Post positions were drawn for the 139th Preakness Stakes (G1) on Wednesday afternoon in the International Pavilion in the infield at Pimlico Race Course. A field of only 9 was drawn this year using the traditional double-blind system, with Kentucky Derby winner Orb, who drew the rail, set as the even-money favorite on the morning line set by Frank Carulli. Kentucky Derby (G1) 5th place finisher Mylute is the second choice at 5-1 from post 5 and Illinois Derby (G2) winner Departing the third choice at 6-1 from post 4.
Sue Steel, the fourth Ms. Preakness Pink Warrior, was on hand to insert the horses' names onto the draw board. Steel, who lives in Eldersburg, Md., is a 16-year breast cancer survivor. The 49-year-old was first diagnosed in 1997, only days before her mother succumbed to the disease. Six days after her mother's funeral, Steel was admitted to the hospital for a double mastectomy and has endured 15 additional surgeries. During her initial recovery she decided to do something meaningful so that her daughter would not have to face this disease. She said, "My goal is to show other young women that they can survive this disease and go on to lead a healthy, active life. Early detection is key."
Orb with trainer Shug McGaughey (right) at Pimlico on Wednesday afternoon.
Orb's trainer Shug McGaughey said, "Well, he won the Fountain of Youth from the '1.' His first race was from the '1' and he finished third in a very good race. Obviously, if I was going to pick it out, I wouldn't have picked the '1.' But with only nine horses in there to run 1 3/16, with a rider like Joel (Rosario), he's going to figure out what to do. He'll have him in the right spot. I'm not sure that I would have picked the ‘1' out of there. If it had come out the '1' in the Derby, you'd almost have felt like you needed to go home, but I don't feel that way here."
General Manager Todd Quast of GoldMark Farm who had Mylute entered said "We're ecstatic about it. With this horse, it doesn't matter as much, but it sure is nice being inside, a little bit toward the middle, and then having Orb inside us and Departing inside us, the two big threats. It's great to be outside of them. In the Derby, we actually had the same path, basically, as Orb did, but he was three or four lengths in front of us. This time, maybe we keep a little better eye on him with his being on the inside, and we'll see what happens."
Departing's trainer Al Stall Jr. said, "Everything's fine. There are only nine horses, so the position isn't that important. (Orb) isn't going to go on with it, so he's going to have to go around. Out of the nine numbers, the ‘1' is probably the one you want the least. We thought the Derby was too tough. He’s a gelding, so we’re looking to get longevity out of him. We thought the Illinois Derby set us up well for the Preakness."
Be sure to click the link on each horse's name to view full info, stats, and a photo where available. Click here to skip straight to the entries. Free past performances are available here (look for Govenor Charlie).
Triple Crown quick links:
Who will win the 2013 Preakness?
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Wednesday Preakness Photos - Several of the Preakness horses grazing beside the stakes barn plus three arriving by van at Pimlico. Includes Orb, Departing, and 6 more. New!
Analyzing the Preakness Stakes Contenders for 2014 - My annual analysis using popular angles and statistical trends to see who best matches the profile of a Preakness winner. The big surprise is that Kentucky Derby winner Orb is not in the top group! New!
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Preakness Entry Rules - the field is limited to 14 starters, here is how they determine the order of preference if more than that enter.
Fillies in the Preakness Stakes - a look at the 53 fillies who have run in the Preakness and how they did. So far there have been 5 wins, 5 seconds, and 8 thirds.
Preakness Infield - After the massive tightening of the rules which resulted in a huge drop in attendance in 2009, things have relaxed slightly and you can buy a special "all you can drink beer" Mug Club ticket.