Orb is the heavy betting favorite to win the second leg of the Triple Crown on Saturday at the Pimlico Race Course, but victory won't come easy.
The 2013 Preakness Stakes features a smaller field than that of the Kentucky Derby, but there is no shortage of top-tier talent amongst the horses that will be racing on Saturday, May 18.
This race is slightly shorter than the one at Churchill downs, at one-and-three-sixteenths of a mile. With less distance to travel and less traffic to maneuver through, getting off to a hot start and maintaining position are two big keys to winning the race.
Should Orb win at Pimlico on Saturday, he'll have a chance to become the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to win the Triple Crown with a victory at the Belmont Stakes in June.
Post Positions (via Preakness.com) and Odds via BoDog
|1||Orb||Stuart Janney||ShugMcGaughey||Joel Rosario||7-5|
|2||Oxbow||Calumet Farm||D. Wayne Lukas||Gary Stevens||20-1|
|3||Will Take Charge||Willis D. Horton||D. Wayne Lukas||Mike Smith||12-1|
|4||Goldencents||W.C. Racing||Doug O’Neill||Kevin Krigger||7-1|
|5||Departing||Claiborne Farm||Albert M. Stall, Jr.||Brian Hernandez, Jr.||7-2|
|6||Govenor Charlie||Michael E.Pegram||Bob Baffert||Martin Garcia||20-1|
|7||Mylute||GoldMark Farm||Tom Amoss||Rosie Napravnik||12-1|
|8||Itsmyluckyday||Trilogy Stable||Eddie Plesa Jr.||John Velazquez||9-1|
|9||Vyjack||Pick Six Racing||Rudy Rodriguez||Garrett Gomez||15-1|
|10||Titletown Five||Hornug/Martin et.al||D. Wayne Lukas||Julien Leparoux||30-1|
These underrated horses will give Orb a run for his money and could put an end to his Triple Crown aspirations.
Oxbow: 20-1 Odds
Oxbow has never won a race over a mile long, which is certainly a mark against him heading into the Preakness. That said, there's a lot to like about this horse.
A sixth-place finish at the Derby in sloppy conditions showed that Oxbow has the potential to win a big race. Trained by D. Wayne Lukas—a legendary trainer with plenty of experience—and ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, Oxbow has a chance to really upset the field on Saturday.
There's a chance or rain in the forecast this weekend at Pimlico, per weather.com. Should the track turn into a mud pit, as we saw at the Derby, this strong horse will have less competition to contend with in the early goings and will finish strong.
Govenor Charlie: 20-1 Odds
Should mother nature cooperate and keep the rain away from the track at Pimlico, Govenor Charlie could shock the field with a stunning victory.
This horse has only raced three times in its career and comes into the Preakness as fresh as a spring morning. Furthermore, as Bobby Zen pointed out on Twitter, he's one of only three horses to win its last race heading into the Preakness:
Orb, Governor Charlie, and Departing; only 3 in Preakness to win last race!— Bobby Zen (@bobbyzen2) May 7, 2013
The last race Govewnor Charlie ran resulted in a record-breaking first-place finish at the Grade 3 $800,000 Sunland Derby. He ran this mile-and-an-eighth race in 1:47.54—the fastest time in stakes history, according to Bill Christine of USA Today.
A lack of experience could spell doom for Govenor Charlie, but the pure speed this horse brings to the Preakness—a race that is slightly longer than the Sunland Derby—gives it a legitimate chance to win.
Mylute: 12-1 Odds
Mylute and jockey Rosie Napravnik have a chance to make history on Saturday.
A female jockey has never before won this race, and after a fifth-place finish at the Derby this duo is coming on strong as a legitimate contender for the Preakness.
Mylute has never before won a race over one mile long, but this horse is a fast starter. In a smaller field this will give him an advantage, as there will be less jostling for space on the track.
With a favorable draw, right smack dab in the middle, Mylute will likely jump out ahead of many of the other contenders and will have an excellent chance of stealing Orb's thunder on Saturday.
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