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Orb, Oxbow Grab Favorable Positions at Belmont Draw

by Sean Hahner
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Derby, Preakness Winners Set for Battle

Kentucky Derby winner Orb will be the favorite in another 2013 Triple Crown race Saturday, in a field of only 14 horses following Always in a Tiz’s withdrawal from the race on Tuesday night.  The 3-1 favorite, Orb will start out of the fifth position, two gates down from Preakness Stakes winner Oxbow who drew the seventh position.

Oxbow, who has 5-1 odds, is seeking his fourth win in 12 career starts and is the most experienced Belmont Stakes contender.  Trainer D. Wayne Lukas was not overly concerned with the post position as he is “more concerned with who is around [them]”.  When asked about the state of his horses for Saturday, Lukas said he is “comfortable” with both the conditions and positions of Oxbow and Will Take Charge, his other horse entered in Belmont.

Mike Repole, owner of Midnight Taboo, Overanalyze, and Unlimited Budget, the only filly in the field, was much more fired up coming into the draw.  When asked about how the Belmont Stakes compare to the other Triple Crown races, Repole replied “the number one race I want to win is the Belmont Stakes,” and went on to say he has “Belmont Fever.” 

With three horses entered into the race, the most of any owner in the field, it is obvious that Repole will put his money where his mouth is.

Trainer Todd Pletcher, who ties his own record by entering five horses in Saturday’s race (including Unlimited Budget), also believed he was in a good place following the Draw.

“We’re happy to be outside of Freedom Child and Oxbow,” said Pletcher regarding Palace Malice and Unlimited Budget, who drew the 12 and 13 spots, respectively.

Revolutionary, another one of Pletcher’s horses, who has been no worse than third in any of his seven career starts, is preferred over Oxbow with 9-2 odds. He’ll have to fight off Derby runner-up Golden Soul who made a name for himself after rallying from 15th place at Churchill Downs and is seeded with 10-1 odds.  When asked about the length of the race, trainer Dallas Stewart just said “I think he’ll love it.”

 

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