Oxbow and Orb need a rubber match. These two excellent horse have split the first two legs of the Triple Crown, with Orb prevailing at the Kentucky Derby and Oxbow taking the Preakness Stakes.
They weren't all that close to each other in either of them, which is why both need to run at the Belmont Stakes.
We all need a chance to see which of these horses prevails if they both run their best race, and neither has to start close to the rail.
When Orb won the Derby, Oxbow was in the second post. With the giant field of the Derby, this is a tough place to be. Oxbow couldn't handle it and wound up in sixth.
Then, when Oxbow took the Preakness, it was Orb who was stuck in the first post. He couldn't handle that position either and wound up fourth.
So, these horses need another race to settle the score. A race that sees them battling down the home stretch.
Of course, with the way this Triple Crown season is going, both of these horses could very well run in the Belmont and finish out of the money as the third horse from this list steals the win.
Check out the results from the Preakness, and then I'll offer up a further look at the three horses from Saturday's Preakness that need to run in the June 8 Belmont Stakes.
|1||Oxbow||Gary Stevens||D. Wayne Lukas||6||$32.80, $12.00, $6.80|
|2||Itsmyluckyday||John Velazquez||Eddie Plesa Jr.||9||$7.80, $5.00|
|3||Mylute||Rosie Napravnik||Tom Amoss||5||$5.20|
|4||Orb||Joel Rosario||Shug McGaughey||1|
|5||Goldencents||Kevin Krigger||Doug O'Neill||2|
|6||Departing||Brian Hernandez Jr||Albert M. Stall, Jr||4|
|7||Will Take Charge||Mike Smith||D. Wayne Lukas||7|
|8||Govenor Charlie||Martin Garcia||Bob Baffert||8|
|9||Titletown Five||Julien Leparoux||D. Wayne Lukas||3 |
*Results and payouts according to Sports-Odds.com.
Let's just get this out of the way first. It looks like both Oxbow and Orb will make the trip to Belmont. Detroit News Now tweets the promising news:
Trainers indicate Oxbow-Orb showdown in Belmont is likely dlvr.it/3P4znS— Detroit News Now (@detroitnewsnow) May 19, 2013
For Oxbow, this decision should be a no-brainer. For starters, he obviously handled the short turnaround from the Derby to the Preakness.
And now that he has the Preakness under his belt, he has a chance to take his legacy to another level by picking up his second Triple Crown win.
What a turnaround for a horse who had captured just two wins prior to the Preakness this would be.
It was just a day ago that Orb was dreaming of becoming one of the all-time elite horses by sweeping the Triple Crown races. Now, we are all just trying to figure out how a horse who looked so strong in the Derby could wind up fourth out of nine horses in the Belmont.
Which of these horses will finish highest in the Belmont?
The diminished performance raises concerns that Orb isn't handling the turnaround well, but he was still strong enough to finish fourth, and he held a steady pace.
The problem for Orb was that he got off to his usual slow start and couldn't recover. There were no horses getting caught in the herd, and Oxbow was able to run a clean race in front.
Then there is the fact that Preakness lacked the mud of the Derby.
Running in the Belmont would give Orb a chance to solidify his status as a great horse, and not just one who ran a great race in the mud.
So, as I hinted at above, the way this Triple Crown season is going, it is very possible that Mylute will win the Belmont.
This is assuming Mylute runs, of course. There is a lot of speculation left in that subject with this tweet from the Daily Racing Form's Jay Privman:
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
Mylute has looked strong in both Triple Crown races. He made a nice charge at the Derby to wind up fifth, and he was strong from start to finish in the Preakness when he wound up third.
Mylute successfully handled the traffic of the Preakness and looked strong crossing the wire. This horse obviously has the stamina to tackle the long Belmont.
Over the first two races, Mylute has proven he deservedly belongs in the same breath as Oxbow and Orb, and he can cement that with a win in the Belmont.