While the Preakness Stakes does not have the fanfare of the Kentucky Derby, the second leg of the Triple Crown is certain to be exciting.
Orb is looking to build off its win at Churchill Downs and comes into the race as the overwhelming favorite. However, there are eight other horses attempting to knock the champion off of his pedestal.
A lot can happen over this 1 3/16 mile course, and fans have to make sure not to turn away throughout this two-minute event. Here is all of the information you need heading into Saturday's race.
Where: Pimlico Race Course
When: Saturday, May 18
Post Time: 6:20 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NBC Sports
|1||Orb||Joel Rosario ||Shug McGaughey ||1/1|
|2||Goldencents ||Kevin Krigger ||Doug O’Neill ||8/1|
|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.||10/1|
*Morning line via KY Derby Contenders Twitter feed.
Orb's Quest for the Triple Crown
As soon as a horse wins the Kentucky Derby, all anyone wants to know is if he can win the Triple Crown. Considering this feat has not been accomplished since 1978, fans are certainly starved to see this happen.
The good news is that Orb appears as likely of a candidate as there has been in a long time.
Not only has the horse won five races in a row, but he showed the ability to come from behind after a poor start at Churchill Downs. Even in the large field, jockey Joel Rosario was able to take a wide turn heading into the final stretch to get out in front and get the win.
Things might be more difficult at Pimlico due to a poor post position. Orb will have to start at the rail and is in danger of being boxed in by Goldencents at the No. 2 spot.
Still, this horse has great pure speed and has the ability to win from anywhere on the course. If things go right, he should be on his way to the Triple Crown.
Kentucky Derby Redemption
While Orb lived up to expectations as the favorite of the Kentucky Derby, a few other highly rated horses struggled mightily.
Itsmyluckyday and Goldencents were two of the more popular bets on race day, but they finished in 15th and 17th place, respectively, out of only 19 entries.
While you can blame the wet conditions, poor post positions, the large field or simply bad luck, it is obvious that each horse is better than his finish. Both are looking to do better this time around.
Goldencents comes in at 8-1 odds to win and is in good shape at the No. 2 post. It can get off to a good start and control where it runs the rest of the race. Itsmyluckyday might have some trouble from the outside, but the speed is there to get to the front in a hurry.
Either way, you can expect a better showing this time around compared to the Kentucky Derby.
Watch Out for the Newcomers
Six of the nine horses competing at the Preakness also ran at the Kentucky Derby. While these contenders might have some more familiarity than those that skipped the first race, do not overlook these newcomers.
Govenor Charlie only has three races in his career, but he won two of them, including the Sunland Derby. Departing also has shown plenty of success in his time with four wins in five races.
Although Titletown Five is more of a long shot than either of the other two, trainer D. Wayne Lukas has had plenty of success in his career at Pimlico and should never be counted out.
It is very difficult for horses to perform at 100 percent with such a short turnaround between races. The contenders that missed the derby have the advantage of being more well-rested coming into this difficult race.
Do not be surprised if we see one of these challengers end up in the winner's circle after skipping Churchill Downs.