The 138th running of the Preakness Stakes is Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, and all eyes will be on Kentucky Derby winner Orb, the even-money betting favorite. While no horse has won the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978, 12 since have won the Derby and the Preakness. For one reason or another, none have been able to finish the job at the third leg, the Belmont Stakes.
Orb went off as the 6-1 co-favorite at Churchill Downs with Revolutionary but powered to a 2 1/2-length victory on extremely sloppy track. The colt paid $12.80, $7.40 and $5.40. It was the first Kentucky Derby win for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey as well as jockey Joel Rosario. Orb has now won five times in eight career races.
Golden Soul finished second and Revolutionary third at the Derby, but neither is entered in the nine-horse Preakness Stakes field, the fewest in the race in six years. Orb’s top challenger, currently at 5/1, is expected to be Departing. The gelding has four wins in five lifetime starts and took the Grade 3 Illinois Derby in his last race on April 20.
Goldencents is the early 7/1 third favorite at Pimlico. He was also the third favorite in the Derby but finished off the board (17th) for only the second time in seven starts.