There will be no Triple Crown winner in 2013, but Oxbow had a dominating race at the Preakness on Saturday.
Although Oxbow looked good at the Preakness, the rest of his career wasn’t exactly pretty.
It took Oxbow four races in the Maiden Special Weights before finally winning and going on to the bigger races. He jumped around jockeys before winning with Joseph Rocco Jr.
In his first race out of the MSWs, Oxbow came in fourth at the CashCall Futurity in Hollywood. It wasn’t the best finish, but things starting looking up in the next race.
Oxbow got his first career win at the Grade 3 LeComte at New Orleans back in January with Jon Kenton Court as his jockey. After this race, Oxbow seemed to have a shot to make an impact during the Triple Crown.
The next two races at the Grade 2 Risen Star and Rebel Stakes ended in a fourth place and second-place finish, respectively. Only two wins in the young colt’s first eight career races likely made D. Wayne Lukas a bit antsy.
After eight races, Oxbow was about to have a big change.
Heading into the Arkansas Derby, it was announced that the legendary Gary Stevens would become his jockey. Stevens has had an incredible career with plenty of major racing wins. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997.
The duo came in fifth at the Arkansas Derby, which wasn’t what they were looking for. However, it was only their first race together, and finding a solid chemistry was going to take some time.
The Kentucky Derby was a chance for Oxbow to finally prove that he was an impressive horse. However, the muddy conditions weren’t ideal for him or Stevens. The two finished sixth, with Orb getting all of the attention.
That all changed on Saturday at the Preakness.
The conditions were fine, unlike the Derby a few weeks ago. Right out of the gate, Oxbow got off to a great start. He seemed to have control of the entire race and held the lead the whole time.
According to a tweet by Yahoo! Sports, Oxbow was the first wire-to-wire winner at the Preakness in 31 years.
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
Being trained by D. Wayne Lukas and ridden by Stevens gave Oxbow an advantage heading into this race. With two Hall of Famers surrounding this horse, it's clear why this horse was able to win.
Sure, the Triple Crown didn’t happen, but Oxbow and his owners certainly don’t mind.