The 2013 Preakness Stakes is an event you definitely don't want to miss.
It might not carry the same as the first leg of racing's Triple Crown—the Kentucky Derby, which was held earlier this month—but it features many of the same contenders as the prestigious race at Churchill Downs did previously.
And given that Pimlico Race Course this weekend isn't looking like being the muddy track that we saw before, it's shaping as a very fast, and intriguing, affair.
Read on for a full preview of the 2013 Preakness Stakes, including all the key race and viewing details to ensure that you don't miss a moment of action this weekend.
|Date||Start Time||Watch||Live Stream|
|Saturday, May 18, 2013||6:20 p.m. ET||NBC||NBC Sports|
Where: Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, Md.
Purse: $1 million
Distance: 1 and 3/16 miles (9.5 furlongs)
2013 Preakness Stakes: Three Things You Must Know
1. Orb Will be the Favorite, and Rightly So
Currently listed as the even-money favorite, Orb will enter the big race this weekend as the horse to beat. He won the Kentucky Derby in fine fashion and showed he has more than enough speed and ability to beat any horse in the field this year—making him a deserved favorite for the Preakness.
He has a star jockey in Joel Rosario on board, and whether he leads or sits back in the field, will be very tough to beat. Orb has a very strong sprinter's pedigree that will suit him more here than at Kentucky, it's hard to see him being defeated by any horse this weekend barring some bad luck,
Regardless of what the statistics around his Triple Crown quest might say.
2. Departing Will Be His Biggest Threat on the Day
Having not run in the Kentucky Derby, Departing will come into the Preakness Stakes without the same media attention and analysis that many other have had.
As a result, he's not being talked of as high as he should be here. But don't be mistaken—this is a premier horse who is capable of upsetting Orb.
Departing has great tactical speed and will be able to use that as he needs depending on how Orb runs this weekend. His victory at the Illinois Derby shows just how well he can fare over the shorter track, and providing that the rain stays away, he should be good to challenge the favorite in this one.
That's not to say that he'll win, but he should come pretty close.
3. The Kentucky Derby Was an Anomaly for Many Horses
It's perhaps important to point out also that whilst the Kentucky Derby serves as a great form line for many horses, it was simply an anomaly for many others.
Both the mud and the longer track didn't suit a number of horses at Churchill Downs, and they sputtered as a result of that. However, take away the mud and shorten the track and suddenly the Pimlico Race Course and Preakness Stakes takes on a very different feeling all together.
As a result, don't rule out horses like Goldencents and Will Take Charge (who struggled in the Derby) from leaving their mark on this race in a big way.
Both have tremendous speed and are extremely talented horses who have world-class jockeys on board. How they ran several weeks ago won't change their ability, and on a better track, could well emerge as strong contenders coming down the home stretch on Saturday.
Hit me up on Twitter for more sports goodness: