Orb will face eight rivals in the Preakness at Pimlico Race Course, the second jewel of the Triple Crown with the June 8 Belmont yet to run.
Minutes before Wednesday evening's draw in a tent at the Baltimore track, trainer Shug McGaughey said everything has been going smoothly for Orb since his victory in the Churchill Downs slop. "He ate his dinner right up tonight," McGaughey said.
Asked what gate he would pick for his colt and jockey Joel Rosario, the trainer replied, "Eight. Eight would be ideal."
Instead, Orb got the rail. Even so, he was installed as the even-money favorite by Pimlico oddsmaker Frank Garulli.
"It's just a nine-horse field," McGaughey said after the draw. "The horses will spread themselves out. Joel knows what to do ... . They always told me the rail was the shortest way around."
There is a comfortably long run to the first turn in the 1 3/16-miles Preakness and plenty of time for the riders to find position before they settle in for the remainder of the race.
"This is just a party here," said Al Stall Jr., trainer of Departing, who drew No. 4. "The post position really doesn't matter."
The field for Saturday's 138th running of the Preakness Stakes, by post position, with trainer, jockey and morning-line odds:
1. Orb, Shug McGaughey, Joel Rosario, 1-1
2. Goldencents, Doug O'Neill, Kevin Krigger, 8-1
4. Departing, Al Stall Jr., Brian Hernandez Jr., 6-1
5. Mylute, Tom Amoss, Rosie Napravnik, 5-1
6. Oxbow, D. Wayne Lukas, Gary Stevens, 15-1
7. Will Take Charge, D. Wayne Lukas, Mike Smith, 12-1
8. Govenor Charlie, Bob Baffert, Martin Garcia, 12-1
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