The field for Saturday's 138th running of the Preakness Stakes is set to take aim at Kentucky Derby winner Orb, as he attempts to become the first thoroughbred in 35 years to capture the Triple Crown, consisting of victories in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes.
Nine horses will go to the post at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore shortly after 6 p.m. Eastern time for the mile and 3/16 race. Orb will have the No. 1 post position along the track's inside rail as trainer Shug McGaughey attempts to win his first Preakness, though he wouldn't have selected that spot to start from.
"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 a mile and three-sixteenths, with a rider like Joel (Rosario), he’s going to figure out what to do. He’ll have him in the right spot," McGaughey told reporters after Wednesday's post position draw.
Veteran trainer and five-time Preakness winner D. Wayne Lukas will have three horses in the race. Oxbow, who finished sixth in the Derby, and Will Take Charge, who finished eighth, will start from the sixth and seventh post positions, respectively. Lukas's third horse is Titletown Five, who will run out of the No. 3 post position. Titletown is owned in part by NFL Hall of Famers Paul Hornung and Willie Davis.
“I was satisfied all the way around with my three horses, especially Oxbow. It’s a small field with a good run to the turn. I don’t think it’s very significant, except maybe for Orb. Oxbow for a change got a decent post position, so that’s going to help there. I like what happened there very much," Lukas commented after the post position draw.
Another five-time winner, trainer Bob Baffert is in the field with Governor Charlie, who will start from the eighth spot. Governor Charlie was in the mix to run in the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago, but suffered an injury and was not entered in the race.
Baffert says his horse is healthy now and ready to compete over the mile and three-sixteenths distance.
"It’s a different group of horses he’s running with and it’s a classic, but he’s bred to run that far," Baffert told the New York Daily News.