Written by Card Chronicle Thoroughbred Racing Correspondent Carly Kaiser
The brightside of finishing 17th out of 19 is that he can't do too much worse, right?
A lot of things are going much better for Goldencents this time out in the Preakness. First off, it is a smaller field with nine horses running so there will be no traffic problems or lightning-fast pace like in the Derby. Second, the weather will be much nicer. Third, the race is shorter which is very good news for this speed ball horse. Trainer Doug O'Neill won the Preakness last year after winning the Derby with I'll Have Another, so he knows how to train a horse to run within two weeks.
Earlier in the year, Goldencents showed his youth in the San Felipe Stakes going really quick on the lead and slowed down quite a bit in the stretch to finish fourth. After that performance, O'Neill changed his training regiment and decided to give the colt long, slow gallops to help him relax setting him up for a victory in the Santa Anita Derby. However, after his last race O'Neill has gone back to short, quick works like he has had most of his racing career.
This is a really tough field, and as a racing fan this is a very exciting race. The number one horse is Orb, the Florida and Kentucky Derby winner who is coming in off a five-race win streak with Joel "so hot right now" Rosario on his back. Rosario has been Orb's pilot in three of his last five races.
Goldencents is number two, with young jockey Kevin Krigger on his back just like always. In regards to handicapping, the Derby is easily the biggest "throw out" race there is. Back in 1996, the 16th place finisher in the Derby Louis Quatorze went on to win the Preakness in the second fastest running, behind Secretariat's now 40 year old record. So ignoring that performance, he is the Santa Anita Derby winner, the $1 million Delta Jackpot winner, and in his two year old year he finished second to eventual two year old champion Shanghai Bobby in the prestigious Champagne Stakes. He looks very good for the Preakness.
Joining them will be Titletown Five starting from the three hole, who hasn't won a race in three tries since October. On his outside in the four spot is the second-choice in the betting Departing, winner of the Illinois Derby. What is cool about Departing and Orb is that as babies, they were both born at Claiborne Farm and were in the same field until they were almost two years old.
Next in the five is Mylute, ridden by the fantastic female jockey Rosie Napravnik. They're coming in off a 5th place performance in Louisville. Behind them was Oxbow, who will be the number six in the Preakness. Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, they have another horse in the barn Take Charge Indy who is to his outside in the seven and is also grabbing some attention in the mornings. Govenor (not Governor... I know) Charlie is the eight horse who is owned and trained by the lovable duo Mike Pegram and Bob Baffert. He is the winner of the Sunland Derby in New Mexico (where Russdiculous is right now) and opted to skip the Derby for the Preakness. Rounding off the field is number nine, Itsmyluckyday who finished second to Orb in the Florida Derby and also threw in a clunker finishing 15th in Kentucky.
All in all, this is probably going to be a much easier race for Goldencents, and he should perform a lot better than he did at Churchill Downs.