Everyone seemed to know who was going to win the Preakness Stakes, but it seemed that most people were wrong.
Oxbow, who came in as a 16-1 long shot according to Bovada, took the lead at the start and held on for a wire-to-wire victory. Veteran jockey Gary Stevens won the race at Pimlico for the third time in his career and guided his mount to a perfect performance.
This ruined Orb's quest for the Triple Crown after the horse won the Kentucky Derby in convincing fashion. The favorite finished in fourth place at Pimlico after trailing the pack for most of the race.
Here is a full look at the results from the entire field:
|1||Oxbow||Gary Stevens||D. Wayne Lukas||6|
|2||Itsmyluckyday||John Velazquez||Eddie Plesa Jr.||9|
|3||Mylute||Rosie Napravnik||Tom Amoss||5
|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|
The big story in this race was Orb, who was the overwhelming favorite on the day of the race. By the time the horses went into the post, he was listed at 3-5 odds, meaning you would not even get your full money back for a winning bet.
There was plenty of reason for this level of excitement. Not only did Orb win at Churchill Downs, but he started far outside and had an awful start yet turned it on late and won by 2.5 lengths. His win in the mud was the fifth first-place finish in a row.
Unsurprisingly, this caused many to jump on the bandwagon. At least people were hoping to see the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.
However, a few issues held Orb back from a victory at the Preakness. The two biggest things were the post position and the competition.
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Starting at the No. 1 post, the favorite needed to get out to a good start to avoid getting pinched in by the rail. Jockey Joel Rosario was unable to do that, and it left his mount with no opportunity to make a late move.
On the other hand, credit has to be given to Oxbow. Of all the competitors expected to give Orb a challenge for the win, he was one of the last on the list. In fact, only Titletown Five had higher odds heading into the race.
Still, this once again proved the unpredictability of the sport. In three previous Grade 1 races, Oxbow did not finish in the money in any of them. There was no good reason to believe he had the chance to have a dominant run like he did at Pimlico.
This did not make a difference once the race began. Stevens trusted his horse to have enough left in the tank by the final stretch, and he pushed it throughout the race. This turned out to be the right decision for the experienced jockey.
Few believed that Oxbow had a chance to win this race. Not only did he win, but he dominated from start to finish. Orb came in as the huge favorite but never had a chance.
It shows why it is so tough to win a race, let alone three major ones in a row. Based on what we have seen, it is obvious that fans will have to wait even longer to see another Triple Crown winner.