VIENNA, Va., May 18, 2013 — Under partly cloudy skies but no rain, Wayne Lukas’ colt Oxbow pulled out his most spectacular win in the 138th Preakness Stakes, taking with him long time winning jockey, Gary Stevens.
Oxbow led all the way, favorite Orb dropping back in the pack fairly early, and there just was no opposition to concern horse or jockey, as Oxbow won by a comfortable 1-3/4 lengths in the time of 1:57.54.
Stevens came out of retirement to return to racing and rode the big brown horse to a significant win, dashing all hopes that this might be the year for a Triple Crown winner. Incidentally, Oxbow came out of postposition no. 6, becoming the 16th horse to win the Preakness from that position.
He also is the first horse to lead wire-to-wire and win the Preakness in thirty-one years!
“You’ve got to be kidding”
After the race Stevens said, “When we got to the halfway mark, I looked around and thought ‘you’ve got to be kidding,’ and then I just let him go. When you have a horse running easy and steady, you don’t change a thing, you just let him run.”
Itsmyluckyday with John Velazquez aboard came in second making a brief attempt to catch the winner, and third was Rosie Napravnik on Mylute. A hometown girl and local favorite at Pimlico she is one of the best jockeys around, male or female. Her horse appeared to lack the staying power to catch up with Oxbow. Mylute got mixed up on the straightaway portion of the track, causing her to take him too far to the outside where she couldn’t recover in time.
Goldencents was in fifth place, Departing was sixth, Will Take Charge was seventh, and Titletown Five, another of Lukas’ horses, came in ninth and last.
Orb gets stalled and is 4th
The favorite and leading contender to produce the first Triple Crown winner since 1979, Orb, ended up fourth, out of the money. It seemed he was covered on all sides by other horses and just didn’t decide to break loose and take off for home.
This was the sixth Preakness victory for trainer Wayne Lukas, while Bob Baffert hoped to increase his Preakness wins to six with Govenor Charlie, who finished eighth.
Oxbow went off at 14-1 odds, paying $32.80, $12.00, and $6.80; Itsmyluckyday paid $7.80 to place and $5.00 to show, while Mylute paid $5.20 to show.
Calumet scores again
The trio involved with Oxbow – Gary Stevens, D.Wayne Lukas, and the famed Calumet Farm of Lexington, KY., just proved unbeatable today. Back in the olden days, Calumet was the only name you had to hear to know who would win. Then the farm fell on hard times, bankruptcy ensued, and it was ultimately sold to a Polish born millionaire, Henryk Richard de Kwiatkowski, which saved the 762 acre farm from being cut up into so many cookie-cutter homes.
He owned it for twenty years, until it was sold to an investment trust firm, a year ago for $40 million dollars, which in turn leased it to a billionaire, Brad Kelly, of Bowling Green, KY. It was his daughter who accepted the Woodlawn Vase today at Pimlico.
Kelley had made his own name under the stable name of Bluegrass Hall, source of the black and gold silks worn by Stevens today. Old-timers will remember Calumet’s colors as red and blue, as well as the always freshly painted barns and fencing.
The famous stable now owns 34 two-year-olds, 54 yearling youngsters, and somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 foals. It would seem Calumet is out to regain its once lofty stature, and today’s Preakness is a strong early step on that road.
As a side note, yesterday’s 89th Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, the fillies’ race, was won by Fiftyshadesofhay, ridden by Joel Rosario and trained by Bob Baffert. This should please the distaff side of racing, since it parodies a supposedly favorite book with some of the ladies
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