Oxbow Wins Preakness Stakes
(CNN) — Oxbow, after a sixth-place showing at the Kentucky Derby, led wire-to-wire to claim victory Saturday at the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes.
The horse, ridden by veteran Gary Stevens, dashed the Triple Crown hopes of Orb, which finished fourth at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.
Itsmyluckday finished second and Mylute was third.
Oxbow’s winning time was 1:57:54 over the 1 3/16-mile course, 4½ seconds slower than the record set by Triple Crown winner Secretariat in 1973.
Oxbow came into the Preakness as a 15-1 shot, and “didn’t get a lot of respect after the Derby,” Stevens, who came out of retirement earlier this year, told NBC.
The 50-year-old Stevens in January took a call from Oxbow trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who he told him “I’m going to have a colt for you.”
That colt was Oxbow.
“His mind was right” on Saturday, said Stevens. He didn’t expect his horse to go to the lead so early, but it didn’t leave him gassed at the end.
“He exploded home coming off the turn,” Stevens said.
Orb, the Derby winner and a 3-5 favorite at the Preakness Stakes, got a clean start from the inside post but soon became boxed in on the rail where he started. He was hemmed in among the other colts, unable to stake a position on the outside as he had in rallying to victory at Churchill Downs on May 4.
The third Triple Crown race, the Belmont Stakes, is set for June 8 in New York.
Stevens, a Hall of Fame jockey, said Oxbow maintained a “nice, easy pace.”
“What you saw out there was the way we trained,” Stevens said. “His ears were up so he was telling me he was comfortable and it was just like we worked out.”
It was the third Preakness victory for Stevens, who had settled into a second career as a race commentator before the call from Lukas.
“He’s like a brother, a coach and a father figure to me,” Stevens said of Lukas, who now claims six Preakness winners.
CNN’s Chelsea J. Carter contributed this report.