Even after a defeat in the Preakness, Orb was installed as the morning-line favorite for the 145th running of the Belmont Stakes. The Kentucky Derby winner drew the fifth post position on Wednesday and was made the 3-1 favorite.
Trainer Shug McGaughey will send Orb up against a field of 14 three-year-old horses that will include Oxbow, who ensured the Triple Crown drought extended another year by winning the Preakness. Aside from the backing of the bettors, Orb will have something else working in his favor: home-track advantage. Belmont Park is the home base for McGaughey, according to the New York Daily News.
"He's been here for three weeks, and I think it has to be a help not only mentally but being familiar with the footing as well," McGaughey said after the draw, via The Associated Press. "He's done well here and trained well here. ... I'm going to strike a line through the Preakness. It wasn't his day. It was (trainer) Wayne Lukas and Oxbow and Gary Stevens' day. We're going to regroup and hopefully you'll see the right horse here on Saturday."
“I think we overanalyze [the post position draw] a lot," Oxbow trainer Wayne D. Lukas said on Wednesday, via the NYRA Press Office. "It’s nice for the press to have something to write about today, but, really, at a mile and a half with that long run and the sweeping turns, we have a tendency to overanalyze the post position draw. I’m more concerned about who is around me and what they’re going to do than what gate we got.”
For your overanalysis, here are the post positions and morning line odds for each of the 14 contenders scheduled to run in the 2013 Belmont Stakes: