Orb's Biggest Threats to Kill Triple Crown Hopes at Preakness

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Orb's Biggest Threats to Kill Triple Crown Hopes at Preakness
Rob Carr/Getty Images

2013 Kentucky Derby champion Orb heads into the Preakness Stakes as a huge favorite to nobody's surprise, but that doesn't mean it's a shoe-in victory. He's in great company among eight other horses who all are capable of pulling off the upset.

No thoroughbred has favorable odds other than Orb, but the field is full of strong, speedy horses that are in great positions to give Orb fits throughout the 1 3/16-mile track.

Starting at the No. 1 post, Orb may have trouble midway through the race as horses come up on him around the opening turn. This could really open things up across the field if Orb falls behind too far to mount a comeback.

Let's take a look at the horses that are in a great position to finish off Orb's shot at the Triple Crown in the "Run for the Black-Eyed Susans."

 

Mylute

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Mylute wasn't talked about too much in the buildup to the Kentucky Derby, but despite the lack of attention, he finished fifth at Churchill Downs in what was a great run.

Now the thoroughbred comes in with 5-1 odds, emerging as the second favorite behind Orb's even-money odds (via Reuters). 

In a crowded field at Churchill Downs, Mylute was able to hold onto the No. 6 post and stay in contention before finishing near the top of the pack. A similar type of run among eight other horses—10 less than in Kentucky—could have him running away with the whole thing.

Jockey Rosie Napravnik is vying to become the first female jockey to win the Preakness, and she just might make history with this talented speedster.

 

Departing

Courtesy of ESPN

Winner of the Illinois Derby, this colt didn't run in the Kentucky Derby but comes in to the Preakness as the third choice at 6-1 and is in an imposing position.

Starting out in the fourth gate, Departing will be right on the heels of Orb coming into the middle stretches of the race. This will allow him to utilize his fresh legs and push on late run toward victory.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Trainer Al Stall told Reuters that he believes his horse has a unique advantage over the other competitors that raced in Churchill Downs just two weeks ago. 

In this day and age the modern thoroughbred seems to like a little time in-between races. So we're fortunate enough to have 28 days between the Illinois Derby and now. It gave us time to improve and he really has improved. You can see it on a day-to-day basis when you train him.

Endurance, along with the ability to stay healthy, has been a huge roadblock for Triple Crown contenders, and the short resting time may have something to do with that. If it does, you'd have to say Departing has a great shot at victory Saturday.

 

Itsmyluckyday

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

This colt entered Churchill Downs with great odds but disappointed with a 15th-place finish to trainer Doug O'Neill's surprise. 

But don't count him out due to that. Itsmyluckyday mainly struggled with the conditions and a tight playing field, both of which should be vastly different at Pimlico. With just nine horses in the field, he'll have much more room.

Itsmyluckyday has been overlooked in all of the Orb hype. In fact, it was Itsmyluckyday who was the favorite heading into the Florida Derby before Orb just barely beat him out for victory.

With 10-1 odds, Itsmyluckyday is coming out of the No. 2 post position and will have a chance to affect Orb early and often. 

 

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