Post positions are very important when it comes to horse racing.
When it comes to an event like the 2013 Preakness Stakes—the second leg of the Triple Crown—post positions are of paramount importance.
The field that will line up on Saturday, May 18, at Pimlico Race Course will be significantly smaller than the 19-horse field that raced at Churchill Downs several weeks back for the Kentucky Derby. While that should reduce the impact of certain post positions, the fact remains the same regarding their significance.
Several horses—including many of the favorites—were posted in difficult gates this year. That should open the race for some of the less-fancied entrants, especially those that landed in the more-wanted gates.
Read on to see which horses are best suited to make strong runs Saturday and the full post positions for every race in the Preakness Stakes this year.
|1||Orb||Joel Rosario||Shyg McGaughey||1-1|
|2||Goldencents||Kevin Krigger||Doug O'Neill||8-1|
|3||Titletown Five||Julien Leparoux||D. Wayne Lukas||30-1|
|4||Departing||Brian Hernandez Jr.||Albert M. Stall Jr.||6-1|
|5||Mylute||Rosie Napravnik||Tom Amoss||5-1|
|6||Oxbow||Gary Stevens||D. Wayne Lukas||15-1|
|7||Will Take Charge||Mike Smith||D. Wayne Lukas||14-1|
|8||Govenor Charlie||Martin Garcia||Bob Baffert||12-1|
|9||Itsmyluckyday||John Velazquez||Eddie Plesa Jr.|| 10-1|
Goldencents—Post No. 2
Jockey Kevin Krigger found himself in an awkward position during the Kentucky Derby and was forced to go to the front as a result. He was unable, however, to keep up with the blistering pace set by Palace Malice as Goldencents struggled to beat home any horses.
However, with a post closer to the rail here, Goldencents may well head to the lead on his own terms and should make a strong run down the straight as a result.
With Orb on his inside, Krigger will want to get in front of the short-price favorite to try and restrict his running room. Goldencents has enough speed to hold off any potential challengers if he's in front and might just surprise a few people from his inside run.
Departing—Post No. 4
Departing landed a nice gate for the Preakness and should see that transpire into a strong showing on the day, especially if Orb doesn't get his ideal run after having landed closest to the rail.
Departing is well rested and coming off a great run in the Illinois Derby which showed he's more than capable of mixing it up with whatever the field here provides.
Being in the middle of the field, jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. will be able to utilize Departing's tactical speed throughout and adjust to other competitors around him. Hernandez will not be afraid to let Departing go if he thinks he can sneak away off the front. Given the shorter track at Pimlico this weekend, Departing could reap the rewards of that tactic this weekend.
Will Take Charge—Post No. 7
Having landed an ideal post position, look for Will Take Charge to be a real contender this weekend despite coming into the race as one of the less-fancied runners.
This is a horse that has some excellent performances to his name in 2013, with victories at Oaklawn Park and again at the Rebel Stakes.
Mike Smith is a great jockey and will be able to navigate Will Take Charge to the ideal position, depending on how the race unfolds. The pedigree in the colt suggests that he'll be more than capable of challenging from either the back or the front of the field.
Will Take Charge matched strides with Orb at the Derby last month, but lost ground after he was blocked for a run coming around the home turn.
With the No. 7 draw, Smith should be able to guide him into a much better position this time and will have him primed for a strong finish down the straight.
Hit me up on Twitter for more sports goodness: Follow @dantalintyre