There hasn’t been a Triple Crown winner in 35 years, but this year may be as good as any to end the drought.
Orb enters the 2013 Preakness Stakes as an overwhelming favorite to follow up his Kentucky Derby victory with another win. The online betting Web site Bovada initially gave the horse even odds, but has moved him to 10/11.
In the second leg of the Triple Crown, Orb will be facing a much weaker field than the one he went up against at Churchill Downs. He’s one of just nine horses in the current field for the 138th running of the race. Top contenders at the Kentucky Derby like Verrazano, Revolutionary and Charming Kitten won’t be competing on Saturday. The Preakness hasn’t seen a field this small since 2007.
The biggest threats to Orb are likely Mylute, whose odds are listed at 6/1, and Departing, who comes in at 13/2. Mylute came in fifth at the Kentucky Derby, while Departing most recently won the Illinois Derby.
According to some forecasters, Orb may have to win his sixth straight race in the rain. The weather report calls for a 30 percent chance of showers in the daytime, with temperatures in the low 70s and early 60s. The race is scheduled for 6:20 p.m. ET in Baltimore.
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Meteorologist Tom Tasselyer of WBAL-TV said on Twitter that there is some disagreement on if the weather will have an impact on the race. The U.S. Global Forecasting System predicts clear skies, while the European ECMWF model calls for rain.
A muddy Preakness might not be a problem for the odds-on favorite. Steady rain made for a sloppy track at Churchill Downs when Orb ran the one and 1/4 mile race in just under two minutes and three seconds.
Last year at Pimlico, I’ll Have Another won his second straight Triple Crown race. However, the horse was forced to retire before the Belmont Stakes.
Below are the latest betting odds for the 2013 Preakness, as well as a prediction for the race.
Governor Charlie 10/1
Will Take Charge 12/1
Titletown Five 28/1