If Kentucky Derby winner Orb
does not win Saturday’s Preakness 2013 Stakes (GI) at Pimlico Race Course
and is therefore denied a shot at sweeping the Triple Crown, there is a
good chance it will be a horse that raced
in New Orleans playing the role of spoiler. Four of the nine horses
entered for Saturday’s $1 million middle
jewel were prominent in the
3-year-old division at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots this season:
$1 million Louisiana Derby (GII) runner-up and Kentucky Derby fifth
Mylute, Louisiana Derby third and Illinois Derby (GIII) winner
Departing, Lecomte Stakes (GIII) winner and Kentucky Derby sixth
Oxbow, and Louisiana Derby also-ran
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
installed as the 5-1 second choice on the Preakness morning line, will
be ridden once again by three-time Fair Grounds riding
champion Rosie Napravnik for 10-time Fair Grounds leading trainer
Departing, the 6-1 third choice off his convincing Illinois Derby victory, will have
La., native and Fair Grounds favorite Brian Hernandez Jr.
in the saddle for two-time Fair Grounds leading trainer Al Stall Jr.
Oxbow, projected at 15-1, gets
Gary Stevens in the saddle for trainer
D. Wayne Lukas, who vanned top 3-year-olds to
New Orleans from Hot Springs,
Ark., for each of the three
graded stakes for 3-year-olds run in New Orleans this season. Lukas
also trains Titletown Five, pegged at 30-1 with
Julien Leparoux up, who finished ninth in the Louisiana Derby for owner Paul Hornung and enters the Preakness off a disappointing fourth in the Derby Trial (GIII) at Churchill
and Stall, native New Orleanians and childhood friends who were
roommates at LSU, each have one previous Preakness starter.
Amoss finished fourth with Hot Wells in 1998 and Stall was seventh with
Terrain in 2007.
Napravnik and Hernandez will be making their Preakness debuts.
The last Louisiana Derby runner to win the Preakness was
Funny Cide, who took the
first two legs of the Triple Crown in 2003. Three Louisiana Derby
starters in all have won the Preakness, also including
Risen Star (1988) and Master Derby (1975).