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May 19, 2013

Oxbow upsets Orb

BALTIMORE — Oxbow put D. Wayne Lukas in the record books again with an upset of Orb in the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, giving the Hall of Fame trainer his 14th win in a Triple Crown race.

Kentucky Derby winner Orb was unable to find his rhythm after breaking from the rail, and never challenged in finishing fourth. The loss ended any chance of a Triple try at the Belmont Stakes in three weeks, extending the drought to 36 years since Affirmed in 1978 became the 11th horse to sweep the Derby, Preakness and Belmont.

“I get paid to spoil dreams,” the 77-year-old Lukas said. “Unfortunately we go over here and you can’t mail ‘em in. It’s a different surface and a different time. You gotta line ‘em up and win ‘em.”

Lukas won his sixth Preakness to move one behind Robert Wyndham Walden for most wins in the second leg of the Triple Crown.

The victory was a long time coming for the dean of trainers. The last time he won a Triple Crown race was the 2000 Belmont with Commendable. And before that, he was a regular in the winner’s circle after classic races. At one point, he ran off six in a row — from the 1994 Preakness through the 1996 Derby.

He also took a run at the Triple Crown in 1999 with Charismatic. The unsung 3-year-old won the Derby and Preakness, then broke his leg in the stretch of the Belmont, but still finished third.

Oxbow, with 50-year-old jockey Gary Stevens aboard, was sent off at 15-1 odds and led from the start. Sixth in the Derby, Oxbow held on to beat Itsmyluckyday by 1 3/4 lengths. Mylute, with Rosie Napravnik bidding to become the first female to win the Preakness, was third, followed by Orb, Goldencents, Departing, Will Take Charge, Govenor Charlie and Titletown Five.

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