Following a dominant performance down the stretch at Churchill Downs two weeks ago, Kentucky Derby winner Orb will look to move within one win of becoming the first Triple Crown winner in 35 years by conquering the 2013 Preakness Stakes.
The annual thoroughbred racing event is held at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore and is run on a 1 3/16-mile dirt track, the shortest of the three Triple Crown races.
In 2012, it was I'll Have Another stealing the show, winning the Stakes to become the fifth horse since 2002 to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown. If Orb is going to become the first horse since 1978's Affirmed to win all three legs, he'll have to follow in I'll Have Another's footsteps on Saturday.
Below we'll get you up to speed with everything you need to know for the 138th Preakness Stakes.
Where: Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore
When: Saturday, May 18, 2013
Post Time: 6:05 p.m. ET
2013 Preakness Stakes TV Schedule
|Saturday, May 18||Preakness Stakes Prep||2:30 - 4:30 p.m.||NBC Sports Network
|Saturday, May 18||138th Preakness Stakes ||4:30 - 6:30 p.m. ||NBC|
*Information via NBCSports.com.
Here's a breakdown of Saturday's nine-horse field:
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||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|
*Odds via Preakness.com.
Contenders to Watch For
Orb will be the overwhelming favorite to win the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, and for good reason.
Shug McGaughey's talented colt has won five straight races dating back to last November, including the Grade II Fountain of Youth Stakes and the Grade I Florida Derby prior to May 4's Run for the Roses.
Despite his dominance, Orb, who drew the rail on Wednesday, will have to overcome a poor post draw on Saturday if he's going to keep the Triple Crown bid alive. It's been 19 years since a horse won the Preakness from the rail.
Tabasco Cat was the last to accomplish the feat back in 1994.
The good news for jockey Joel Rosario, though, is that there are only nine horses in this year's field, which means Orb will have a better chance of getting out cleanly.
Following a fifth-place finish at the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago, Mylute will look to spoil Orb's Triple Crown bid in Baltimore this weekend.
Ridden by Rosie Napravnik, the Grade II Louisiana Derby runner-up will start smack dab in the middle of the nine-horse field, from post No. 5.
Mylute and I will be breaking from post 5 @preaknessstakes! Perfect draw :-) super excited!— Rosie Napravnik (@RosieNapravnik) May 15, 2013
There's certainly no reason for Napravnik or trainer Tom Amoss to fret over Mylute's starting post on Saturday. After all, it's been only two years since a horse won the Preakness from post No. 5. Shackleford won from that slot in 2011.
Plus, Mylute demonstrated excellent closing speed at Churchill Downs two weeks ago, fighting off a sluggish start out of the gate to finish strong. With fewer horses to contend with on Saturday, Mylute is certain to be in the mix down the stretch.
Albert Stall's emerging colt Departing did not run in the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago, but he did win the Grade III Illinois Derby in his most recent outing last month.
Will Orb become the first horse in nearly four decades to win the Triple Crown?
Running from post No. 4, Departing will look to make up for his third-place finish in the Grade II Louisiana Derby last March by winning the Preakness Stakes. He currently has the third-best odds to win behind Orb and Mylute.
While there is some doubt about the level of competition Departing has faced in his previous races, the results speak for themselves. In five career races, the impressive colt has produced four wins, finishing in the money in all five events.
With only nine horses set to run this weekend, perhaps the stage is set for Departing to deliver an upset from post No. 4 at Pimlico.
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