Orb's dominant finishing kick in the Kentucky Derby inspires hopes of the talented horse bringing an end to the Triple Crown drought. Not since 1978 has a horse won all three of the historic races.
However, since that time, 12 horses have won the first two legs of the Triple Crown, and Orb has a strong chance to be the 13th. That said, he will face some serious competition.
The following three horses all have an excellent chance of edging Orb to the wire.
Let's get this started with a real dark horse. It is hard to know what to expect out of Govenor Charlie. Heck, we don't even know if he'll run yet.
Despite the race coming on Saturday, Govenor Charlie's future is up in the air, and it will be until Govenor Charlie is up in the air. This comes to us from his trainer, Bob Baffert:
Govenor Charlie not confirmed for Preakness till he gets on plane tomorrow— Bob Baffert (@Midnightlute) May 14, 2013
If he does line up in the gate, it would be foolish to count this horse out.
After all, he's never finished lower than second, and he's won all but one of his starts. Except, here is where we get to more uncertainty. He's only run three races.
His last start came on March 24 in the Sunland Derby, which is captured in the video above.
Govenor Charlie was on track for the Kentucky Derby, but then was derailed by a bruised foot.
As you can see in the Sunland Derby, this horse wastes very little motion and has tremendous forward focus. He can handle the herd, and he is ultra-competitive.
It remains to be seen how he'll handle the elite field at the Preakness, but the potential for a great run is there.
Oxbow finished a lackluster sixth at the Kentucky Derby, but the run was not without promise.
He got off to a fast start and was around second as late as the five-sixteenths pole. While he didn't make a big fade, he also didn't have the finishing kick to hang with the late chargers.
However, NBC's Randy Moss makes a great point:
Both Lukas colts ran well despite critics. Oxbow finished better than any who pressed radioactive pace & Will Take Charge had a huge excuse.— Randy Moss (@randy_moss_TV) May 5, 2013
That performance was enough for D. Wayne Lukas to push him through to the Preakness. Well, that and his recovery.
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens tweeted this promising news:
Lukas just told me Oxbow on his toesAnd very disruptive this a.m. I like it.— Gary Stevens (@HRTVGary) May 8, 2013
With a smaller field in the Preakness and Stevens being even more familiar with this horse, it is safe to expect a smarter race from this horse, which will allow him to contend for the win.
For my money, Mylute is the best bet to push Orb for the win.
This horse finished fifth and was right in the mix as he missed finishing in the money by just a neck. He was impressive enough in his recovery for trainer Tom Amoss to send him through to the Preakness—much to the delight of jockey Rosie Napravnik:
Get your PREAK ON baby I'm coming home ;-) I promise you there is no other jockey who wants to win the #Preakness more than me! MYLUTE— Rosie Napravnik (@RosieNapravnik) May 11, 2013
What I really like about this horse is his late speed. He flashed a strong finishing kick at the Derby, and also in his start before that at the Louisiana Derby (in the above video) where he just missed out on the win.
This horse has the speed to take the Preakness.