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The Dark Horse

Preakness 2013: Oxbow pulls off the 15-1 upset!

The rain held off, the track was fast, and on this relatively cool spring day in Baltimore, Oxbow pulled off the 15-1 Preakness upset!


Oxbow got off well after briefly brushing Will Take Charge, wrangling the very early lead from Goldencents as the horses passed the grandstand for the first time. Itsmyluckyday and Titletown Five were behind the early leaders as the horses rushed for the first turn. The Kentucky Derby winner, Orb, bobbled a bit at the start and was sixth early along the inside and looked comfortable in the early stages. The early speed we expected from Govenor Charlie was not present this day.


The horses basically held position throughout most of the backstretch. The front-running Oxbow set very reasonable fractions of 23.4, 48.3, and 1:13.1 and never let his foes get within a length and a half of his lead. Orb showed more of a sense of urgency earlier on in the race than he did in the Derby. He seemed to begin using his energy right before the far turn to get up to third. He seemed to struggle trying to catch up to the leader Oxbow and started to fade. The horses were much more bunched together entering the turn. Oxbow lead the pack to a 1:38.0 mile. Winning jockey Gary Stevens, who recently came out of retirement to return to the jockey colony, remarked about his ride, “We talked about strategy and I didn’t expect to be on the lead. In these classic races you don’t give up anything you get for free. They gave me a free three-quarters of a mile today. I was smiling pretty good midway down the backside.”


Around the turn as Orb and Goldencents started to fade, Itsmyluckyday and Mylute made huge sweeping moves around the outside of a fading Goldencents looking as if they were going to challenge the pace setter. As they straightened out, Oxbow turned on another gear. Mylute and Itsmyluckyday both were charging hard, but at the end of the day, Oxbow was the 2013 Preakness champion completing the race in 1:57.2 and paying $32.80 to win. Stevens said of the stretch run, “let’s go now and just try and last. When we pulled up he wasn’t a tired horse.”


By winning today, Stevens won his third Preakness as a jockey and “the coach” D. Wayne Lukas won his sixth, putting each into racing immortality. After the race, Lukas remarked, “I’m happier for Gary. I’m happier for Mr. Kelly. He’s trying to revitalize Calumet, and Calumet is back in a classic race. It’s very gratifying.” In terms of his reaction to putting off a triple crown for another year, Lukas stated, “I get paid to spoil dreams. You can’t mail it in, it’s a different surface; a different time. You gotta line them up and run them.”


It was a bit disappointing for many fans who thought Orb would be the one to win the next Triple Crown. Jockey Joel Rosario stated of the rode on Orb, “He was in a good spot early in the race. They were going slow up front and he was fine. When I got to the half-mile pole, he had a hard time keeping up. Today was not his day.” The fourth largest crowd in Preakness history (117,203) tried to will Orb over the finish line first, but as Rosario said, it wasn’t Orb’s day today.


For Oxbow and his connections, it was a fantastic day and people want to know if the Belmont will be next. Lukas stated, “He was not even blowing when he walked in the winner circle. He showed no signs of stress lines whatsoever.” Lukas also stated that owner Frank Stronach believes he can get the mile and a half at Belmont and clued us in that he will probably be going.
 

 

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Older Comments about Preakness 2013: Oxbow pulls off the 15-1 upset!...

