Golden Soul reminded us at the 2013 Kentucky Derby that a horse with long odds can place in a Triple Crown race.
Golden Soul entered the race with 34-1 odds (according to KentuckyDerby.com), but surprised everybody by placing second, ahead of favorites like Revolutionary, Normandy Invasion, Verrazano and Goldencents.
Here's a look at my top dark horses for the 2013 Preakness (odds by Mike Watchmaker of Daily Racing Form).
It's easy to point to Itsmyluckyday's 15th-place finish at the Kentucky Derby and not give the horse a chance at the Preakness Stakes.
But a closer look at Itsmyluckyday's pedigree suggests he may be better suited for the Preakness.
Itsmyluckyday's sire, Lawyer Ron, generally performed best at 1 1/18 miles throughout his career. Itsmyluckyday's dam, Viva La Slew, never won past a mile.
Itsmyluckyday had four victories in seven starts before the Derby. It's quite possible that the distance bothered the horse, especially considering he was in contention through six furlongs. I expect the horse to have a much better showing at the Preakness and potentially surprise.
Governor Charlie (12-1)
Governor Charlie is a legitimate sleeper at the Preakness this year. The colt qualified for the Derby after two wins in three starts this year, but had to ultimately withdraw because of a foot bruise.
But Governor Charlie will be healthy at the Preakness and figures to contend down the stretch.
Governor Charlie's pedigree is impressive. His sire, Midnight Lute, was a champion sprinter in 2007, winner of consecutive runnings at the Breeders' Cup Sprint. His dam, Silverbulletway, was the daughter of Hall of Famer Silverbulletday.
Governor Charlie is also coming off a historic performance at the Grade 3 Sunland Derby, running 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.54, a stakes record. He won by a whopping five lengths.
Oxbow is more of a long shot than the other two dark horses, but there is still some intrigue in the horse.
Oxbow has a first-place and second-place finish this year and placed a respectable sixth at the Derby. He was actually within a half-length of leader Normandy Invasion with a quarter-mile to run before fading at the Derby.
There are some who believe the shorter Preakness will benefit Oxbow. Given the way he raced for most of the Derby, there's certainly potential here.