The Kentucky Derby is the biggest horse race of the year, but there are other events for competitors to make their mark.
Those that struggled at Churchill Downs can look to the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes to get a form of redemption. In reality, there are a number of contenders looking for that after a muddy track derailed many horses' hopes for victory.
While Orb cannot do any better than its first-place finish, there are five other horses looking to do better this time around. Here are the top contenders that should expect a better finish at Pimlico.
Heading into the derby, Goldencents was one of the top horses to beat. He had proven himself at the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby and entered the major event winning three of his previous four starts.
Unfortunately, the derby was simply an embarrassing performance for the thoroughbred. Although he was able to get into second place at the start, he quickly faltered and dropped to 17th place.
In the next race, Goldencents will not only be able to get out to a good start, but the No. 2 post will allow him to get to the rail in a hurry. At this stage, he will control his effort for the remainder of the race.
Trainer Doug O'Neill won last year's Preakness with I'll Have Another, and he is looking for another strong finish this time from Goldencents.
Like Goldencents, Itsmyluckyday succeeds with the ability to get out to a strong start and control the pace from there. At Churchill Downs, he was never able to reach higher than seventh place.
The wet conditions did not allow the horse to show off his pure speed, but that should not be an issue at Pimlico. He should be able to handle the smaller field and run the race he hopes to run.
Additionally, John Velazquez takes over as the jockey in this event, and the Hall of Famer's experience should go a long way.
While the No. 9 slot is not ideal for Itsmyluckyday's style, he should be a top contender in this one.
There were simply too many horses in the way at the Kentucky Derby for Mylute to earn a comeback victory. However, there is no denying the pure speed when it was able to come back from 18th place to finishing in fifth.
A lot of that credit must go to Rosie Napravnik, who is quickly becoming one of the best jockeys in the world. She was unable to become the first female rider to win the Kentucky Derby, but she is now trying to become the first to win the Preakness.
Between her talent as a jockey and the horse's ability to close late, this is certainly a possibility.
If Mylute can get off to even an average start, he can end win the race and end Orb's quest for a Triple Crown.
Full List of Entries
|1||Orb||Joel Rosario ||Shug 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||12/1|
|8||Govenor Charlie||Martin Garcia||Bob Baffert||12/1|
|9||Itsmyluckyday||John Velazquez||Eddie Plesa Jr.||10/1|
*Morning line via KY Derby Contenders Twitter feed.