Stevens, Oxbow Go Wire to Wire, Upset Preakness
There will be no Triple Crown winner in 2013.
Under 50-year-old jockey Gary Stevens, Oxbow led the 138th running of Saturday’s $1-million Preakness Stakes throughout and defeated Itsmyluckyday by 1 3/4 lengths. Mylute got up for third. Odds-on favorite Orb finished fourth, followed by Goldencents, Departing, Will Take Charge, Govenor Charlie, and Titletown Five.
The final time for the 1 3/16-mile race was 1:57.54, the slowest Preakness since Carry Back was clocked in 1:57 3/5 in 1961.
This was the sixth Preakness win for 77-year-old Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas (his first came with Codex in 1980) and the third for Stevens.
Oxbow came into the Preakness with two wins from 10 career starts, including his most recent in the Kentucky Derby, where he ran fairly close to a fast pace and still managed to finish sixth in a race dominated by closers.
“He didn’t get a lot of respect even after his great performance (in the Derby),” said Stevens. We came back and breezed him on Monday and what you see now is exactly how he acted in his workout. It was a nice easy workout and we came in here with a lot of confidence. When I hit the half-mile pole, I said ‘Are you kidding me? Is this happening?’ The race was over at that point. I just walked the dog to the half-mile pole.”
“I’m happy for Gary,” said Lukas. “I’m happier for Mr. (Brad) Kelley. He’s trying to revitalize Calumet, and Calumet is back in a classic race. It’s very gratifying.”
The son of Awesome Again out of the Cee’s Tizzy mare, Tizamazing (a full sister to two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Tiznow), was bred in Kentucky by Richard Santulli’s Colts Neck Stable. He was a $250,000 Keeneland September yearling, purchased from Burleson Farm, agent, by Kelley’s Bluegrass Hall, which is now Calumet.
Oxbow charged to the lead right from the get-go and settled in front. Goldencents sat a couple of lengths back early with Titletown Five in third. Oxbow set fractions of 23.94, 48.60, 1:13.26, and 1:38.14. Orb was second-last rounding the far turn and made a move in between horses but it wasn’t enough to threaten the top trio. Itsmyluckyday stalked Oxbow throughout and got up for second, half a length ahead of Mylute, who was 6 3/4 lengths clear of Orb.
Preakness day attracted a crowd of 117,203 on a mostly overcast, sometimes drizzly day. It was announced as the fourth-largest attendance of all-time. The race handled $50,251,542, with $81,940,233 wagered on the whole card, the sixth highest in Pimlico history.