The $1 million Preakness Stakes (G1) is the second jewel in the Triple Crown. A field of 9 three-year-olds contested this 1 3/16 mile trip around two turns at historic Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, on a dark overcast Saturday afternoon with temperatures in the mid 60's by post time, with 117,203 fans on hand, the fourth largest attendance in the race's history.
As expected, Kentucky Derby and Florida Derby (G1) winner Orb was sent off as the 7-10 favorite, with many already assuming a Triple Crown sweep. In to challenge him included Holy Bull (G3) winner and Derby 15th place finisher Itsmyluckyday as the 8-1 second choice, and 9-1 third choice Govenor Charlie, winner of the Sunland Derby (G3).
Oxbow leads on the inside with Itsmyluckyday in the middle and Mylute on the far outside.
Jockey Gary Stevens sent 15-1 Oxbow to the lead first time by and he set easy fractions of 23.94, 48.60, and 1:13.26 over the fast track while as many as 2 lengths in front of 19-2 fourth choice Goldencents stalking the pace second. Joel Rosario kept Orb in midpack about 6 lengths off the pace but in between horses. Entering the lane, Rosario asked Orb but the Derby winner failed to fire. Oxbow opened up a 3 length lead in mid-stretch, getting the mile in 1:38.14, and easily held off Itsmyluckyday by 1 3/4 lengths, completing the trip in 1:57.54. It was another 1/2 length back to 11-1 Mylute third, and a long 6 3/4 more to favorite Orb fourth.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
6 Oxbow Stevens 32.80 12.00 6.80
9 Itsmyluckyday Velazquez 7.80 5.00
5 Mylute Napravnik 5.20
Winning Time: 1:57.54
$2 Exacta 6-9 301.40
$2 Trifecta 6-9-5 2,061.60
$1 Superfecta 6-9-5-1 1,817.80
$2 Super High Five 6-9-5-1-2 32,187.80
$2 Special-Preakness double 7-6 100.80
Right: Trainer D. Wayne Lukas leads Oxbow to the winner's circle. Lukas, celebrating his 6th Preakness win and a record 14th Triple Crown race victory said, "I left it up to Gary. I think I got a Hall of Fame ride. I think we can plan this thing, we can talk about it, we can talk about strategy. But once that gate is open, they have to make decisions, Gary made some great ones. I told him, if you get on the lead, get into that cruising speed and just let it happen. We thought that Goldencents and a couple of those other horses might show a little bit more speed and we would not inherit the lead as easily as we did today. Gary was smart enough. When he threw up the 1:13 and change, I knew we were in good shape. I get paid to spoil dreams. You can't mail it in. It's a different surface, a different time. You gotta line them up and run them."
Left: Trainer D. Wayne Lukas celebrates with the trophy. Erin Kelley, daughter of owner Brad Kelley (Calumet Farm, far right) accepted the Woodlawn Vase. She said "He ran a great race. I'm looking forward to what happens next."
Right: Oxbow heads into the indoor paddock for saddling. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas said, "He was not even blowing when he was walked in the winner circle. He didn't hardly turn a hair, and he showed no stress lines whatsoever, nothing, so 1 1/2 miles, Frank Stronach says he can run that far. Of course he owns the sire (Awesome Again). But we haven't had a chance to cool him out yet and I've got to talk to Mr. (Brad, owner) Kelly. But you know me, I like to rack them up in the big events. So I'll probably go (to the Belmont). We've got a new guy in Brad Kelly at Calumet, and that is just the good economics of it. You give that guy that special moment to stand up there with his daughter and to know that he was watching at home and put Calumet, who we all know that name, back on the front pages of the racing publications is very special. I'm so happy for him just to have the opportunity to represent him."
Left: Oxbow in the post parade. His jockey Gary Stevens said, "In these Classic races, you don't give up anything that they give you free, and they gave me a free 3/4 mile today, and I was smiling pretty good midway down the back side. I actually thought about Wayne up in the grandstands. I knew he had to be looking at those fractions and pleased with what he was seeing. When I saw Oxbow's ears fluttering back and forth at the 3/8 pole, the thought of the 1988 Kentucky Derby came back to me. I said kick from here. Try to get some separation from the field. To win a Classic at 50 years old after 7 years retirement, it doesn't get any better than this."
Right: Oxbow leads down the stretch with his name post behind him.
Left: Second place finisher Itsmyluckyday in the saddling area on the turf course. Jockey John Velazquez said, My horse ran awesome. The speed didn't develop the way I thought it would. I thought Oxbow would be third or fourth, then all of a sudden I look up and (Govenor Charlie) gets left and Oxbow was on the lead all by himself. I worried then about my horse, but he ran great." Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. added, "I'm very pleased with the way he ran. He ran his race. He simply just got beat by a horse that was trained perfectly by Wayne Lukas. We did run our race, but we just weren't lucky enough to win."
