A small field of nine will head to the post for the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Saturday. Orb, who won the Kentucky Derby by 2.5 lengths, looks to move a step closer to the Triple Crown, as the odds-on favorite.
Here’s a look at the field and Preakness Stakes odds:
1. Orb (Jockey-Joel Rosario) 1-1
Orb has won five in a row and deserves to be the heavy chalk in the Preakness. But his trip in the Kentucky Derby couldn’t have gone any better and he drew post No. 1 for Saturday’s race, where no horse has won since 1994. It’s tough to bet against Orb but at even money there’s better value elsewhere.
2. Goldencents (Kevin Krigger) 8-1
Finished 17th as the third choice in the Kentucky Derby but it was clear he couldn’t handle the pace nor the sloppy track. Throw that race out and he fits with these, but questions still remain whether he can get the distance.
3. Titletown Five (Julien Leparoux) 30-1
Appears to be more of a sprinter and could be the pace setter here. Titletown Five’s biggest problem is that there is plenty of other speed in the field, so the chances he can steal the race are unlikely. Deserves to be the longest shot in the race.
4. Departing (Brian Hernandez Jr.) 6-1
Departing is kind of a mystery. He blasted a much weaker field in the Illinois Derby but he did so while running five wide the entire trip. Ran a solid third in the Louisiana Derby against some of these horses and he’s got decent speed figures. Should be in the mix.
5. Mylute (Rosie Napravnik) 5-1
Mylute had a great trip behind Orb in the Kentucky Derby but really didn’t have the closing kick to mount a serious challenge. Still, Mylute finished fifth as Napravnik notched the best finish by a female jockey in the race’s history. Twenty-five of the last 27 Preakness winners also ran in the Derby.
6. Oxbow (Gary Stevens) 15-1
Ran a decent sixth in the Kentucky Derby but got tired in the sloppy going. One of D. Wayne Lukas’ three mounts in the race, Oxbow is just 2 for 10 lifetime and doesn’t appear to have what it takes to beat this quality field. Will be a long shot.
7. Will Take Charge (Mike Smith) 12-1
Checked in the stretch to finish eighth in the Kentucky Derby. Although he didn’t look like he was going to become a serious menace, he does have an excuse. This one is well bred and ran better than his odds against a better field. He’s a live long shot in the Preakness.
8. Governor Charlie (Martin Garcia) 12-1
A foot injury forced trainer Bob Baffert to skip the Kentucky Derby but the lightly-raced colt will be fresh for Saturday. Baffert has won the Preakness five times and Governor Charlie has trained well and should be near the lead. How long he’ll last is another question.
9. Itsmyluckyday (John Velazquez) 10-1
Whether it was the slop or the distance this one ran poorly in the Derby. Took a lot of money in the Run for the Roses and his morning line of 10-1 seems generous here. If you can throw out the Kentucky Derby, Itsmyluckyday has a chance at a price.
Picks: 1. Departing. 2. Orb. 3. Itsmyluckyday