2013 Preakness Stakes betting guide

Joel Rosario atop Orb won the Kentucky Derby and is looking to continue his Triple Crown quest this Saturday. Credit: Getty Images
Joel Rosario atop Orb won the Kentucky Derby and is looking to continue his Triple Crown quest this Saturday.
Credit: Getty Images

And then there were nine.

Eight contenders will seek to topple the favorite Orb in this Saturday’s Preakness and keep the Kentucky Derby winner from completing two-thirds of the Triple Crown. Orb didn’t draw any favors with a draw at the first post, but this horse should have the class to be in it until the end. Will it be enough?

The field …

1. Orb (1/1)
Jockey: Joel Rosario
Trainer: Shug McGaughey
Coming off training this past week at Belmont Park, Orb has had some strong morning workouts that show a horse potentially peaking heading into Pimlico. Orb’s dam (racing parlance for a mare) is Lady Liberty, who is bread for distance. While Pimlico is shorter than the Kentucky Derby, this will still be the second-longest race any horse in the field will face. He didn’t draw any favors along the rail and needs to avoid being bottled up early.

2. Goldencents (8/1)
Jockey: Kevin Krigger
Trainer: Doug O’Neill
Doug O’Neill took I’ll Have Another to a win in the Derby and Preakness last year but his entrant this year, Goldencents, disappointed at Churchill Downs, coming in 17th. Conventional wisdom says stay clear but this horse had a nice trip in the Santa Anita Derby in April against a good field.

3. Titletown Five (30/1)
Jockey: Julien Leparoux
Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
He will be outclassed at this level and might lack the stamina to stay in the mix come the final turn. There’s little value here.

4. Departing (6/1)
Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr.
Trainer: Albert M. Stall Jr.
He’s fresh and well rested, but Departing has never won anywhere near this level. He placed third at the Louisiana Derby in March, finishing behind Revolutionary and Mylute. He’s been bred for distance and this could be a good pick come Saturday.

5. Mylute (5/1)
Jockey: Rosie Napravnik
Trainer: Tom Amoss
He ran a solid fifth at the Derby under a nice trip by Rosie Napravnik, who is having a very nice year. In a depleted field, could be a nice option for a trifecta. Good pedigree for distance and stamina means he should be right there at the end.

6. Oxbow (15/1)
Jockey: Gary Stevens
Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
He’s erratic. He can put in a good performance one race and then a flop just weeks later. He’s struggled in graded stakes although the potential is there. But Oxbow ran sixth at the Derby and should be in the mix given strong bloodlines.

7. Will Take Charge (12/1)
Jockey: Mike Smith
Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith gives this horse a chance, even after the disappointment of placing eighth at the Derby. But it will take a lot more than this horse has to compete in this class.

8. Govenor Charlie (12/1)
Jockey: Martin Garcia
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Another rested horse, Govenor Charlie is coming off a 1:47.54 at the Sunland Derby against a weak field. That is still a fast time and trainer Bob Baffert always seems to shine in the big moment. He could be a sleeper.

9. Itsmyluckyday (10/1)
Jockey: John Velazquez
Trainer: Eddie Plesa Jr.
He’s capable of strong runs and did place behind Orb six weeks ago at the Florida Derby, but then finished 16th at the Derby. This is likely too strong a field again although a top-half finish is not out of the question.

Kristian Dyer’s pick: Would be lovely to see Orb take New York City in a few weeks and create some Triple Crown buzz but drawing the first gate is a cruel blow. Mylute is positioned well from the middle and hungry after a strong Derby showing. Go with Mylute. 5-4-1-8.

(*Odds as of Thursday, May 16.)

Follow Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.


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