With 5 returning foes, and 3 new shooters in the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes will Orb triumph in victory and run away with the second jewel or the Triple Crown, or will there be a horse that shatters our hopes of breaking this 35 year drought? So many questions and uncertainties are on all of our minds, but the one thing we are certain of is Orb will clearly have target on his back on Saturday.
With only a day to go, post positions were drawn on Wednesday with a field of 9.
#1 Orb ( Kentucy Derby winner, ML 1-1 favorite in the Preakness)
#2 Goldencents (17th in the Kentucky Derby, ML 8-1 in the Preakness)
#3 Titletown Five (New shooter, 4th in the Derby Trail-G3, ML 30-1 in the Preakness)
#4 Departing (New shooter, won the Illinois Derby-G3, ML 6-1 in the Preakness)
#5 Mylute (5th in the Kentucky Derby, ML 5-1 in the Preakness)
#6 Oxbow 6th in the Kentucky Derby, ML 15-1 in the Preakness)
#7 Will Take Charge (8th in the Kentucky Derby, ML 12-1 in the Preakness)
#8 Govenor Charlie (New shooter, won the Sunland Derby-G3, ML 12-1 in the Preakness
#9 Itsmyluckyday (15th in the Kentucky Derby, ML 10-1 in the Preakness)
There is always a concern with getting the infamous “rail position” as your maneuverability is restricted since you really can’t go left. You obviously have to run right, or look for a clearing to run straight ahead. With immediate speed sitting right next to Orb I don’t foresee post position being a factor since there will surely be a pace presence. Let’s not forget Orb has already triumphed in the #1 post position when he won the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream.
So the question is, will pace make the race once again? We all had seen what happened with the torrid pace that was set by Palace Malice in this year’s Kentucky Derby opening at 45.1: 1:09.4 — Silly rabbit, tricks are for kids! D. Wayne Lukas commented in an interview to not expect Titletown Five to be in the lead for this race. Well…we’ll try, but in my opinion this is a naturally fast horse and Julian Leparoux will have a difficult time settling him down and hindering him from what he does naturally… run! In his last couple of races, he had an opening of 45 and 46’and change; this is a really fast colt! So expect the pace to be aggressive, and quick decisions will have to be made by the Jockeys from the break, to the first turn.
Goldencents in the Santa Anita Derby was aggressive with an opening of 45.2: 1:10.2 and Titletown Five in the Louisiana Derby was just as aggressive with fractions of 46.1: 1:11.4. We’ll see what decisions Kevin Krigger makes for Goldencents as the horse seems to run his best when he is clearly in the lead. Other speed presence in the race should be Govenor Charlie and Oxbow nearby.
Joel Rosario will also have to make some quick decisions on how he will maneuver Orb. Will be drop him further back than usual—to get Orb on the outside for a clear run? Or will he let Orb just run his race?
Let’s also note that with all four of Orb wins in 2013, he has gone out wide for a clear run to the finish line so I’m anticipating this is what Rosorio will do. Let’s hope whatever is decided Orb will not be too far back since the mile and 3/16 is the shortest race in the Triple Crown trail.
Orb is an extremely versatile horse so whether Rosorio drops him back to go wide, or choose to skim the rail; I’m sure as methodical of a horse that Orb is he will handle whatever comes his way.
He’ll run his own race… he’ll be in control… and the next stop will be at the “Big Sandy” on June the 8th as we crown our next Triple Crown winner!
If you look at my previous blog “Pace Makes the Race” for the Kentucky Derby, I will stick to my previous Derby picks, but I am going to use Goldencents in my trifecta’s and superfecta’s only.
Best of Luck to Everyone!