My pal Left at the Gate looked at Orb's Preakness and the talk surrounding it. Namely, i) Orb was pace compromised and ii) Orb was path compromised.
The meme being that he was too far inside on a bad part of the track and he was too far back at the half to make a run in slow fractions.
To me, it makes not much sense at all, and is excuse-ridden, in a game full of them when horse's who should not get beat, do.
Here is the quarter. Notice what path the winner, Oxbow is in. Now, notice where Orb is.
What's Oxbow, maybe the 'one and a half path'? Orb is not in a much different spot, maybe in the 'one and a quarter path' (as we grab a our handy protractor and do some grade 11 math).
Later on in the first turn, the Bloodhorse "Race Sequence" confirms this (Oxbow 6, Orb 1), as both Gary and Joel drift slightly off the inside path. Note that Rosie on Mylute (5) is hugging the wood.
Now, at the half, let's have a look:
Orb does not seem to be overly pace compromised, nor is he overly path compromised; he just seems uninterested. Add the fact that Mylute closed from well behind Orb, while racing the entire first three eighths along the wood, we have ourselves a real shindig.
I've read the analysis, I've watched the replays, I've deciphered the pictures. I do this for more than just the Preakness, because in betting I look for pace and path compromised or aided horses for a rebet or a fade. I also run weekly path and speed biases in my software. I see nothing of the kind in Orb's case.
Like I wrote after the race - like Secretariat or Monarchos in the Wood, or Blame in the JCGC, or your average every day filly at Mountaineer or Calder - sometimes horses don't fire. Orb probably did not fire his best shot. I find no reason to change that opinion.
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