Orb’s trainer Shug McGaughey, so confident in the two weeks leading up to the race, was disappointed.
“It was a great opportunity,” the Hall of Famer said. “We were 3-5 and we finished fourth. We’ll pack it up and go home. Hats off to Wayne.”
He also recalled a brief conversation with Lukas a few days before the race.
“Just two days ago, he said to me ‘We got another one on the agenda,”’ McGaughey said. “And darn if two days later he didn’t get it ... When Wayne wasn’t going good, he was still the first guy out on his pony. The guy’s a credit to racing. He’s always upbeat and optimistic.”
Orb came into the Preakness with a five-race winning streak and many expected him to win easily to set up a 13th Triple Crown attempt since Affirmed. But it wasn’t to be on an overcast windy day at Pimlico Race Course, where 117,203 fans turned out.
Oxbow went right to the lead ahead of Goldencents and opened some daylight into the first turn. He held on throughout, with Orb running along the rail through most of the backstretch. But just as Orb and jockey Joel Rosario moved into striking position on the outside with five furlongs left, they dropped back. Rosario brought him back to the rail, but Oxbow was well on his way to victory.
Oxbow covered the 1 3-16 miles in 1:57.54 and paid $32.80, $12 and $8.80. Itsmyluckyday, 15th in the Derby, returned $7.80 and $5 and Mylute paid $5.20 to show.
Lukas had three of the nine horses in the Preakness, and it was his best Derby finisher who was able to come through. Stevens, who came out retirement this year, won the Preakness for the third time.