Although post positions may not be as important in the Preakness with nine horses entered as opposed to 19 in the Kentucky Derby, they are likely to come into play to some degree. Perhaps they won't prevent a horse from winning, but they can make the task far more difficult.
A poor draw shouldn't necessarily deter you from betting on a horse, but it should definitely make you think twice and consider other options. There are a number of different things to take into account, and post positions are definitely among them.
Here are three horses that will have to overcome poor starting spots if they hope to make an impact in Saturday's Preakness Stakes.
|1||Orb||Joel Rosario||Shug McGaughey||4-5|
|2||Goldencents||Kevin Krigger||Doug O'Neill||9-1|
|3||Titletown Five||Julien Leparoux ||D. Wayne Lukas||33-1|
|4||Departing||Brian Hernandez Jr.||Albert M. Stall Jr.||7-1|
|5||Mylute||Rosie Napravnik||Tom Amoss||17-2|
|6||Oxbow||Gary Stevens||D. Wayne Lukas||18-1|
|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 courtesy of Bovada
Arguably the most disappointing horse in the Kentucky Derby was Goldencents. He entered the race among the top contenders, but he got caught in a very dangerous game. Goldencents and Palace Malice set an unsustainable pace early and Goldencents ended up fading. He ultimately finished 17th and crippled a lot of bettors in the process. It'll be tough for him to do much worse in the Preakness, but that doesn't mean that he'll rebound.
Goldencents drew the No. 2 position, which means he will likely have wait to make his move. While going straight to the front hurt Goldencents in the Kentucky Derby, that is his strength. He should set the pace, but he just needs to do it more reasonably.
Starting second will probably force him to come from behind as he will be right on the rail. Trainer Doug O'Neill believes that the Derby should be thrown out as things didn't break Goldencents' way, according to KY Derby Contenders, but things are unlikely to go well for him in this race either.
O'Neill says #KyDerby "just didn't set up" for Goldencents. Calls it a "legitimate throw out."— KY Derby Contenders (@DerbyContenders) May 18, 2013
Jockey Kevin Krigger will certainly have his work cut out for him. Orb is technically in a worse position at No. 1, but being inside could actually play to Orb's strengths. The same can't be said for Goldencents as he may have to go outside his comfort zone in order to prevail.
Much like Goldencents, Itsmyluckyday went from darling to dud in the Kentucky Derby as he finished 15th after wasting his energy early in the race. He is looking to rebound in the Preakness, but it won't be easy.
Itsmyluckyday is starting on the extreme outside post at No. 9. That obviously isn't as disadvantageous as starting No. 19 in the Kentucky Derby, but it definitely limits jockey John Velazquez's options.
Generally speaking, it is best to be near the middle as that is where the most avenues open up. Starting outside means that Itsmyluckyday will almost be forced to hang back and make a late move. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but when you're facing a closer like Orb, it's very difficult to make progress.
Itsmyluckyday's best strategy would probably be staying near the front early so that he can build a lead and possibly hold off Orb, but he'll be hard pressed to do that from No. 9.
Which horse has the least advantageous post position?
It wouldn't be fair to say that Itsmyluckyday has no chance because he is obviously a talented horse. His dominance at Gulfstream Park prior to the Derby proves that. At the same time, he needs everything to go perfectly in order to contend for the win. That already can't happen because the outside lane won't give him the trip that Velazquez desires.
As the longest shot in the entire Preakness field, the odds are already stacked against Titletown Five. Starting in the No. 3 position won't do him any favors either. The unheralded colt hasn't gotten much love from the bettors heading into the Preakness, and that probably has more to do with his light track record than his post draw. With that said, starting No. 3 is likely to hurt Titletown Five much more than it helps him.
The D. Wayne Lukas-trained horse obviously has some ability as he was able to make it into the Preakness field, however, he only has one career victory, which occurred way back in October of last year. One thing that Titletown Five does have to his credit, though, is finishing ahead of Kentucky Derby winner Orb last August at Saratoga, according to Mark Singelais of the Albany Times Union.
Titletown Five is the only horse in the Preakness field to have finished ahead of Orb. However, that was last August at Saratoga.— Mark Singelais (@MarkSingelais) May 15, 2013
That happened a very long time ago and Orb has gotten significantly better since then. If Titletown Five is able to finish ahead of Orb once again, it will be considered a monumental upset. While the No. 3 spot doesn't necessarily preclude Titletown Five from getting to the front early, it makes it much more difficult.
Trying to close late alongside Orb is pretty much a death wish as Orb has proven capable of flying down the stretch. Titletown Five's chances aren't great anyway, but the No. 3 slot won't help.
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