Orb's chase for the second leg of horse racing's Triple Crown begins Saturday at the Preakness Stakes. A field shrunk by withdrawals could make the race more exciting and a little easier for Orb.
The Kentucky Derby winner drew the first position, which can be problematic at times. However, less horses will provide less pressure on Claude McGaughey's horse.
Here's how you can catch the action at Pimlico Race Course and a few things to watch during the race.
Where: Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, Md.
When: Saturday, May 18, at 6:20 p.m. ET
Post Time: 6:20 p.m. ET
Purse: $1 million
Television: NBC Sports Network
|1||Orb||Joel Rosario||Claude McGaughey||1-1|
|2||Goldencents||Kevin Krigger||Doug O'Neill||8-1|
|3||Titletown Five||Julien Leparoux ||D. Wayne Lukas||30-1|
|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|
The Triple Crown Would Be Good for the Sport
Orb's quest for the first Triple Crown in 35 years is the biggest reason to watch the race. That is, unless you have some monetary motivation to tune in.
From a pure fan's standpoint, the sport would benefit from seeing Orb join the likes of Affirmed, Secretariat and Seattle Slew as the only horses to win the Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes.
Obviously, winning the Preakness would only give Orb two-thirds of the crown, but as we saw last year with I'll Have Another, the buzz can be huge once the second win is in the bag.
Unfortunately, I'll Have Another was unable to make a run at the Belmont. We can only hope Orb is able to give each race a try.
Other Horses to Watch
Goldencents fizzled out in the Derby despite being one of the favorites coming in. Positioned right to Orb's right, Doug O'Neill's pacesetter may find better luck at the Preakness.
On the shortest leg of the Triple Crown, his hard-driving style at the outset could be rewarded.
Chances are, Orb stays in striking distance and chases him down, but their initial duel will be interesting to watch.
Despite a slow break out of the gate and a disappointing finish at the Derby, Mylute and jockey Rosie Napravnik could make some noise at the Preakness.
Napravnik knows that she can't allow Mylute to fall behind Orb again. Obviously, getting the horse to respond is an entirely different story. Napravnik told Colleen Thomas of Preakness Insider:
"He’s a little bit of a slow learner, but I think he’s really waking up and improving as a race horse, really getting that competitive drive."
The chemistry between jockey and horse seems to be strong in this instance. A strong run from them would be fun to see.
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