Orb is the only horse with an opportunity to win the Triple Crown, and he will continue his dominance with another stellar performance at Saturday’s Preakness Stakes.
The Kentucky Derby winner has the odds on his side going into Baltimore with a 10-11 betting line. It would be difficult for Orb to be more of a favorite.
The only horses even close to him are Mylute and Departing with 13-2 odds of Preakness victory. There is no reason to believe that Orb will not repeat his performance from Churchill Downs.
Jockey Joel Rosario willed the three-year-old colt to a win in sloppy conditions. Orb won the Run for the Roses by 2.5 lengths with a time of 2:02.89. If he can win on mud after a terrible start, it is tough to see any horse stealing Orb’s thunder.
Shug McGaughey must feel like a proud parent with how well the thoroughbred he trained has been doing. Orb is on a roll with five consecutive wins with career earnings of $2,335,850.
Orb will start the Preakness on the rail at the first post position. While it's not an ideal place to start, it does not diminish his chances of winning the second leg of the Triple Crown.
"It’s not nearly the problem it would be in the Derby," McGaughey told ESPN. "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."
Orb started on the outside at post 16 during the Kentucky Derby and began that race at the back of the pack. Post position is important, but Orb has the experience and the star jockey to succeed from any starting spot.
Of course, the last time a horse won the Preakness from the first post was when Tabasco Cat did it in 1994. However, McGaughey did not sound worried about the unfavorable draw.
“He’ll get a clean break and he’ll be able to sit where he wants to sit,” he said to ESPN. “If he’s good enough he’ll be able to make that run, and hopefully he gets there.”
If nothing else, just remember that Orb is the only horse in the race with a chance at the Triple Crown. That should make him both the betting man’s favorite and the sentimental favorite.
Believe in Orb tomorrow. The smart money will be on him until proven otherwise.