Right: Third place finisher Mylute in the post parade. Trainer Tom Amoss said, "My horse ran great. The pace was a disappointment up front. I thought there would be more speed; it didn't materialize. We were probably at the biggest disadvantage of all, coming from way back and being the widest in the race. We've got nothing to be ashamed of. I actually look at this like a missed opportunity because my horse ran a big race today." Jockey Rosie Napravnik added, "He was very sluggish out of the gate for the first 1/4 mile. Then he got going. This is a tough course. I was too far back to see who the leaders were. This was a tough pace to follow. But he ran great down the lane and closed well."
Left: Fourth place finisher and beaten favorite Orb. Jockey Joel Rosario said, "He was in a good spot early in the race. They were going slow up front and he was fine. When I got to the 1/2 mile pole, he had a hard time keeping up. I used my stick to try to get him going. He usually takes you there. He always runs hard. But today he never took off. He just steadied. Today was not his day." Trainer Shug McGaughey added, "I would be disappointed any time you had this kind of opportunity and didn't get it done. He got himself in a position where he wasn't comfortable and then without the pace scenario in front of him; they really weren't spread out a little bit more than maybe I'd hoped. The pace was slower than I anticipated. I thought the pace would be quicker. I thought maybe they would speed it up a little bit but they didn't. I still thought we would close into it, but it just wasn't his day."
Right: The field breaks from the gate for the Preakness Stakes.
Triple Crown quick links:
Oxbow upsets in the Preakness - Oxbow led the entire way in the Preakness Stakes (G1) on Saturday at Pimlico with Itsmyluckyday second and Mylute third. Heavy favorite Orb made a mild move to finish fourth. Get the results, charts, and photos here.
Preakness undercard stakes results - There were 7 other stakes on the card, highlighted by the Dixie Stakes (G2) won by Skyring and the Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes (G3) won by Summer Applause. Get the results, charts, and photos for 6 of the races here.
Fiftyshadesofhay wins the Black-Eyed Susan - Fiftyshadesofhay just got up to win the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) on Friday at Pimlico by a neck over Marathon Lady with favorite Emollient 6th. On the undercard, Last Gunfighter won the Pimlico Special (G3). Get the results, charts, and photos here.
Analyzing the Preakness Stakes Contenders for 2013 - My annual analysis using popular angles and statistical trends to see who best matches the profile of a Preakness winner. The big surprise is that Kentucky Derby winner Orb is not in the top group!
Orb wins the Kentucky Derby - Orb was far back early but took the lead in the stretch and drew off to win the Kentucky Derby (G1) by 2 1/2 lengths over longshot Golden Soul and Revolutionary. Get the results, charts, and photos here.
More Kentucky Derby Photos - More photos from the day including more of Orb, the trophy, the roses, Martina McBride, and lots of mud.
Kentucky Derby undercard stakes results - There were 5 other stakes on Derby day including the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1) won by 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan and the Humana Distaff Stakes (G1) won by Aubby K. Get the results, charts, and photos for all 5 races here.
Princess of Sylmar upsets in the Kentucky Oaks - She rallied from far back to win the Kentucky Oaks by a half length over Beholder and Unlimited Budget, while favorite Dreaming of Julia was fourth. Get the results, chart, and photos here.
Kentucky Oaks undercard stakes results - There were 5 other stakes on Oaks day including the La Troienne Stakes (G2) won by Authenticity and the Alysheba Stakes (G3) won by Take Charge Indy. Get the results, charts, and photos for all 5 races here.
Kentucky Oaks Entries - A field of 11 fillies will go, with Gulfstream Oaks winner Dreaming of Julia favorite at 3-1 from post 8. Get the post positions, odds, and free past performances here.
Top Kentucky Derby Contenders - my list of the top horses headed to the Derby with profiles for each with photos, stats, and link to more info like past performances and pedigree.
Analyzing the top 2013 Kentucky Derby contenders - My annual analysis of the top contenders to try and select a winner by matching each to the profile of a Kentucky Derby winner using many of the more popular angles and statistical trends. This year there were is a 3-way tie for the top spot: Goldencents, Normandy Invasion, and Overanalyze.
2013 Kentucky Derby And Oaks Security - New enhanced stricter rules will be enforced this year. Be sure to read the rules as many have changed and more things are banned. There will still be magnetic wand searches of all patrons and many things are no longer allowed. Check here to make sure you don't bring anything they will confiscate.
Review: Triple Crown Handicapper 2013 - by Jim Mazur. Includes lots of stats for all 3 races and explains how to use a system of statistically derived negative angles to eliminate the "bad" picks.
Review: Kentucky Derby Greatest Moments - Commemorative DVD from Churchill Downs with video from 27 different runnings along with interviews, photos, and historical info. Definitely recommended for any racing fan!
Review: Churchill Downs - America's Most Historic Racetrack by Kimberly Gatto. An entertaining and informative account of the history of the track and it's most famous race, the Kentucky Derby, with lots of photos. Definitely recommended.