Will Goldencents pull a 180-degree turn and win the Preakness?
Goldencents finished 17th at the Kentucky Derby, but he's emerging as a solid threat for the 2013 Preakness Stakes.
First off, Goldencents entered the Derby with victories at Santa Anita Park and Delta Downs.
Second, each of those races are shorter in length than Churchill Downs, as is the Preakness. Goldencents also hovered around the front of the pack during the Triple Crown's first leg for the majority of the course.
But the combination of the conditions and lack of stamina affected him down the stretch.
Entering Pimlico, though, expect a better outcome. Earlier this week, Gary Mihoces of USA Today wrote about Goldencents' quest to immediately respond:
On the sloppy track in the Derby, the southern California-based Goldencents was in fifth place three-quarters of a mile into the 1 ¼-mile race. Then, he faded.
He said he more than liked what he saw on the track Monday. "Goldencents was so comfortable, and he was reaching out great. I just loved what I saw today," said O'Neill.
And as of Wednesday, Goldencents also has 8-1 odds, according to Preakness.com.
How will Goldencents finish at the Preakness Stakes?
Not bad considering how quickly he fell back during the last turn in Kentucky. But a faster course certainly plays to his advantage.
Orb pulled just the opposite at the Derby because he waited patiently, then jockey Joel Rosario made an impressive move down the stretch. That, however, won't be as easy during a shorter competition and favors horses such as Goldencents to bolt out of the gates and instantly gain the lead.
Jockey Kevin Krigger is also much better than given credit for. With over 900 victories thus far in his career, Krigger's experience will play a factor as well as his chemistry with Goldencents.
A different approach is also in the works for Goldencents, as David Grening of the Sporting News writes:
After Goldencents disappointed in the San Felipe in March, [trainer Doug] O’Neill changed his training regimen with the colt to put in slower, longer-distance gallops in order to get him to relax. When Goldencents won the Santa Anita Derby, O’Neill naturally decided to stick with that training style leading up to the Kentucky Derby.
Now, after Goldencents flopped in the Derby, O’Neill has reverted to his previous training methods of shorter, quicker gallops.
Mesh that with the shortened course length, familiar jockey and having quickly set the pace in Kentucky, and Goldencents will be better prepared for Pimlico. All that's left is to go out and get the win.