In basketball, a play that goes from one end of the court to another, ending in a basket, is called a coast-to-coast. Adapting this term to horse racing could give you ‘stall-to-post’, which could be a description of the impressive tactics and physical prowess demonstrated by the Stevens/Oxbow pairing in Baltimore on Saturday.
Just out of a seven-year retirement from racing and just turned fifty, Stevens once again demonstrated that talent is not everything: without work, it is nothing. Add a dash of confidence – provided by trainer Darrell Wayne Lukas when no one else wanted him any more – and we have all the ingredients for this win.
Despite the efforts of the John Velazquez/Itsmyluckyday and Rosie Napravnik/Mylute pairings right to the end, it is Orb who disappointed. Frozen out at the beginning, the only contender for the Triple Crown before the race never seemed to get into a rhythm.
Shug McGaughey’s charge therefore left the glory to trainer Darrell Wayne Lukas: the latter’s sixth win in the Preakness Stakes, a total of 14 in the Triple Crown events, the first of which was in 1980.
This adds Gary Stevens's name to the list of Preakness Stakes winners for a third time; that’s as many times as he has won the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes. As another actor (Stevens has been a character in the TV series Luck) would say, “what else”?