Oxbow stuns Orb in Preakness
By The Associated Press
Published: Saturday, May 18, 2013, 6:33 p.m.
BALTIMORE — A pair of not so over-the-hill Hall of Famers pulled off a huge upset in the Preakness and ended any hopes of a Triple Crown attempt at the Belmont Stakes.
Thanks to Oxbow's wire-to-wire win Saturday over Kentucky Derby winner Orb, trainer D. Wayne Lukas and jockey Gary Stevens have themselves another classic to add to their stellar resumes.
“I get paid to spoil dreams,” the 77-year-old Lukas said after his record 14th win in a Triple Crown race. “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.”
Stevens ended his retirement in January, and won his third Preakness to go along with three victories in the Derby and three in the Belmont.
“At 50 years old, after seven years retirement, it doesn't get any better than this,” Stevens said. “This is super, super sweet and it happened for the right guy. All the stars were aligned.”
Lukas put Stevens on his first Triple Crown race winner, when the rider guided the filly Winning Colors to victory in the 1988 Derby.
“He supported me,” Stevens said. “A lot of people were trying to get me off. He was the first guy to call me up and said ‘I'm going to have a colt for you. His name is Oxbow.' ”
Orb was unable to find his rhythm after breaking slowly from the rail, and never challenged in finishing fourth.
“After we passed the half mile, he had a hard time keeping up and I kind of worried a little bit,” Orb's jockey Joel Rosario said. “He just kind of steadied after that. He usually takes you there. He always runs hard, but today he never took off.”
Orb's loss extends the Triple Crown drought to 36 years since Affirmed became the 11th horse to sweep the races in 1978. There had been great anticipation the sport would get another Triple try just a year after I'll Have Another won the first two races but was scratched the day before the Belmont with a tendon injury.
But nothing could get past Oxbow.
Lukas won his sixth Preakness to move one behind Robert Wyndham Walden for most wins in the second leg of the Triple Crown.
The victory was a long time coming for the dean of trainers. The last time he won a Triple Crown race was the 2000 Belmont with Commendable. And before that, he was a regular in the winner's circle after classic races. At one point, he ran off six in a row — from the 1994 Preakness through the 1996 Derby. He also was the first to send out five horses in one Derby, and won it with Grindstone in 1996.
Oxbow, sent off at odds of 15-1, took charge from the start out of the No. 6 post and beat Itsmyluckyday by 13⁄4 lengths. Mylute, with Rosie Napravnik bidding to become the first female to win the Preakness, was third, followed by Orb, Goldencents, Departing, Will Take Charge, Govenor Charlie and Titletown Five.
Orb's trainer, Shug McGaughey, so confident in the two weeks leading up to the race, was gracious despite his disappointment.
“It was a great opportunity,” the Hall of Famer said. “We were 3-5 and we finished fourth. We'll pack it up and go home. Hats off to Wayne.”
He also recalled a brief conversation with Lukas a few days before the race.
“Just two days ago, he said to me ‘We got another one on the agenda,' ” McGaughey said. “And darn if two days later he didn't get it. ... When Wayne wasn't going good, he was still the first guy out on his pony. The guy's a credit to racing.”
Orb came into the Preakness with a five-race winning streak and many expected him to win easily. But it wasn't to be on an overcast windy day at Pimlico Race Course, where 117,203 fans turned out.
Oxbow went to the lead ahead of Goldencents and opened some daylight into the first turn. Orb, who broke slowly as expected from the No. 1 gate, wound up in a cluster of horses around the turn and into the backstretch. While Oxbow was cruising along in front, Rosario tried to find room outside but found his path blocked. Orb dropped back to the inside, and perhaps frustrated without any space to run free like he did in the Derby, fell back to seventh and was never a threat in the stretch.
Oxbow covered the 13⁄16-mile in a slow 1:57.54 and paid $32.80, $12 and $8.80. Itsmyluckyday, 15th in the Derby, returned $7.80 and $5 and Mylute paid $5.20 to show.
“The pace was slower than I anticipated,” McGaughey said. “I thought maybe they would speed it up a little bit but they didn't. I thought we would close into it but it just wasn't his day. He was just never real comfortable once he got down in there.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Garden Q&A: Firecracker vine OK for trellis?
- Kovacevic: Still waiting on Malkin, Crosby
- Rossi: Lack of together time showing for Penguins’ defense
- Shale oil, gas drilling boom wins favor with labor unions, thwarting environmentalists
- Community group to preserve Dravosburg cemetery’s history
- ‘Common knowledge’ about slot machines often wrong
- Norwin volleyball using fast-paced offense to offset lack of height at hitting positions
- Egg decorating turns to fight, charges in Brookline, police say
- Fleury a bright spot among struggling Penguins in playoffs
- Cool chemistry: Programs at Springdale library take inspiration from late science professor
- Talent on ice, effort off it help franchise grow hockey in Columbus