Preakness Contenders: Derby Winner Orb Headlines Field

Kentucky Derby winner Orb will headline the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 18 (photo credit Pimlico Race Course)

Kentucky Derby winner Orb came out of his victory on Saturday in good shape and headlines the possible list of contenders for the Preakness Stakes (G1), which will be run on Saturday, May 18 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md.

The second jewel of the Triple Crown could include as many of six runners that competed in the Run for the Roses, and four or five new shooters. There are ten runners that are listed as possible or confirmed for the Preakness, and that could change over the next week.

Here is a quick look as the possible field for the Preakness Stakes:



The Kentucky Derby winner shipped to New York on Sunday and will then ship into Maryland early next week according to his trainer Shug McGaughey, who won his first Derby. The hall of fame trainer has started two runners in the Preakness, Pine Circle, who was fifth in 1984, and Easy Goer, who finished in the runner up spot behind Sunday Silence in 1989. The colt will come into Pimlico riding a five race win streak.



The Tom Amoss trainee finished fifth in the Derby with Rosie Napravnik aboard, and like the Derby no female rider has ever won the second jewel of the Triple Crown. Only two females have had mounts in the race, PJ Cooksey (1985) and Andrea Seefeldt (1994). Napravnik knows the Pimlico surface better than most of the jockeys that will compete in the race. She started riding in Maryland as an apprentice in 2005 and has had plenty of success on the circuit.



The D. Wayne Lukas trainee checked in sixth in the Derby with Gary Stevens aboard for the ride. The colt has now lost four in a row since winning the LeComte (G3) at Fair Grounds back in January. Lukas has won the Preakness five times in his hall of fame career, the last coming in 1999 with Charismatic.


Will Take Charge

The son of Grade 1 winner Take Charge Lady ($2.4 million) and half-brother to 2012 Florida Derby (G1) winner Take Charge Indy was eighth in the Derby and did not have the best of trips. The colt had to check in traffic as the fading Verrazano drifted in on him. The colt has won three of his eight career starts, his best effort a win in the Rebel (G2) at Oaklawn Park in his final Derby prep. He came into the Derby off a seven week break.



15th in the Derby as the sixth choice in the field of 19, trainer Ed Plesa said the colt is “60-40” to run in the Preakness. The trainer blamed the off track for the colt’s subpar performance. “We have to blame it on the (sloppy) race track. It’s not just making an excuse. He trained too well to run so bad,” Plesa said. “You could see where he was struggling with the racetrack all the way around. It wasn’t a case of soundness; it was a question of handling the racetrack.” The colt will ship to Monmouth Park on Monday.



The Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner was a disappointing 17th in the Derby. The colt was up close to a very sharp early pace and faded in the stretch.  His trainer Doug O’Neill won last year’s Preakness with Derby winner I’ll Have Another and is anxious to get back to Baltimore. “He came out of it good and we’re going to do the right thing by the horse,” O’Neill said. “As long as he continues to do well, we’re going to try the Preakness.”



The Al Stall trainee is coming off a good looking win in the Illinois Derby (G3) which was not a point race this year for the Kentucky Derby. The colt has won four of his five career starts, his lone loss a runner up finish in the Louisiana Derby (G2). The winner of that race was Revolutionary, who came back to run third in the Derby.


 Govenor Charlie

A late defection from the Derby field, the colt will come into the race with just three lifetime starts, his last a win in the Sunland Derby (G3) on March 24. Trainer Bob Baffert has won the Preakness five times, the most recent a win in 2010 with Lookin At Lucky.


Fear the Kitten

The Mike Maker trainee missed getting into the Derby by about 2 ½ hours. Sitting on the also-eligible list, the colt would have been in the field if Black Onyx had scratched Friday morning before 9:00am. The scratch did not occur until about 11:30am. The colt is 0 for 4 this year with his best finish a runner up finish in the Southwest (G3) over a sloppy track at Oaklawn Park. His last two starts were on polytrack.



The Ken McPeek trainee is coming off a win against first level allowance foes at Churchill Downs on Derby Day in his first start against winners. He beat the heavily favorite Code West, the Baffert trainee who had finished second in the Risen Star (G2) and sixth in the Louisiana Derby (G2).


Michael Dempsey’s Preakness Day Report

Michael’s Report includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for the entire Preakness Day card from historic Pimlico. Michael is a Maryland bred and knows the circuit from the backstretch to the finish line.

The second jewel of the Triple Crown will be run on Saturday May 18 at Pimlico. The big day of racing has five supporting stakes including the $150,000 Gallorette Handicap and the $100,000 Allare Dupont Distaff Stakes.



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