Stevens, Oxbow Go Wire to Wire, Upset Preakness

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Oxbow, Gary Stevens aboard, wins the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes Oxbow, Gary Stevens aboard, wins the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes

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.

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  • Richard C

    This is an old school TC scrum, with Calumet Farm emerging out of the shadows for a major trophy. The scoopers around Pimlico can’t be too happy – though – with all the Orb tickets on the floor…..it makes finding a lost gem just that harder!

    • Don Reed

      Say, you’re taking all the fun out of this, you pooper-scooper.

  • Shelly

    Why is it that there is never a mention of James Gordon Rowe, Sr. as still the most winning trainer?

    • Don Reed

      Of what?

  • KatraB

    Way to go Gary Stevens and Oxbow!!! Yippee!!! You and all the connections have been
    blessed!!! ;)

    • wabstat

      Today’s riders are asleep in the saddle. Do you think that Cordero or Pincay would have let a horse cruise along on the lead like that in the Preakness. Stevens had to be laughing at the head of the lane. Great ride by Stevens, the rest should be riding platers.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paula-Esposito/100001620845560 Paula Esposito

        Stevens said that when he hit the half mile pole they were letting him have it all his way and he couldn’t believe it so I guess he was laughing.

  • Don Reed

    The Over The Hill Gang strikes again. Bet the Redskins to win the Super Bowl in 2014.

  • Don Reed

    How can a Triple Crown race with a nine-horse field, with order-of-finish odds of 15-1, 9-1 and 11-1 only pay a $2,062 triple?

    • wabstat

      Right On! With Orb completely out, I thought all the exotics were short.

  • harry

    It interesting lot of talk about Oxbow final time of 1:57:4 slowest time of Preakness since 1961. Interesting to note that yesterday Pimlico Special was run in 1;58;2 for same 1 3/16 miles race.

    The 6 furlongs in Special was 1:14 and in the Preakness 1:13:1. I would say young 3 year Oxbow ran much faster than older handicap horses in Pimlico Special winner Last Gunfighter. Very interesting!!!

  • Noelle

    Terrible, terrible disappointment. IMO, Rosario didn’t “get” the slow pace Stevens was setting, and because he didn’t get it, he didn’t send his horse when he should have done. I’m sick over this.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paula-Esposito/100001620845560 Paula Esposito

      Are u sure u watched the race? That was not a happy horse and Rosario was asking all along, he just was getting no response. The horse did not like his position and some like to sulk when they don’t have things the way they like them. That’s what separates the champions. Mind you, I was rooting for Orb, but things did not go his way. Not the jocks fault.

    • Diane

      I agree whole heartedly with you

  • Tinky

    I’m completely perplexed as to why the other horses in this race failed to submit to Orb’s “beast-like presence”. Hopefully Kerry Thomas will be able to shed some light on the issue.

    • Scott Jagow

      Tinky, I guess I gave you more credit for being a thinker than that. Your petty post-race complaints carry no weight, especially when you’re the one that made Kerry out to be some “handicapping guru” when the rest of us were just saying don’t ignore this guy at Derby time, which is a big difference. The fact remains, according to this reporter who wrote the story and who picked two of the three last Derby winners on his own (Animal Kingdom and Orb), Thomas’s analysis and comments to me pointed to all three in any case, which is all the story said, because his analysis is valuable for the big fields of the Derby.

      What else are you suggesting? No well-respected or great horse (like say, Secretariat) ever lost, I suppose…

  • nu-fan

    This was a hard race to handicap. Sure, everyone was on board with Orb, as they should have been. He’s a great horse with a great trainer and jockey. But, never, ever, discount the team of D. Wayne Lukas and Gary Stevens! And, Oxbow? Wow. He ran an easy cruising race. It was the horse that, ultimately, did it. Great race, and what racing is all about–or should be. Titles aren’t just handed on a silver platter; they are earned. And, for racing, this is what makes it so exciting. Kudos to Oxbow, Lukas, and Stevens. They earned their win today. So glad that Gary Stevens came out of retirement. Don’t forget he won two races today at Plimlico. And, for those who think that “old” folks should retire? Well, tell that to a 77-year-old trainer and a 50-year old jockey. Hah!

  • jttf

    2 smart back to back rides by the old man. somebody test him for a bute overage.

  • McGov

    Stevens put them all to sleep and by the time they woke up it was too late. It is remarkable that in big races like this a jock can pull this off…but it happens again and again…and Stevens is quite good at it…but you gotta wonder, is it the inexperience at Pimlico that makes it difficult for the other jocks to accurately gauge how fast the pace is? Certainly every jock in the race has a good clock in their head…but perhaps they all thought the pace was much faster than it was.
    Rosario has proven this year that he is hungry to prove he is a champion jock…but that trip could have been much better.

  • Diane

    Not interested in the handicapping, interested deeply in the “horseperson’s” view of the sport always. Congrats to all involved, love Gary, and wish he and the horse the best, but I truly would have liked to see a real “old school” horseman get it, finally. As Shug said, he listens to his horses, doesn’t try to buy the field. He richly deserves a triple crown. Still loving Orb.

  • jon

    ray, is art stalls wife as hot close up as she looked on tv?you were right behind her on national tv yesterday.

  • Don Reed

    Ray did a cameo as Bea Arthur’s love interest in Golden Girls. That’s how you end up on horse racing TV, which has an even older demographic!

  • turffan

    Don, I’m just barely old enough to remember the Golden Girls (76 foal). Was just givin kudos to Ray, him walking by camera on NBC looks like every pic we see of him, hair that John Edwards envy’s & busier than Obama’s spin room. Miss Bea should be so lucky, as we all are.

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