The field at the 2013 Preakness Stakes will be less than half of what ran around at Churchill Downs the other week, which should reduce the impact of post positions.
Obviously horses don't want to be draw alongside two very good horses or two very quick horses, but the gates in which the contenders this year find themselves in shouldn't have as much of an impact here. At least not in terms of being stuck out wide and burning up lots of energy in the process.
The biggest impact that post positions will have this year is that many horses have the ability to get to the front and lead heading into the first bend.
Obviously they won't all want to be the pace-setter, but there is a serious advantage of being out front in that you're one stride closer to victory.
Given their post positions and the like, let's take a look at which horses are most likely to lead at the Preakness this weekend and how that will impact the big race.
|Date||Start Time||Watch||Live Stream|
|Saturday, May 18, 2013||6:20 p.m. ET||NBC||NBC Sports|
Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, Md. ($1 million purse, one-and-three-sixteenth miles)
2013 Preakness Stakes Post-Positions
|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||40-1|
|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|
Odds via Vegas Insider; correct as of Friday, May 18, 2013 at 7:12 p.m. ET
2013 Preakness Stakes: Horses Most Likely to Lead on Race Day
Goldencents—Post No. 2
The No. 2 post certainly wasn't an ideal draw for Goldencents this weekend—especially given the horses he has around him. He has the hot-favorite in Orb inside him on the rail, and he has Titletown Five alongside him, the long shot of the field who will probably push for the lead.
Given the early speed in both of those horses, I think Goldencents will definitely push to the front here and try to establish a good running rhythm.
Kevin Krigger is a smart jockey and will have learned from the 2013 Kentucky Derby, where Goldencents was unable to keep up with the blistering pace early. He'll no doubt look to control the pace here and establish a nice lead over Orb heading into the home straight.
Orb is talented and probably should be able to run down Goldencents, but it's the best tactic for Krigger to employ in the Preakness Stakes this year.
Goldencents won't be able to run down Orb if the latter has the lead, so he'll need to get in front early. He showed that was the best tactic at Delta Downs earlier in 2012, and he proved it again at the Santa Anita Derby earlier this year.
I'd definitely be watching for Goldencents to push up from the inside draw and try to gain an early lead over the rest of the field in this one.
Itsmyluckyday—Post No. 9
Being drawn out in the No. 9 post might seem like a disastrous result for Itsmyluckyday, but as I've noted previously, the No. 9 gate really isn't that bad.
In fact, for a horse with a bit of speed, it's proven to be quite successful.
And Itsmyluckyday— according to latest reports from Preakness.com, anyway—is certainly that.
Itsmyluckyday has excellent pedigree for sprinting and should thrive over the shorter distance here at Pimlico—especially if he can find the front early in this one.
Strong runs at the Florida Derby and at Gulfstream Park have shown him to be a very strong horse, and one that could thrive at Pimlico. Like many in the field this year, he'll know that his best tactic of beating Orb will be to hold a lead coming into the home straight and simply try to hold off the Kentucky Derby champion—something that is much easier to say than actually do.
Look for John Velazquez—who rode Verrazano close to the front in the Kentucky Derby—to try to get Itsmyluckyday as close as possible to the lead in this one.
It's seemingly the best chance he'll have for success.
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