If you were disappointed with the Kentucky Derby's lack of surprises, the 138th running of the Preakness more than made up for it.
Oxbow, of course, led the way with one of the most dominant, unsuspecting runs at Pimlico in the history of the prestigious race, but the nine-horse field was littered with unforeseen results.
Here's a look at the final standings, courtesy of NBC's telecast:
|1||Oxbow||Gary Stevens||D. Wayne Lukas||6||$32.80, $12.00, $6.80|
|2||Itsmyluckyday||John Velazquez||Eddie Plesa Jr.||9||$7.80, $5.00|
|3||Mylute||Rosie Napravnik||Tom Amoss||5||$5.20|
|4||Orb||Joel Rosario||Shug McGaughey||1|
|5||Goldencents||Kevin Krigger||Doug O'Neill||2|
|6||Departing||Brian Hernandez Jr.||Albert M. Stall Jr.||4|
|7||Will Take Charge||Mike Smith||D. Wayne Lukas||7|
|8||Govenor Charlie||Martin Garcia||Bob Baffert||8|
|9||Titletown Five||Julien Leparoux||D. Wayne Lukas||3 || |
Oxbow (First Place)
With the trip that 50-year-old Gary Stevens made atop Oxbow on Saturday afternoon, you'd think he had been the odds-on favorite, per Yahoo! Sports:
Yahoo Sports @YahooSports
And Oxbow becomes the first wire-to-wire winner at the #Preakness in 31 years! #Orb disappointingly finishes out of the money.2013-5-18 22:26:05
But he wasn't. Oxbow's final line stood at a staggering 14-1, per NBC's telecast, which put him as the second biggest long shot.
But it didn't matter. Oxbow, led by a Hall of Fame combo in Stevens and trainer D. Wayne Lukas, was absolutely dominant from start to finish.
I'm not even sure many were expecting Orb, the odds-on favorite, to run that transcendent of a race, let alone one of the biggest underdogs. The Preakness often goes according to plan—at least more than the other two Triple Crown races—but Oxbow gave us the complete opposite of that.
Orb (Fourth Place)
Unfortunately for Orb, he finds a spot on this list for a different reason than Oxbow.
The Kentucky Derby was expected to trounce an unspectacular nine-horse field, but coming out of the No. 1 post, he got boxed in on the inside and was never able to showcase his closing speed.
It's not exactly warranted, but the surprisingly poor finish has made the unlucky horse the butt of many jokes, much like this one:
Eric Stangel @EricStangel
Having second thoughts about taking Orb out drinking last night... #preakness2013-5-18 22:25:10
Nevertheless, Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey's pride and joy is no less talented than he was at the start of the day, and if Orb goes to Belmont, he will once again be a legitimate favorite.
Will Take Charge (Seventh Place)
In a field of 19 horses at the Kentucky Derby, Will Take Charge finished eighth.
In a field of nine horses at the Preakness, he finished seventh.
I'm not exactly sure you can call that improvement.
Will Take Charge entered Saturday with some momentum. Not only did he secure an encouraging finish at Churchill Downs, but he was led by the all-star tandem of Lukas and Mike Smith.
Everyone was jumping on the bandwagon, and by the morning, his odds were all the way down to 11-1, according to NBC. That certainly didn't suggest he was going to win the second jewel of the Triple Crown, but finishing in the money wasn't out of the question.
Then this happened:
KY Derby Contenders @DerbyContenders
Mike Smith on @HRTV says Will Take Charge "struggled the whole way" around the track in #Preakness.2013-5-18 23:36:02
But while the jockey is disappointed, something tells me the trainer—Lukas—isn't too upset with his day overall.