On Thursday, May 16, the post positions for the 2013 Preakness Stakes were released. None other than 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb will start at the rail, with a total of nine horses scheduled to raise in this weekend's prestigious event (via USA Today Sports).
The question is, how will these horses finish at the second leg of the Triple Crown?
The key storyline here is Orb's pursuit of the Triple Crown, as winning the Preakness Stakes would give him two of the necessary three wins. With that being said, no horse has achieved horse racing's holy trinity since Affirmed in 1978.
Even still, we can't help but wonder if Orb will win. Even if he doesn't, our attention will still be set to the race that can help create legends.
So how will it all transpire?
When: Saturday, May 18 at 6:20 p.m. ET
Where: Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland
Odds provided by BOVADA.
|1||Orb||Joel Rosario||Shug McGaughey||Stuart Janney III & Phipps Stable||10-11|
|2||Goldencents||Kevin Krigger||Doug O'Neill||W.C. Racing, Dave Kenney & RAP Racing||8-1|
|3||Titletown Five||Julien Leparoux||D. Wayne Lukas||Paul Hornung, Ed Martin, D. Wayne Lukas, Willie Davis, David Miller & Margaret Shade||28-1|
|4||Departing||Brian Hernandez||Al Stall||Claiborne Farm||13-2|
|5||Mylute||Rosie Napravnik||Tom Amoss||GoldMark Farm & Whisper Hills Farm||6-1|
|6||Oxbow||Gary Stevens||D. Wayne Lukas||Calumet Farm||16-1|
|7||Will Take Charge||Mike Smith||D. Wayne Lukas||Willis D. Horton||12-1|
|8||Govenor Charlie||Martin Garcia||Bob Baffert||Mike E. Pegram||10-1|
|9||Itsmyluckyday||John Velazquez||Eddie Plesa Jr.||Trilogy Stable & Laurie Plesa||12-1|
Mylute enters this race with strong odds at 6-1, which suggests they're expected to contend. With jockey Rosie Napravnik stacking up wins in less significant races and Tom Amoss generating momentum as a trainer, there's good reason.
While they won't win, the group of Mylute, Napravnik and Amoss will finish in the top three.
Mylute is coming off of a fifth-place finish at the 2013 Kentucky Derby, which proves the potential this horse possesses. With Napravnik, a 25-year-old from Morristown, New Jersey that's rising to fame, there's also a favorable story here.
According to Jessica Kartalija of CBS Baltimore, the local crowd is pulling for Mylute this weekend.
As for why they're in Mylute's corner, it's a matter of history. Napravnik can become the first female jockey to ever win at the Preakness Stakes. She would do so in front of what Kartalija describes as a "record-breaking" crowd.
A great story and a jockey that's stacking up wins in 2013—five major races, to be exact—certainly makes for a safe bet at the Preakness Stakes.
2. Govenor Charlie
Govenor Charlie missed the 2013 Kentucky Derby due to an injury, and thus has dropped to odds of 10-1. That's hardly poor odds to have, but it's still a sign that the horse is not quite favored in the manner one might expect.
Why would someone expect that? Well, it comes down to two words.
Baffert is one of the most decorated trainers in the world, and he just so happens to be working with Govenor Charlie. The 60-year-old was named to the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame in 2009 and has mastered the Pimlico Race Course.
Baffert has won five Preakness Stakes titles, including one in 2010 with Lookin At Lucky.
Lookin At Lucky's jockey at the 2010 Preakness Stakes was Martin Garcia. It just so happens that Garcia will be riding Govenor Charlie in 2013.
If that's not enough for you, Baffert's horse Bodemeister finished second at the 2012 Preakness Stakes—do you smell an upset?
Orb drew the short end of the stick, per se, by slotting in the No. 1 post and thus starting on the dreaded rail. According to David Ginsburg of the Associated Press, no horse has won the Preakness Stakes from the rail since Tabasco Cat in 1994.
That isn't worrying trainer Claude McGaughey.
''It's not nearly the problem it would be in the Derby,'' he said. ''The Derby is kind of catty-cornered. You got to shove your way out of there or you get shut off down in there. It's pretty straightforward here. There are only nine horses. There's not going to be that kind of jockeying into the first turn. We'll just hold our position and see how the race plays out.''
Bob Baffert may be on the horizon, but don't count out McGaughey.
McGaughey, a member of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, has won both the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. The former victory came earlier this month, when Orb proved to be deserving of being named the odds-on favorite.
Momentum and ability tells us McGaughey will go for the career triple crown and move one leg closer to the single season Triple Crown as well.