The 2013 Preakness didn't give fans the Triple Crown contender they wanted, but it delivered an exciting race worthy of all the hype that surrounded the event.
Oxbow ultimately picked up the Preakness win despite 15-1 odds heading into the race. He proved that anything can happen in horse racing, dominating the race from wire-to-wire and becoming the first horse to do so in 31 years, according to 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.5/18/2013, 10:26:05 PM
Here's how the race shook out for each horse in the field.
|1||Oxbow||D. Wayne Lukas||Gary Stevens||$620,000|
|2||Itsmyluckyday||Eddie Plesa Jr.||John Velazquez||$200,000|
|3||Mylute||Tom Amoss||Rosie Napravnik||$100,000|
|4||Orb||Shug McGaughey||Joel Rosario||$50,000|
|5||Goldencents||Doug O’Neill||Kevin Krigger||$30,000|
|6||Departing||Albert M. Stall Jr.||Brian Hernandez Jr.||-|
|7||Will Take Charge||D. Wayne Lukas||Mike Smith||-|
|8||Govenor Charlie||Bob Baffert||Martin Garcia||-|
|9||Titletown Five||Eddie Plesa Jr.||John Velazquez||-|
It was certainly a shocking result as no one expected Oxbow to be a serious contender. In all, it was a memorable evening of racing that fans won't forget anytime soon.
Here are the biggest takeaways from Oxbow's historic performance.
Orb Isn't Who Everyone Thought He Was
Orb came in as a huge race-time favorite. Despite the No. 1 post position, which has historically been difficult to win from, he was being bet at 5-7 odds at post time.
His stunning come-from-behind victory had experts talking about a potential run at the Triple Crown. Given his brilliant run at the Derby, it was understandable that bettors didn't take into consideration his starting position.
However, it turned out to be too much for the colt to handle. He was boxed in from the beginning and struggled to get the space needed to make the final push that could have challenged Oxbow. He ended up in fourth place and outside the money.
Perhaps more than any other sport, a sure thing doesn't exist in horse racing. Orb simply didn't have what it takes to win the Triple Crown.
Oxbow Has Elite Speed
After a sixth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, it was easy to see why Oxbow was considered a long shot at Pimlico.
What bettors didn't factor into it was Oxbow's top-end speed. The sprinter-friendly, shorter track turned out to be just what Oxbow needed to become a serious contender. While he faded late down the stretch at the longer Churchill Downs track, he had enough gas to keep up his torrid pace at Pimlico.
If Orb's disappointing finish showed the importance of post position, Oxbow's showed the importance of track length.
With the big win, he has to be considered a factor at the Belmont Stakes.
The Belmont Will Be Wide Open
Some will say that losing a potential Triple Crown winner will make the Belmont Stakes uninteresting. To an extent, that's true. Had Orb pulled off the victory, the buzz leading into the race would have been much bigger.
But that doesn't mean the race won't be interesting.
The Belmont is now wide open. Orb has shown that he's a great horse with his Derby win. A better post position in the 1.5-mile race, and there's little doubt he'll be a serious contender. Oxbow's win was impressive, but if he didn't have the endurance to finish the Kentucky Derby, how will he do on the longer Belmont track?
Throw in the likely presence of horses that skipped out on the Preakness like Golden Soul and Revolutionary, and this race is anyone's to win.
Odds courtesy of Bovada.