Preakness 2013 Winner: Oxbow Victory Means More Than Just Stakes Win
Oxbow's improbable 2013 Preakness win was an enormous feat, but the victory in the 138th running at Pimlico Race Course was about so much more than a horse winning a race.
Sporting 15-1 odds, Oxbow spoiled any hopes of racing fans seeing a Triple Crown winner in 2013, as he cruised to a 1 3/4 lengths victory over second-place finisher Itsmyluckyday (h/t Liz Clarke of the Boston Globe).
Affirmed was the last horse to win the Triple Crown back in 1978, meaning it'll be at least 36 years until we potentially see another Triple Crown victor. Orb, the favorite to win the Preakness after his victory at the 2013 Kentucky Derby, finished the race fourth.
Yet the storylines weren't all about Orb's shortcomings on Saturday.
With Oxbow's first-place finish, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas earned his 14th Triple Crown racing win, giving him more wins than any other trainer. Despite Lukas' success in his profession, it had been quite some time since the famous trainer found success (via David Grening of the Daily Racing Forum):
Between Commendable's 2000 Belmont and yesterday, D. Wayne Lukas went winless with 31 starters in 22 Triple Crown races.— David Grening (@DRFGrening) May 19, 2013
Clearly, Lukas has a knack for preparing his horses to the best of their abilities—a talent that has cemented him as a Hall of Famer and one of the best trainers throughout the business.
How long will it take before we see another Triple Crown winner?
Let's not forget the man who jockeyed Oxbow to the finish line, though.
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, a 50-year-old grandfather might I add, came out of a seven-year retirement to ride Oxbow to the winner's circle on Saturday, his first Preakness race since he finished sixth aboard Noble Causeway in 2005 (h/t Preakness.com).
Stevens, who portrayed George Woolf in 2003's "Seabiscuit," already boasted two Preakness Stakes victories entering the 2013 event, having won in 1997 and 2001 aboard Silver Charm and Point Given.
ESPN highlights the Hall of Famer's success in Triple Crown races, tweeting:
3 wins in the Derby, 3 wins at Belmont, and now 3 wins in the #Preakness for jockey Gary Stevens. What a wire-to-wire win for Oxbow!— ESPN (@espn) May 18, 2013
While the 138th running at the Preakness Stakes was surely one for the ages, I think the historical storylines go further than just an unexpected horse winning a race.
After all, it's not often that we see a trainer set a record for most Triple Crown wins in history or a 50-year-old jockey come out of retirement to bolster his standing as a Hall of Fame rider.
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