Oxbow: Handicapping Belmont Odds for Oxbow

Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistMay 18, 2013

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 18:  Gary Stevens celebrates atop of Oxbow #6 as he crosses the finish line to win the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 18, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images)
Justin Heiman/Getty Images

Oxbow shocked the horse racing world with a victory at The 2013 Preakness with a dominant performance that few could have seen coming.

Despite his 15-1 odds, Oxbow started the race strong and was able to keep up the pace to dominate the pack and deny Kentucky Derby winner Orb his shot at the Triple Crown.

With the win, he put the disappointment of a sixth-place finish behind him and put in the performance of a career. Now the attention will shift to the Belmont and whether or not he has what it takes to win two-thirds of the Triple Crown.

The short answer is that he can, but it won't be easy. Only five horses have won the latter two parts of the Triple Crown after failing to win the Kentucky Derby since 1978.

According to Yahoo! Sports, Oxbow was the first wire-to-wire Preakness winner in 31 years. The historic achievement shows that Oxbow will be one of the best sprinters among the contenders that will be present in the Belmont field.

However, it'll take more than great speed to win the Belmont. The 1-1/2 mile track is by far the longest of the three races. That could be Oxbow's undoing.

The challenge in winning the Triple Crown (or in Oxbow's case, the last two parts of it), is being well-rounded enough to win the shorter races with sprinting speed and the longer races with endurance.

If the Kentucky Derby is any indication, Oxbow may not have the endurance it will take to win at Belmont.

At Churchill Downs, he was among the top horses in the early going before he ran out of gas down the stretch and was passed by the likes of Orb and Revolutionary.

All things considered, winning the Belmont will be difficult. Given the amazing performance he just turned in, it's tough to keep expectations in the realm of reality; however, Oxbow already has 12 races to his name and endurance is a huge concern in a race as long as the Belmont, which should keep his odds fairly high for the final leg of the Triple Crown. 

Odds: 20-1