A Triple Crown triumph isn’t at stake in the 2013 Belmont Stakes, but this year’s lineup is still rife with storylines.
Orb and Oxbow, who each one leg of the Triple Crown heading into the Belmont, will be competing in Saturday’s race.
Here are the post positions and odds for each competitor, according to the Belmont Stakes official website.
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The Kentucky Derby victor, Orb, was unable to win back-to-back races, losing to Oxbow at the Preakness Stakes. Despite the horse’s fourth-place finish at Pimlico, it’s still favored to win at Belmont Park.
Oxbow came away with a rare wire-to-wire victory in the Preakness and Orb was unable to make a late push, as he did in the Derby. Both horses established themselves as serious threats, though their styles vary significantly. Orb's closing speed makes him a serious threat on the lengthy 1.5 mile Belmont track.
The current odds correlate with the confidence Orb trainer Shug McGaughey showed in the horse prior to the third leg of the Triple Crown.
“[Orb] hasn’t missed a beat,” said McGaughey, according to Alicia Wincze Hughes of The Florida Times-Union.
Everything has been A-1 forward. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t be standing here. I think the Belmont is a race that stands on its own and we would love to be able to compete in it and love to be able to have a good chance to win, and go from there.
Poise is always at stake after Triple Crown dreams are crushed, but the trainer doesn’t doubt that Orb is ready to win two out of three.
Which horse will win the Belmont Stakes?
“It does shake your confidence a little bit,” said McGaughey, according to The Florida Times-Union. “I think if things go right, next Saturday I think you’ll see a different horse than we saw two weeks ago.”
Outside of Oxbow, the only two other horses to finish ahead of Orb during this Triple Crown season, Itsmyluckyday and Mylute, will not compete in the Belmont Stakes.
David Daniels is a breaking news writer at Bleacher Report and a news editor at Wade-O Radio.