A few low, indecipherable noises escaped from the table where
The horse had drawn the dreaded No. 1 gate, meaning eight horses will be closing him in as they race toward the shortest path to the first turn.
McGaughey, though, was not among those who thought this meant anything significant.
“Some people groaned,” he said. “I didn’t groan.”
McGaughey acknowledged a preference to start on the outside of the field — where both the jockey and horse can watch the field open up — but said he thought drawing the rail simply didn’t matter in a nine-horse field running over a mile and three-sixteenths.
“It’s a pretty straight start with only nine horses,” he said. “They wont be jockeying for position as much going into the first turn as they did in the [
Orb remained the prohibitive favorite, as expected.
“This time, maybe we keep a little better eye on him with his being on the inside, and we’ll see what happens,” Quast said.
“We’re fine,” trainer Al Stall Jr. said. “I don’t think it matters much on this race track.”
A Preakness starter hasn’t won from the No. 1 post since Tabasco Cat in 1994. Only one horse breaking from that gate since then has gone off as one of the top betting choices: Lion Heart was the second choice to 3-5 favorite Smarty Jones in 2004. The others were all at least 10-1.
At even money, a bettor who wagers $2 on Orb will receive $4 if he wins.
D. Wayne Lukas, who trained Tabasco Cat, dismissed any sort of deep analysis of the draw but said Orb will have to contend with traffic.