The 138th Preakness Stakes looks like it's Orb's race to lose according to the latest odds.
After winning the Kentucky Derby earlier this month, Orb is unsurprisingly the heavy favorite to win. As we saw at Churchill Downs, there's been some rain falling at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Unlike what we saw in early May, however, the track at Pimlico won't be as sloppy.
As Bob Ryan of ABC Washington points out, it's "good racing weather" for today's big event:
Bob Ryan @BobRyanCCM
Rain moving east. Damp but good racing weather for Preakness abc7news http://t.co/U5U5R1YE1T5/18/2013, 5:33:25 PM
The second leg of the Triple Crown is contested on a slightly shorter track than the mile-and-a-quarter Derby. It is the shortest of the three races that comprise the Triple Crown.
That said, at a mile-and-three-sixteenths, the Preakness is still quite a test of endurance. Sprinters will be challenged to stay their penchant for jumping out to an early lead.
The field for this year's Preakness is small, featuring just nine horses. After the 19-horse race at the Derby, it seems quite small, indeed, though only 11 horses ran last year at Pimlico, which features a traditionally smaller field.
Here's a quick look at the latest odds being given for each horse.
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Live odds can be found at HorseRacingNetwork.com.
Here are a few things for you to consider before placing your bets.
Orb and Post No. 1
From a betting standpoint, it might be wise to stay as far away from Orb as possible.
There's no doubt that Orb has an excellent chance to win, based on his victory at the Derby and the fact that, by all accounts, the horse has been looking fantastic in training leading up to Saturday's race.
That said, recent history suggests starting on the rail could hurt Orb's chances. According to David Grening of DRF, the last time any horse won from this spot was in 1994, and the time before came back in 1961:
David Grening @DRFGrening
Tabasco Cat (1994) only Preakness winner from the rail since 1961. #orb5/15/2013, 10:12:08 PM
Combined with the fact that Derby-winning horses have only won the second leg of the Triple Crown 33 times since 1919, Orb isn't a sure bet this Saturday.
Don't Be Afraid To Bet On Titletown Five
The horse being given the longest odds in this race is Titletown Five.
Looking at the horse's history, it's easy to see why. In seven career races, Titletown Five has only won a single race, which was the horse's Maiden Special Weight victory.
But Titletown Five is trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lucas, who has seen five of his horses win the Preakness. He's convinced that Titletown Five has a shot to win this race, according to Alicia Wincze Hughes of herald-leader.com:
His last two races they put him into the race too much...I'd like to see him relax about 3-4 lengths off (the pace). I don't think he'll be on the lead and I really don't want him on the lead, either...He's a more talented horse than you people realize.
Given the extremely favorable odds being given to this horse, it might be a smart move to consider putting some money on Titletown Five to win, place or show.
Departing's Fresh Legs Could Be a Factor
After Orb, Departing is being looked at as the next-best horse in this race—and for good reason.
In four races this year, Departing has won three. This horse showed in the only race he didn't win—the Louisiana Derby, which was won by Revolutionary and which saw Mylute finish in second place.
Furthermore, Departing didn't race at the Derby and will be coming into the Preakness as a "new shooter," meaning he has fresh legs.
Departing has enough speed and stamina to win this race, and at 5-1 odds you'd be getting a nice little return for your money if he does.
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