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 ground.
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 OFF!
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 lead!
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?