While the Kentucky Derby might attract all the media attention and glamor, it's the Preakness Stakes that's often a better gauge for just how good a horse is.
Run over a shorter distance (9.5 furlongs) than the Run for the Roses, the Preakness Stakes often proves to be a very quick horse race, with the winner justified to make a claim as the best sprinter in the country. Retired Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, now an analyst for NBC, said of the Triple Crown's second leg (via FoxSports):
A lot of the difference [between the two races] is with 20 horses in the Kentucky Derby, there are a lot of bad trips and very few good trips. Whereas the Preakness with 14 horses, it's a lot easier to maneuver around. The atmosphere is a lot different. Everybody is more settled in at this point, and you get better trips. The Preakness is always won by a legitimate horse....
Who, then, are the legitimate horses to watch out for this year?
Read on for a full breakdown of the top sprinters in the field this year as well as all the need-to-know information and viewing details for the 2013 Preakness Stakes.
|Date||Start Time||Watch||Live Stream|
|Saturday, May 18, 2013||6:20 p.m. ET||NBC||
Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, Md. ($1 million purse, 1 and 3/16 miles)
|1||Orb||Joel Rosario||Shyg 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 10:12 p.m. ET
Top Sprinters to Watch For in This Year's Field
Goldencents—Post No. 2
Don't be put off by his run at the 2013 Kentucky Derby; Goldencents is a very quick horse who, if he jumps well from an inside post, could well find himself in the lead heading into the first bend here.
With Kevin Krigger on board, the Santa Anita Derby winner will no doubt generate plenty of speed early here, and could well push that all the way to the finish—especially if pre-race favorite Orb doesn't jump as well as other races given his positioning in the No. 1 gate.
Goldencents probably won't be able to sweep the field and gun them down over the home straight, so he'll likely try to push to the front of the field in this one.
Whether he'll have enough speed to hold off those behind him still remains to be seen, but given his rich pedigree and previous success, there's no doubt Goldencents definitely has the ability to win here.
Orb—Post No. 1
With jockey Joel Rosario in the form of his life and Orb in the midst of a five-race winning streak, there's little doubting that the hot favorite will be very tough to beat at Pimlico this weekend.
He did draw an awkward post in the No. 1 gate, closest to the rail, but it's hard to seeing him being beat here. His pedigree is a great mix of residual stamina and he's proven throughout his career thus far that he's capable of winning from either the back or the front of the field and on whatever track.
Orb was brilliant in the Kentucky Derby and has been strong in workouts during the week, and with the Triple Crown in sight, will be a huge contender in this one.
Especially if he can get away to a good start.
Departing—Post No. 4
Departing comes into this race as somewhat of an underdog given the fact he didn't participate in the Kentucky Derby. Yet with a near-flawless race record under his belt and a terrific sprinters pedigree, there's little doubting that the Illinois Derby winner will be a huge contender this weekend.
He is well-rested, and will be peaking for this race—something that many contenders in the field can't testify to after the slogging away at Churchill Downs before.
Departing checked in third at the Louisiana Derby behind Mylute and Revolutionary, who both went on to have very strong runs at the Derby two weeks back.
That run proved himself to be more than capable of mixing it in this competition, and with a nice post position in the No. 4 gate, could well launch a big challenge down the stretch at Pimlico on Saturday. Especially if the pace is as quick as it was at Churchill Downs.
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