Preakness 2013: Projecting Win, Place and Show at Pimlico

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIMay 18, 2013

May 19, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Mike Smith aboard Bodemeister takes the lead early during the 137th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Maxwell Kruger-USA TODAY Sports
Maxwell Kruger-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday's 138th running of the Preakness Stakes is mere hours away, and as Orb looks to continue his pursuit of the Triple Crown, several horses have legitimate chances of spoiling his chase for history at Pimlico Race Course.

The odds have tightened up considerably, making projections for win, place and show all the more difficult since no one has longer than 16-1 odds.

Nevertheless, below is an overview of the entire field, followed by predictions for the top three in Baltimore.

Note: All statistics and information, unless otherwise indicated, are courtesy of


Post Positions and Complete Field

Post No.







Shug McGaughey

Joel Rosario




Doug O'Neill

Kevin Krigger



Titletown Five

D. Wayne Lukas

Julien Leparoux




Albert M. Stall Jr.

Brian Hernandez Jr.




Tom Amoss

Rosie Napravnik




D. Wayne Lukas

Gary Stevens



Will Take Charge

D. Wayne Lukas

Mike Smith



Govenor Charlie

Bob Baffert

Martin Garcia




Eddie Plesa Jr.

John Velazquez


*Odds via NBC telecast, as of 4:30 p.m. ET, May 18


Win: Orb

The Kentucky Derby winner proved he possessed the requisite stamina to save his best for last, although Pimlico is slightly shorter than Churchill Downs.

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas has three entries in the Preakness this time around, but even he implies that Orb is the prohibitive favorite, according to Tim Wilkin of the Albany Times Union:

A lot of sprinters should provide Orb with a legitimate challenge, but they won't have enough to overtake him. Orb's jockey, Joel Rosario, has 147 wins on the season and $8.5 million in earnings, per NBC's telecast—more than any of his peers.

Trainer Shug McGaughey is looking to capture horse racing's middle jewel to complete his career Triple Crown. Five horses since 2002 have won the first two legs of the three marquee showcases in this sport, and Orb has all the goods to do just that.

When Palace Malice set a swift pace at the Kentucky Derby, Orb and Rosario didn't panic. If it's fast again, though, it will be important for Rosario to get Orb going quickly enough to avoid making a push too late.

As long as Orb is within striking distance entering the final turn, his effortless stride and explosiveness should land him in the winner's circle.


Place: Departing

The Illinois Derby victory that preceded this race for Departing gives him valuable momentum, even though the Grade III race didn't possess the strongest field.

Odds are sinking leading up to the race for Departing, but they should not be. His only loss in five career starts came at the Louisiana Derby, where he fell to Mylute, who is one of the favorites in the Preakness, and Revolutionary, who came in third at the Kentucky Derby.

Departing grew up roaming the same fields as Orb when they were being groomed to become racehorses, which makes their battle among the top storylines to watch this evening.

Brian Hernandez Jr. is one of the best young jockeys in the industry, and he continually rides Departing to victories.

With two additional weeks between his last race and his counterparts who ran in the Kentucky Derby, this new shooter has to be considered a serious threat to Orb's Triple Crown chances.


Show: Oxbow

Beating the Oxbow drum isn't the most popular choice. After all, oddsmakers still see him as the second longest shot in the entire field.

It's definitely a boom-or-bust proposition to wager on Oxbow, but Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens is getting the mount once again, which helps his cause significantly.

Stevens has won the Preakness two previous times and felt Oxbow had a legitimate chance to win at Churchill Downs. According to The Courier-Journal, Oxbow is being more obedient to Stevens' commands.

Another Hall of Famer in trainer D. Wayne Lukas is part of Oxbow's support team. He and Stevens are a formidable duo, and Lukas is looking to break Jean Fitzsimmons' record by winning his 13th Triple Crown race.

Conventional wisdom would dictate that the safer of Lukas' horses to choose would be Will Take Charge. However, Oxbow's speed will propel him into third place.

At the Kentucky Derby on a sloppy track, Oxbow held his own and finished in a respectable sixth place. The sprinter's course in Baltimore should play into his favor even more.

Now that he has a more favorable post position—No. 6, where a record 15 Preakness winners have started from—and more room to operate, his chances should be better than the oddsmakers suggest.


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