Oxbow stole Orb's thunder by winning the 2013 Preakness Stakes in a wire-to-wire effort that stunned horse racing fans across America.
Itsmyluckyday finished in second place, while female jockey and horse-racing superstar Rosie Napravnik rode Mylute for a third-place finish. Both of these horses ran brilliant races, and both jockeys handled them well, but Oxbow was unbeatable on Saturday.
Orb, the heavy betting favorite with 5-7 odds at the start of the race (via Bovada), finished outside the money in fourth place.
Below are the full race results, courtesy of Bovada:
|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|
Goldencents (7-1 odds) got off to a hot start and ran right behind Oxbow for much of the race, but the sprinter ran out of steam around the two-thirds mark of the race to finish in fifth place—well off the lead.
Departing (9-1 odds) put forth a disappointing all-around effort. Not fast enough to keep up with the sprinters out of the gates, this horse was also unable to pick up the necessary speed down the home stretch and finished in sixth place.
Post position was a significant factor in the outcome of this race.
Before the race, David Grening of the Daily Racing Form pointed out that Orb's No. 1 post had only produced one winner since 1964:
Tabasco Cat (1994) only Preakness winner from the rail since 1961. #orb— David Grening (@DRFGrening) May 15, 2013
After Oxbow's victory from the No. 6 post, ESPN Stats & Info reported it was the 16th win from that spot—the most of any post in the 138-year history of the Preakness:
Oxbow wins Preakness from the No. 6 post position. The No. 6 horse has won the Preakness 16 times, the most of any post position.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 18, 2013
Oxbow's wire-to-wire win was a rarity at the Preakness. Yahoo! Sports reported it had been 31 years since this feat was accomplished last:
Some fans may have been disappointed in Orb's failure to win the second leg of the Triple Crown, but Oxbow's impressive victory now sets us up for what will be an exciting race at Belmont Park next month.
Top Stories Heading into Belmont
Oxbow Is Really, Really Fast
After a sixth-place finish at the Kentucky Derby, expectations for Oxbow at the Preakness were understandably tempered.
As a result, oddmakers had Oxbow as a 16-1 long shot at the start of the race.
Will Oxbow repeat at Belmont?
Then we all witnessed this horse win from start to finish against some of the top speed horses in America.
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens seemed to realize what Oxbow was about early in the race and never once attempted to slow the race horse down. In the end, Oxbow proved to possess elite top-end speed, and more importantly, he showed brilliant stamina.
Make no mistake about it—Oxbow will be a dangerous horse at Belmont on June 8, 2013.
Goldencents Isn't Elite
After Doug O'Neill's victories with I'll Have Another in 2012 at the Derby and the Preakness, expectations were high for Goldencents in 2013.
A 17th-place finish at Churchill Downs seemed easy to explain. After all, Goldencents wouldn't have been the first world-class race horse to struggle in the mud.
The horse's impressive win at the Santa Anita Derby seemed to portend great future feats on the hallowed tracks of America. But after finishing in fifth place at the Preakness—right in the middle of the field—one thing is clear: Goldencents is not an elite race horse.
Goldencents was the only horse that could keep up with Oxbow's torrid pace on Saturday, but stamina proved to be a problem right around the one-mile mark. Belmont's 1 1/2-mile track will surely be too brutal a test for this horse.
The Belmont is Wide Open
Of the three major races that comprise the Triple Crown, none is as unpredictable as the Belmont.
Orb's failure to even place at the Preakness leads to doubts about how the horse will fare on an even longer track than he won on at the Derby.
Will the Belmont be won by a long shot or a favorite?
Horses that skipped the Preakness like Revolutionary, Golden Soul, Palace Malice and Overanalyze will be raring to go with fresh legs.
And don't forget about Mylute. Napravnik and Mylute have been progressively getting better together, and the duo could well challenge for the Belmont Stakes title.
Really, there's no way anyone can predict what will happen when the gates open up on the second Saturday of June. It's any horse's race to win, which makes it all the more exciting.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78.