance of a win, Mylute will certainly be a horse to watch at the Preakness.
Post position will play a huge role in how the three-year-old races on May 18. Mylute is a mid-pack runner that loves racing from a stalking position just behind the lead. Given Orb’s front-running style and pure sprinting speed, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the final stretch came down to the two Derby standouts in a dead heat.