Preakness Stakes Winners Who Lost the Kentucky Derby
May 10, 2017 07:13am

As soon as Always Dreaming crossed the finish line first in the Kentucky Derby, many began to hope for the same result in the 2017 Preakness Stakes. In 2015, we were blessed with American Pharoah, the first horse since Affirmed, in 1978, to win the Triple Crown. In 2016, though, we were reminded just how hard it is for a horse to accomplish the feat.


If Always Dreaming manages a Preakness victory, the Todd Pletcher-trained colt will carry the weight of anticipation on his shoulders as he heads to Belmont. The connections of Classic Empire, fourth in the Kentucky Derby, are also excited to send the Juvenile champ to Pimlico. With a cleaner race, the Casse team is confident they will get a better shot at Always Dreaming.


Until Saturday, May 20, we won’t know if Always Dreaming will cross the line first or if it will be another horse winning the Middle Jewel. In the meantime, here is a look at recent Preakness winners, who ran in the Kentucky Derby, but did not win. In other words, the list which Lookin At Lee, Classic Empire, Gunnevera, and Hence will be looking to add their name to.


Exaggerator (2016): Nyquist and Exaggerator had met four times before the Preakness, with the former winning each race, including the Kentucky Derby by 1 ¼ lengths. Exaggerator came flying late to capture second, but Nyquist was too far gone and claimed the roses. Come Preakness day, Nyquist quickly took the lead, and the Desormeaux brothers did not plan to let Doug O’Neill and Mario Gutierrez get away again. Kent moved Exaggerator early before reaching the second turn and romped home to a 3 ½ length victory. Triple Crown dreams were dashed as Nyquist finished third. Yet another horse, Creator, went on to win the Belmont.



Oxbow (2013): Sent off at 15-1 in the Preakness, the second longest shot in the field, the sixth-placed Derby finisher stunned the crowd by leading gate to wire. Trained by D. Wayne Lukas and ridden by Gary Stevens, Oxbow crossed the wire 1 ¾ lengths in front, while Kentucky Derby winner and race favorite Orb finished fourth.


Shackleford (2011): Shackleford captured his very first stakes win in the Preakness. While he had tried to take home the Derby, but faded to fourth, Jesus Castanon kept him in second after a bobble at the Preakness break. The Dale Romans trainee was able to hold off a run from Derby winner Animal Kingdom and take the Preakness by half a length.


Lookin At Lucky (2010): A three-time Grade 1 winner at two, and winner of the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at three, Lookin At Lucky was made the favorite for the Kentucky Derby. After a rough start and with no choice but to make a run from the back, the best he could accomplish was sixth. Come Preakness day, the Derby winner Super Saver was the bettors’ choice, but it was Lookin At Lucky who found redemption. Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Martin Garcia, Lookin At Lucky wore down the front runner to win by three-quarters of a length. Super Saver was eighth.


Curlin (2007): Unbeaten in three starts before the Kentucky Derby, Curlin was the second choice behind the more experienced Street Sense. It was the favorite that rallied to win, but Curlin still finished a respectable third in only his fourth lifetime start. Steve Asmussen continued to Pimlico with Curlin, who was once again the second choice behind Street Sense, but the Preakness proved to be Curlin’s day. Although Street Sense passed Curlin and Robby Albarado in the stretch, the gutsy colt fought back and won by a head in a photo finish.



Afleet Alex (2005): The 2005 Preakness Stakes turned out to be a thriller. Not because of two horses dueling it out, but because of what Afleet Alex overcame. After finishing third in the Derby as the second choice, with two longshots ahead of him, including Giacomo at 50-1, Afleet Alex found himself as the favorite on Preakness day. Making a run from 10th, Afleet Alex clipped heels coming into the stretch, nearly going down with jockey Jeremy Rose. It appeared to be all over, but the Timothy Ritchey trainee found his footing and unleashed a winning run, crossing the finish line 4 ¾ lengths in front. Afleet Alex was also the Belmont Stakes winner in 2005.



Point Given (2001): The Kentucky Derby was the only race Point Given lost at age three, when he finished fifth as the favorite. Bob Baffert and Gary Stevens regrouped in the Preakness, and the bettors still felt strongly about Point Given, making him the slight favorite over Derby winner Monarchos. While Monarchos finished sixth, Point Given overcame a slow break to win by 2 ¼ lengths before going on to win the Belmont in a romp.


By Christine Oser


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