Oxbow, ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, took the lead of the Preakness right from the starting gate and led every step of the way for the win. The quest for the first Triple Crown winner since 1978 ended Saturday, as Orb failed to win the Preakness as the odds-on favorite at post time. The drought will continue for at least one more year.
Twelve times since 1978, a horse has won the first two legs of the Triple Crown and failed to complete the sweep in the Belmont Stakes, including last year's Derby/Preakness winner I'll Have Another. There will be no Triple Crown attempt in 2013.
Breaking quickly from the gate, Oxbow sprinted to the front of the pack with Goldencents to his outside in the three-path. Titletown Five stalked several lengths off the lead while Govenor Charlie raced farther back than expected. Gary Stevens and Oxbow controlled the pace from the outset, saving valuable energy through moderate splits of 48.60 and 1:13.26 through the first half and three-quarters of a mile. Itsmyluckyday rallied hard down the middle of the track in the final furlongs, but could not get to Oxbow at the wire.
Orb came away from the gate slowly, as expected, and raced near the middle of the field in the early stages. Joel Rosario got him off the rail into the middle of the pack, but Orb didn't respond to urging as the field entered the far turn, and could only finish a distant fourth to the winner.
Orb, the morning line favorite at odds of even money, continued to be the crowd's choice in the hours leading up to the Preakness. His odds drifted between 4/5 and 3/5 for much of the afternoon with no other horse in the field sporting odds shorter than 7/1. By the time the field loaded into the gate, Orb's odds were 3/5 and no horse in the field had odds shorter than 8/1. Oxbow loaded into the gate at odds of 15/1.
The failure of Orb to finish in the top three keyed huge payouts in the wagering pools. The trifecta returned $1,030.80 for a $1 base wager.
Oxbow is a three-year-old colt by Awesome Again out of a Cee's Tizzy mare (Tizamazing), trained by D. Wayne Lukas, owned by Calumet Farm and ridden by Gary Stevens.
Below are the results and payouts for the Preakness Stakes:
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