Thursday, May 16, 2013
FAIR GROUNDS ALUMS LINING UP TO TACKLE ORB IN SATURDAY’S PREAKNESS
NEW ORLEANS (Thursday, May 16, 2013) – If Kentucky Derby winner Orb does not win Saturday’s Preakness Stakes (GI) at Pimlico Race Course and is therefore denied a shot at sweeping the Triple Crown, there is a good chance it will be a horse that raced in New Orleans playing the role of spoiler. Four of the nine horses entered for Saturday’s $1 million middle jewel were prominent in the 3-year-old division at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots this season: $1 million Louisiana Derby (GII) runner-up and Kentucky Derby fifth Mylute, Louisiana Derby third and Illinois Derby (GIII) winner Departing, Lecomte Stakes (GIII) winner and Kentucky Derby sixth Oxbow, and Louisiana Derby also-ran Titletown Five.
Departing, the 6-1 third choice off his convincing Illinois Derby victory, will have Lafayette, La., native and Fair Grounds favorite Brian Hernandez Jr. in the saddle for two-time Fair Grounds leading trainer Al Stall Jr.
Oxbow, projected at 15-1, gets Gary Stevens in the saddle for trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who vanned top 3-year-olds to New Orleans from Hot Springs, Ark., for each of the three graded stakes for 3-year-olds run in New Orleans this season. Lukas also trains Titletown Five, pegged at 30-1 with Julien Leparoux up, who finished ninth in the Louisiana Derby for owner Paul Hornung and enters the Preakness off a disappointing fourth in the Derby Trial (GIII) at Churchill Downs.
Amoss and Stall, native New Orleanians and childhood friends who were roommates at LSU, each have one previous Preakness starter. Amoss finished fourth with Hot Wells in 1998 and Stall was seventh with Terrain in 2007.
Napravnik and Hernandez will be making their Preakness debuts.
The last Louisiana Derby runner to win the Preakness was Funny Cide, who took the first two legs of the Triple Crown in 2003. Three Louisiana Derby starters in all have won the Preakness, also including Risen Star (1988) and Master Derby (1975).
Read more articles in the Fair Grounds category.