Photo: Eclipse Spotswire
It’s a beautiful day here at Pimlico, as the Preakness field
steps up to the gate. Number one is Orb, the Kentucky Derby winner and even
money favorite. He enters the Preakness on a five race winning streak.
Should he win, he will be only the third horse in the last 50 years to win from
post number one. Second in line is the Santa Anita Derby winner Goldencents.
Like most of those here, returning from the Kentucky Derby, he is looking for redemption
off that race.
Titletown Five is the first of the three new shooters, which
also includes Departing and Govenor Charlie. Departing comes into today off a
win in the Illinois Derby while Govenor Charlie exits a record performance in
the Sunland Derby.
Next are Mylute and Oxbow. Both made menacing moves in the
Derby, and at different points, looked like they may win. Oxbow could not
sustain his run after tracking a hot pace while Mylute simply ran out of
Rounding out the field are Will Take Charge and
Itsmyluckyday. Will Take Charge finished a trouble eighth in the Kentucky
Derby, while Itsmyluckyday was part of the pace meltdown, as were many others.
This, like Goldencents, is his chance for redemption.
Now the field is loaded into the gates….Annnddd They’reeee
Breaking for the lead is Goldencents, but Titletown Five is
right there with him. Oxbow is not far off of them, and from the outside comes
Governor Charlie and Itsmyluckyday to sit off the early leaders. Orb is showing
more speed than usual, from the rail. He’s moved a couple of paths out, and has
a good spot behind the early pace. Will Take Charge is flanking him with Mylute
coming next, and Departing bringing up the rear.
The first quarter in a solid 22 and four, as Titletown Five
and Goldencents still go at it. Oxbow and Governor Charlie are not far behind
those. Next is Itsmyluckyday, about three lengths from the speeding leaders.
Half a mile gone in :46 flat, and the leaders are trying to
slow things down a little as the field rolls down the backstretch. Oxbow begins his
move, with Governor Charlie moving
closer and Itsmyluckyday still flanking him. Titletown Five seems to be laboring
as the field hits goes past the three quarters in 1:10 and four.
Goldencents has a narrow lead over Governor Charlie and Itsmyluckyday
who are breathing down his neck. Orb is on the inside, looking for running
room. Mylute and Departing are revving up from the back and Will Take Charge is
coming under some urging. As they turn for home, it's Itsmyluckyday with the
Goldencents falls back, with Orb still looking for running room,
and he finds it on the rail. Itsmyluckyday has a two length lead with a furlong
left, but here comes ORB!!! Departing is also closing on the outside, but
Itsmyluckyday is still out in front.
A sixteenth of a mile left to run, Orb is coming with giant
strides, Itsmyluckyday fighting hard in the race of his life, Departing coming
hard on the outside. Here’s the wire…………
These are my top three for the Preakness Stakes. I will
leave it up to you to decide who comes out on top. Does Departing fly past them
all? Does Itsmyluckyday turn the tables on Orb? Or does Orb once again make history, to take the second jewel of the Triple Crown?