Preakness Post Positions 2013: Inside Position Won't Derail Orb

Tim KeeneyContributor IMay 16, 2013

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 15:  Kentucky Derby winner Orb is grazed by trainer Shug McGaughey following a morning workout in preparation for the 138th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 15, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The post positions for the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes are official, and heavy favorite Orb fared about as bad as possibly imaginable.

And it won't matter one lick.  

First, let's take a look at how the horses will line up:

Post Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
1 Orb Joel Rosario
Shug McGaughey
2 Goldencents
Kevin Krigger
Doug O’Neill
3 Titletown Five  Julien Leparoux  D. Wayne Lukas  30-1
4 Departing  Brian Hernandez Jr  Albert M. Stall, Jr  6-1
5 Mylute  Rosie Napravnik  Tom Amoss  5-1
6 Oxbow  Gary Stevens  D. Wayne Lukas  15-1
7 Will Take Charge  Mike Smith  D. Wayne Lukas  12-1
8 Govenor Charlie  Martin Garcia  Bob Baffert  12-1
9 Itsmyluckyday  John Velazquez  Eddie Plesa Jr. 

Yep, the good ol' No. 1 spot—pretty much the exact opposite of what Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey was hoping for:

Strategically, it's not ideal for Orb, who came from the outside to win both the Kentucky and Florida Derbies, undoubtedly the two biggest races of his career, and is more comfortable working on the outside in space. 

But take a look at his win at the Grade-2 Fountain of Youth Stakes:

Just like at the Preakness, the field is made up of nine horses, and just like the Preakness, Orb comes out of the gate at the No. 1 position. 

Expect jockey Joel Rosario, who rode a perfect race atop Orb at Churchill Downs, to follow the exact same strategy John R. Velazquez employed here: hang back at the beginning, move freely to the outside while behind the pack and make a late charge.

Not only will the small field allow things to open up quicker, but Orb is talented enough to make the long trek from the rail to the outside—a feat most wouldn't usually dream of—where he is most comfortable. According to Trakus, he constantly (and impressively) covers more ground than any other horse:

Historically, the inside position isn't ideal for Orb. Since 1960, only two horses—one with a very awesome name (Tabasco Cat)—have won from the No. 1 spot. 

However, Sports Illustrated's Tim Layden quickly put an explanation behind the history that should quell any worry surrounding Orb:

Shug and Co. were undoubtedly disappointed to see their horse placed on the rail, but given Orb's incredible talent and the surrounding circumstances, this only moves the Kentucky Derby winner from overwhelming favorite to a-little-less-overwhelming favorite.