Oxbow had a big show and it was bad weather at Kentucky Derby so know I get right at a star is born!
Chris, nice article. Sorry we didn't cross paths on Saturday. For everyone who is in love with Rosario, this ride, but more importantly his lack of preparation, just proves he still has some learning to do to become an "elite" jockey. IF he had done his homework (i.e. just pay attention to the races throughout the day), he would have known that the RAIL WAS DEAD! Stevens obviously knew since he rode the 3-path the entire way around the track on a lone lead. That's why he is a HOF rider. Also, did anyone notice that Orb's best running came when Rosario finally took him to the middle of the track? BTW - Orb was never stuck along the rail. Look at the break, even Krigger immediate moved to the outisde, when many said, "Krigger will pinch Orb on the rail to make sure he doesn't get outisde."Krigger's ride was better than Rosario's, only problem, Krigger didn't have the horse.
  • 224FLAT · @marylandgq------You must have mental telepathy, because I was thinking the EXACT same thoughts at 6:25 P.M. this past Saturday. If Rosario had gone 6 wide from the break or the 1/2 mile mark, I'm quite sure Orb would have mowed down Oxbow and every other horse in his path. In case nobody noticed, he was sitting in 17th position at the 3/4 mark in The Derby------and with only 1/2 mile to go, he made one of the most impressive stalking moves of all time (and in 3 inches of slop to boot!!). I'm sure "Shug" is crying over those replays------because my eyes were soaked with tears knowing that the animal didn't lose the race, his jockey did. I think Shug should replace Rosario with Rosie------as she really has the skill and guts to make Orb fire on all cylinders. Her rides at Churchill and Pimlico were brilliant------and I'd love to see her on Orb at Belmont. · 483 days ago
I was screaming at the TV for him to switch to the outside.....
  • 224FLAT · @zxswordxz------My throat is still sore, and my brain is fried from wondering "WHY" he didn't go outside immediately!!!!! Please see my comment above to annmatt. · 483 days ago
Rosario is a top class jockey, no question, but he is human, and he clearly made a mistake in staying on the inside. With only 9 horses in the field, plenty of opportunities to get out from the rail. He had run the races that day and he knew the best spot was not the inside, yet he chose to stay on the rail. Only he knows why he defied everything we know about Orb's racing style. The role of the jockey is to place your horse in his comfort zone so he can run his race. The racing charts are available for all of Orb's races, and never has he won from the inside. He has always made his move from the outside, circling horses from 3-6 wide. Joel should have trusted his horse to be able to do that. Yes, the pace was slow, but nothing Orb hadn't overcome before. In the Fountain of Youth, he drew the rail, and Johnny V guided him away from the rail, making his move on the back stretch, and coming home circling horses.
  • annmatt · Having said all of that, if Orb couldn't win, I very happy for Lukas and Gary Stevens and Calumet! The winner is still the "old school". · 485 days ago
  • 224FLAT · @annmatt------Excellent analysis and I couldn't agree more. It hurts me to say it, but I'm guessing "Shug" must share your sentiment------and he has probably watched the replay at least 100 times wondering why Rosario didn't go outside from the break, or at the 1/2 mile mark. · 483 days ago
PPRS. I think you are right about that. With Ron Turcotte's comments about Orb In Florida and the fact that it was Secretariat's anniversary, I think people were really. Hoping. But alas the racing gods said otherwise.
Didnt really dawn on me until last night - but after leaving very crowded (thousands) local simulcast facility after the race how quiet it became - the air was sucked out of the place even though many tracks and much more racing going on. Made me realize how horseplayers and the gambling public in general are starving for a Triple Crown winner or at least the excitement of the possibility of one heading to the Belmont.
Orb was his for the taking (Johnny V) but he chose Verrazano remember. Maybe you didn't watch the Kentucky Derby but Orb had a brutal trip. He ran at least 10 lengths farther than any other horse in that race. To expect him to come back in two and be in top form is unrealistic.
I really don't understand the constant knocking of Rosario. He is an elite jockey, at the present time, regardless of the opinions of many who allegedly know much about racing have to say. In actuality those opinions are pure ignorance of the mechanic's of thoroughbred horse racing. I've gone into detail on his first concerning his alleged bad ride, where the classless Graham Motion knocked him publicly. It's truly amazing that a trainer of that many years doesn't know the difference between running style and pace. Curious they still decided to keep him for the race with biggest purse in racing when Johnny V unashamedly offered his services. Today we have a tout knocking him. Don't show me your past picks for accountability as they mean nothing when done without pressure, just as in horse racing with a horse running loose on the lead. You want credibility/accountability show your betting slips or your IRS statement that classifies you as a professional gambler. At the present time you're just another talking head trying to sell your picks.
Oxbow looked like Paynter in the Haskell from last year. Those Awesome Again Babies!.
106, wow talk about a big improvement ! for a sec it looked like he was just running 96 at the most. boy was i wrong! i thought he peaked why only made the small back up bet. oh well that is racing, good luck to everyone on the belmont!
Oxbow got a 106 BSF for the Preakness.
Glad He could do it! Cashed in big on the race and the Spc/Prkns DBL!
i bet a small win on orb for tc sakes, but most my money on mylute and small win show on oxbow who finished the best of the leaders in the derby. hell orb was flat no excuses.
i bet a small win on orb for tc sakes, but most my money on mylute and small win show on oxbow who finished the best of the leaders in the derby. hell orb was flat no excuses.
When Jockeys say things like "it just wasn't Orb's day today", I have a real hard time with that. Have you ever seen Joel Rosario show guts on the inside? He's great on great horses when hes's on the outside but watch him when he's on the inside and needs to show some guts. How about the race before on Optimizer? same thing; he just was to chicken s *** to move through a smaller space.
  • fonnerparkfilly · Now Calvin Borel can move a square peg through a round hole and ride the rail while doing it. Orb was the victim of a bad ride, could be. Perhaps Rosario was waiting for him to sprout wings and fly to the finish line. · 485 days ago
GQ.... Valid points and good post as always.
Congratulations to all the connections of Oxbow! An impressive win in all respects. Really great to see Gary Stevens back in the winning circle
I boxed the 1-5-6-9 on a $1.00 tri just won $1030.80 thanks orb I do wonder if we will ever have another triple crown winner as of all the fresh horses entering these two other races
Cant believe you boxed the entire field in a superfecta. Thats what you get for being greedy Im sorry to say.
*but why he didn't go - typo....

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 (Whoa - it's me - the DARK HORSE)
 
Greetings and welcome to my "dark" blog!  I have been a fan of horse racing since I was about 12 years old.  Growing up in Minnesota, my dad would take me and my brothers to Canterbury Downs and I would practically beg to go every weekend!!  I made my first "big" score there hitting the win, place, and exacta in the same race at age 14 (pulled in $84 with horses named Railroad Red and Racers Dream!).  I even had a poster in my bedroom of Lost Code winning the 1987 St. Paul Derby!
 
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