Preakness Stakes 2013: Oxbow's Torrid Pace Won't Work at Belmont

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent IMay 20, 2013

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 18:  Oxbow #6, ridden by Gary Stevens, races Departing #4, ridden by Brain Hernandez Jr., during the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 18, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Molly Riley/Getty Images)
Molly Riley/Getty Images

Oxbow, ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, ran a brilliant race that resulted in a wire-to-wire victory in the 2013 Preakness StakesUnfortunately, this same approach won't work at Belmont Park in a few weeks.

The diminutive colt took off out of the starting gates like a shot, took an early lead and never looked back. Itsmyluckyday and Mylute finished in second and third place, respectively. 

The heavy favorite to win the race, with 5-7 odds at the start, Kentucky Derby winner Orb finished out of the money in fourth place.

Here's a look at the full results, courtesy of Bovada.


Pos. Horse Jockey Trainer Post
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


Wire-to-wire wins are rare at any professional level, but much more so for a prestigious race like the Preakness. Yahoo! Sports reported after the race that it had been 31 years since another horse had won in this fashion:

When examining this achievement as it relates to the Belmont Stakes in June, it's important to note the length of both races.

The Preakness Stakes is the shortest of the three Triple Crown races in North America. At 1 3/16ths of a mile—9.5 furlongs—it's significantly shorter than the race at Belmont Park.

The Belmont Stakes is a mile-and-a-half race—12 furlongs—that usually takes the winning horse just under two-and-a-half minutes to complete. 

Oxbow finished the race at Pimlico in 1:57.54, which was a slow time on that track thanks to the rain that had fallen earlier in the day. Watching the race, it's clear that Oxbow started to run out of steam in the final furlong, but the horse did manage to keep the lead on the short track.

Had Oxbow needed to keep up the torrid pace for two-and-a-half more furlongs, there's no way he'd have finished in first place.  Simply put, winning at Belmont requires a more measured approach for jockey Gary Stevens atop Oxbow.

It's possible to win the race in wire-to-wire fashion, but Oxbow isn't the horse to do it. 


Note: Odds courtesy of Bovada.

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