Preakness 2013 Odds: Horses Whose Chances Should Improve Before Saturday

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIMay 17, 2013

Trainer Bob Baffert may have an ace in the hole in Govenor Charlie.
Trainer Bob Baffert may have an ace in the hole in Govenor Charlie.Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Before the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes on Saturday at Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course, the odds are certain to fluctuate.

Kentucky Derby champion Orb should remain the prohibitive favorite, but several other contenders should see their chances improve in oddsmakers' eyes.

Two of the three that should see a spike did not run in the first leg of the Triple Crown. While some may view that as a disadvantage, the extra rest should serve them well. The other probable riser features a veteran jockey who is a past Preakness winner.

Below is a breakdown of the top three candidates who are likely to see their stock enhanced ahead of the run for the Black-Eyed Susan Blanket.

Note: All information, unless otherwise indicated, is courtesy of

Post Positions and Complete Field

Post No.







Shug McGaughey

Joel Rosario




Doug O'Neill

Kevin Krigger



Titletown Five

D. Wayne Lukas

Julien Leparoux




Albert M. Stall Jr.

Brian Hernandez Jr.




Tom Amoss

Rosie Napravnik




D. Wayne Lukas

Gary Stevens



Will Take Charge

D. Wayne Lukas

Mike Smith



Govenor Charlie

Bob Baffert

Martin Garcia




Eddie Plesa Jr.

John Velazquez


*Odds via KY Derby Contenders on Twitter, as of 7 p.m. ET, May 15

Departing (6-1)

In Kentucky beginning in September 2010, it was Departing who roamed the same pastures with Orb as they trained to become racehorses.

And, fancy that, they will likely be the top two favorites as both pursue horse racing's Middle Jewel. Departing isn't the fastest horse, but has won all but one of his previous five starts.

The only loss came in the Louisiana Derby, where he finished third to Mylute—the oddsmakers' current No. 2 favorite—and Revolutionary, who ran third in the Kentucky Derby. Not running at Churchill Downs actually benefits Departing, who hasn't had as quick of a turnaround.

An emphatic triumph in the Grade III Illinois Derby proved that Departing can ride with top-tier competition.

Brian Hernandez Jr. will be in the saddle, and he is one of the top young jockeys in the industry. That should translate to a strong run—and ultimately be enough to project Departing as Orb's top challenger before the starting gates open.

Govenor Charlie (12-1)

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert wasn't committed to running Govenor Charlie, who has been nursing a foot bruise and sat out the Run for the Roses in Louisville.

However, a wonderful workout upon arrival at Pimlico convinced Baffert to enter his speedy colt into the race, per KY Derby Contenders:

Baffert is being extremely cautious with the son of sprinter Midnight Lute, whom he called the best thoroughbred he ever trained. There's no way Govenor Charlie would be pushed into action without medically checking out alright.

Govenor Charlie's blistering win at the Sunland Derby clocked in as the fastest time in stakes history (1:47.54), showcasing the talents he has and justifying a link between him and his father.

Between that pedigree, the caliber of trainer that Baffert is and plenty of room to operate in a nine-horse field, there should be stronger respect for Govenor Charlie as the race approaches.

Oxbow (15-1)

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas and jockey Gary Stevens have won Triple Crown events in the past together. Lukas himself has five Preakness triumphs, while Stevens has two.

There isn't a more star-studded duo in this field, and that has to count for something for Oxbow. Stevens was compelled to come out of retirement to ride the colt and finished sixth at Churchill Downs when he got the mount.

The Courier-Journal documents Stevens discussing Oxbow's prospects at the Preakness:

Even at a dampened track in the Kentucky Derby, the promise Oxbow flashed was evident. Not as much stamina will be required on the shorter track at the Preakness, and Stevens' experience at the venue is invaluable.

Now that he has two races with Oxbow under his belt, the legendary jockey will have a much better feel on when to turn him loose.

Traffic also won't be an issue on this course, and it's worth noting that 15 winners have emerged from the No. 6 post position—the most in Preakness Stakes history.

That alone may be enough to give Oxbow's odds a bump before Saturday—if not the magnificent team that has prepared him to play spoiler to Orb's Triple Crown hopes.


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