Oxbow and Gary Stevens ensured the Triple Crown drought will continue at least one more year.
Oxbow won the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes under overcast skies at Pimlico Race Course. Topping a field of nine 3-year-old horses, Oxbow won the 1 3/16-mile race in dominating fashion.
After a thrilling come-from-behind win in the Kentucky Derby, Orb arrived in Baltimore as the Preakness favorite. Even after drawing the rail position for the Preakness, trainer Shug McGaughey's horse remained the favorite and went off at 3-5. Oxbow went off at 15-1 but took the early lead out of gate No. 6 and never relinquished it. Oxbow finished in 1:57.54.
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"We were kind of flying under the radar after the Derby, didn't get a lot of respect even with the great performance. I came back and breezed him on Monday and what you see right now is exactly how he acted in his workout out. We went just a nice, easy workout. His mind was right," Stevens, a Hall of Fame jockey who came out of retirement earlier this year, told NBC's on-horse reporter Donna Brothers after the race. "We came in here with a lot of confidence. Then we hit the half-mile pole, I told myself, 'Are you kidding me? Is this happening?' The race was over."
Despite the backing of the bettors, Orb never truly contended and finished fourth. Itsmyluckyday came second, with Mylute finishing third. The loss for Orb means that horse racing fans will need to wait at least another year to celebrate a Triple Crown winner. No horse has swept the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont since Affirmed in 1978.
"I'm disappointed. I'll probably be more disappointed tomorrow than I am right now but I know the game. And it is highs and lows and probably more lows than highs," Orb trainer Shug McGaughey told Bob Neumeier of NBC after his Triple Crown hopes were dashed. "But we had a great run two weeks ago. And my hat is off to Wayne to win his sixth Preakness. It's a pretty remarkable record."
One of three horses saddled by trainer D. Wayne Lukas in the 138th Preakness, Oxbow paid $32.80 to win, $12.00 to place and $6.80 to show. Oxbow's triumph moves Lukas one win behind Robert Walden (7) for most Preakness wins of all time, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
"I get paid to spoil dreams," Lukas told Mike Battaglia of NBC after his sixth career win at the Preakness. "Unfortunately, we go over here and you can't mail 'em in. It's a different surface and a different time. You gotta line 'em up and win 'em."