Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, who at age 50 came out of retirement earlier this year, led Oxbow to a wire-to-wire victory in 1:57.54 and a big upset of Kentucky Derby winner Orb today in the 138th Preakness at Pimlico Race Course.
Stevens is the oldest jockey to win the Preakness, his third in the second leg of the Triple Crown. He’s won nine Triple Crown races, three in each leg.
“It's so special,” Stevens said. “Wayne, he supported me. Put me on my first Triple Crown winner. A lot of people were trying to get me off. He was the first guy to call me up and said 'I'm going to have a colt for you. His name is Oxbow.'
"Wayne is like a brother, coach, a father figure to me."
It was the sixth Preakness victory for 77-year-old Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, second all-time. It was Lukas' 15th win in a Triple Crown race, most in horse racing history.
“I get paid to spoil dreams,” Lukas told NBC after the race.
The win by Oxbow, a 15-1 longshot, on a gray, cool day means the Triple Crown will have to wait another year. The last Triple Crown winner was Affirmed in 1978. After Orb’s dominating win in the Derby two weeks ago, talk turned immediately to winning all three classic races.
But Orb, who started in the first post position as a 3-5 favorite, seemed to be bothered by traffic throughout the race and never made a strong run for the lead. He finished fourth, nine lengths back of Oxbow.
“I'm disappointed," said Shug McGaughey, Orb's trainer. "I'll be more disappointed tomorrow than I am right now. I know the game. It is highs and lows. Probably more lows than highs.”
Stevens took Oxbow to the lead right out of the gate and never looked back. He was challenged briefly down the stretch by Itsmyluckyday, who made a late charge to finish second, and Mylute, with Rosie Napravnik aboard, who finished third.
Oxbow paid $32.80 to win, $12 to place and $6.80 to show. Itsmyluckyday, with John Velazquez aboard, paid $7.80 to place and $5.80 to show. Mylute paid $5.20 to show.
The Belmont Stakes is June 8 in Elmont, N.Y.
Wire services contributed to this report.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times