While rain can be the kind of wild card in a race that allows for a lightly touted horse to steal an upset win, in the 138th Preakness, it simply tips the odds in favor of Orb. And the Kentucky Derby champ is already a huge favorite.
The rain may not be a factor anyway. It is looking like mother nature may be a Preakness fan. The Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md. has been getting hit with rain on race day, but we might not be able to tell once the 6:20 p.m. ET post time for the Preakness arrives.
The Doppler radar via Weather.com tells us that the storms are expected to be on their by 4:30 p.m. ET.
Still, we all know that predicting the weather is not quite an exact science. In fact, it's a more fickle prognostication business than handicapping horses. So, in case the rain does persist, let's take a look at why Triple Crown hopeful Orb will be just fine with a little precipitation.
First, take a look at the field for the Preakness.
|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|
As you might have noticed, the track was a bit damp during the biggest victory of Orb's career: the Kentucky Derby.
Orb was simply dominant. He looked extremely comfortable in the two-and-a-half length win. There was nothing to suggest that any horse in that field would be able to really push Orb for the victory.
The Preakness offers a slightly shorter and tighter track, but it is a comparable race. So, given the same type of conditions, there is no reason to think that Orb won't be able to display similar dominance.
Five of the horses (besides Orb) who ran in the Derby—Goldencents, Mylute, Oxbow, Will Take Charge and Itsmyluckday—will be running in the Preakness.
And they need to be hoping for a dry track. In this instance, that has become their wild card.
The other contenders—Titletown Five, Departing and Govenor Charlie—won't have the same psychological damage from the Derby hanging over their heads, but they also won't have the confidence running in the mud that Orb has.
Also helping Orb out is the fact that he is starting on the rail. The track will get sloppier farther away from the rail. So, while the first post has been home to just one winner in the past 60 years, if it rains, any disadvantage from being on the inside will be neutralized.
On top of all of this, Orb will be completely acclimated to the rain, as he was working in the rain at Belmont leading up to the Preakness.
It is hard to find a way to look at the Preakness without seeing a victory by Orb, and that is even more true if it happens to rain.