Just as important as who is in the running of The Preakness Stakes is who is not returning from the Kentucky Derby. The Derby winner Orb comes into Pimlico healthy, wealthy and in excellent company. Top US rider Joel Rosario has been on fire since moving his tack east this year.
With Julien Leparoux falling in love and moving to the West Coast and the couple of major accidents to New York’s top rider John Velazquez – Joel Rosario has filled the void perfectly. Also part of the connection includes veteran trainer and one of the most respected and successful horsemen around, Claude R. McGaughey III – just “Shug” to most.
Orb is the real deal and with his handlers you can surely count on this colt to be ready for the run for the Black Eyed Susans.
Let’s look at the rest of the Derby field in order of finish:
2nd Golden Soul (out) and heading to the Belmont Stakes
3rd Revolutionary (out) also heading to the Belmont
4th Normandy Invasion (was out now in) back out
5th Mylute (in) hot Rosie Napravnik back aboard
6th Oxbow (in) Lukas teams with veteran Stevens
7th Lines of Battle (out) the import is out
8th Will Take Charge (in) another Lukas trained entry
9th Charming Kitten (out) Ramsey’s bowing out
10th Giant Finish (out) Tr. Anthony Dutrow takes tack north
11th Overanalyze (out) another Pletcher horse overrated
12th Palice Malice (out) Todd could do well on fast track
13th Java’s War (out) Look for Leparoux to get another mount
14th Verrazano (out) Pletcher could change his mind on this one
15th Itsmyluckyday (in) Tr. Eddie Plesa and rider Trujillo are in
16th Frac Daddy (out) McPeek/Lebron combo may go to NY
17th Goldenscents (in) Krigger was smart enought to save at end
18th Vyjack (out) Tr.Rodriguez/Gomez late decision to opt out
19th Falling Sky (out) last in derby is done should be a rule
New comers heading to Pimlico – coming in fresh and ready:
Titletown Five – still a questionable starter for the Preaknesss
Departing - winner of Illinois Derby with Tr.Stall/Hernandez
Govenor Charlie - Baffert entry and winner of Sunland Derby
Street Spice – the question here is why? – Sanchez rides
Since this 2nd leg of the Triple Crown is 1/16 of a mile less than the Derby, this distance not only helps Orb BUT if the track conditions are fast then it could mean a wild, wild finish.
Other factors include weather, pace, readiness, strategy and post position just to name a few. The Track Philosopher spends hours figuring all that for you. So stop by, pick up your full Preakness card and head on out to the track or OTB. Or, pop some corn, fix your beverage of choice, bet online and watch it in your TV room.