With the 2013 Kentucky Derby in the past, bettors who took a hit during the Run for the Roses can calm down and start objectively looking toward the upcoming Preakness Stakes as a means to recoup the losses.
Of course, the field at Pimlico Race Track will be much smaller—and the handle as well—but there are still plenty of great bets to make, pretenders to avoid and more.
Let's take a look at the lessons we learned from the Run for the Roses and how to avoid the same pitfalls on May 18 at the Preakness.
After going off at 7-1 (h/t KentuckyDerby.com) and being the pre-race favorite for a decent chunk of time, Goldencents severely disappointed at Churchill Downs.
The Doug O’Neill-trained colt finished 17th in a field of 19, proving that he simply couldn’t handle the pressure beneath the Twin Spires and wasn’t suited for the elements or sloppy track whatsoever.
According to BloodHorse.com, O’Neill himself was left “scratching his head” and believed that Goldencents failed because of the kickback (which is the dirt from other horses). He said jockey Kevin Krigger held off in the midst of the race, knowing that it wasn’t his day and saving his stamina for the future.
However, even if the skies are blue, the sun is shining and the track is firm as can be at Pimlico, it’s not worth trusting Goldencents in another Triple Crown race.
Goldencents clearly was the product of too much pre-race hype and not enough substance. Orb is simply a better horse in every aspect and won’t be challenged by this colt in Baltimore.
Don’t Sleep on Orb
Speaking of Orb, his run that netted him the blanket of roses was absolutely incredible. He showed all the right things and now looks to be a real contender to end the Triple Crown drought—which has been ongoing since Affirmed last accomplished the feat back in 1978.
Orb can definitely handle the 1.5-mile stretch at Belmont—which is the third jewel of the Triple Crown—but has to first prove he can get out front early and claim the blanket of Black-Eyed Susans after a 9.5-furlong sprint at Pimlico.
Fortunately, Orb seemed to have plenty of speed and showed it after the turn, leaving the rest of the field in the dust after kicking it into an extra gear.
It’ll be tough not to bet Orb to win the Preakness, even if he’s a 3-5 favorite at post time.
Keep an Eye Out for New Faces
While Goldecents may not be worth a cent bet and Orb should be a heavy favorite to win, there should be a few new horses that are looking to throw a wrinkle into the action.
Departing will be the main attraction, as he won the Illinois Derby—which is now a prep run for the Preakness after being left off the Kentucky Derby qualifying system.
Governor Charlie may make an appearance after dropping out of the Derby field just prior to last Saturday. Bellarmine could also show up, as he won at an allowance race in Pimlico recently.
There are a handful of other “maybes” as well, but Abstraction—winner of the Federico Tesio Stakes, a popular prep run prior to Preakness—will not be appearing due to financial issues.
Regardless of which new horses appear in this race, they are all going to be worth watching out for, especially some of the more experienced ones that have participated in numerous prep races prior to Preakness.