Following a disappointing fourth-place finish at the 2013 Preakness Stakes, all eyes will be on Orb and trainer Shug McGaughey to impress at the 2013 Belmont Stakes.
Saturday's event saw the colt get caught on the inside and never really recover, as 15-1-odd underdog Oxbow sprinted to a 1 3/4 lengths victory over Itsmyluckyday to earn the victory in Baltimore (h/t Liz Clarke of the Boston Globe).
That said, the pressure is on Orb and a few other horses, jockeys and trainers to have big days at Belmont on June 8.
These are three horses that must impress at the 2013 Belmont Stakes.
Trainer Todd Pletcher chose not to run Revolutionary in the Preakness—most likely because he wanted to save the horse for the long-distanced Belmont Stakes—but HorseRacingNation.com lists the colt as probable to run on June 8.
Revolutionary placed third in the 2013 Kentucky Derby and has to impress at the Belmont Stakes because of the amount of rest the horse was given by not participating in Baltimore.
Under Pletcher, Revolutionary has been bred to excel in long-distance races, and the power and hype that goes along with Pletcher's name will undoubtedly place a ton of hype around Revolutionary as the weeks lead up to the running at Belmont.
Revolutionary will enter the Belmont Stakes with some of the freshest legs of any of the participants, placing a ton of pressure upon the horse and his trainer.
Much has been made of Rosie Napravnik during the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, and after finishing fifth and third respectively, it's time for Napravnik and Mylute to impress at the Belmont Stakes.
While there's no official word if Mylute will run at Belmont, the Daily Racing Forum's Jay Privman lists the colt as one of the possibilities:
More Belmont possibilities: Freedom Child, maybe Mylute & Pletcher fillies Dreaming of Julia, Unlimited Budget. No rush to decide. #belmont— Jay Privman (@DRFPrivman) May 19, 2013
Napravnik has already made history here in 2013, becoming the highest-finishing female in the first two legs of the Triple Crown and will have an advantage because of the distance at Belmont.
Mylute closed in on Itsmyluckyday down the stretch of Saturday's Preakness, and if that race had more distance to it, Napravnik likely would have placed second aboard Mylute in Baltimore.
Inching closer and closer, Mylute has to show up on June 8.
As the consensus favorite to win the 2013 Preakness Stakes, Orb and jockey Joel Rosario submitted a stinker, as Orb finished in fourth place and watched as Oxbow took the crown in the winner's circle.
After getting stuck on the inside in Baltimore and never recovering, the pressure is on Orb and trainer Shug McGaughey to make up for their shortcomings in the Preakness, especially after winning this year's Kentucky Derby. The Washington Examiner's Rick Snider speculates Orb will be the favorite in the last leg of the Triple Crown:
@energydonk Belmont will probably be a good betting race with lots of options, but Orb will be favored by locals if entered.— Rick Snider (@Snide_Remarks) May 19, 2013
The 1.5-mile Belmont track surely favors Orb and McGaughey. McGaughey trained Easy Goer to a Belmont Stakes victory back in 1989 after the horse placed second in the Derby and Preakness and Belmont is Orb's home track.
As the home horse and the probable favorite, the pressure will be on Orb and Rosario to come up big for McGaughey in the Belmont Stakes.
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