While history may not be on his side, a shorter and drier track can make Orb’s quest for the Triple Crown much easier Saturday in the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico.
In the last 94 years, only eleven horses have captured the elusive Triple Crown, and while as many as eight have come close by winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, no horse has completed the feat since Affirmed in 1978.
The overall odds may be slim, but the weather is in Orb’s favor. Compared to the sloppy and soaking Churchill Downs three weeks ago, the mostly overcast and drier conditions at Pimlico should help Orb gain footing from the less than ideal No. 1 position.
Since 1997, as many as eight horses have followed up their first place showing at the Derby with a Preakness victory. The last was I’ll Have Another, who was forced to pull out of the Belmont Stakes due to injury last year.
Orb, a three-year-old colt, is listed as even money prior to the race, but just behind him are Departing, Mylute, and Goldencents.
One of the biggest favorites heading into the Derby, Goldencents and jockey Kevin Krigger finished a disappointing 17th at Churchill Downs, and will seek redemption. Krigger could be the first African-American jockey to win the Preakness since Willie Simms with Sly Fox in 1898.
Departing did not participate in Kentucky, but his impressive victory at the Illinois Derby makes him Orb’s top challenger.
Mylute and jockey Rosie Napravnik will technically have home field advantage. Napravnik is from the Maryland area and started her career there. She already had the best showing of any woman at Churchill Downs, but can do the same in the Preakness.
Coverage of the race begins at 2:30 p.m. and the Preakness is scheduled for 6:18 p.m. EDT. It will be broadcast by NBC, or you can watch the live online stream at NBC Live Extra here.
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