|We meet again, old friend.|
I find myself using this image of Oxbow yet again, as this colt--who I've followed since August of 2012 and touted since January of this year--has finally vindicated himself on the Triple Crown trail. But his victory brought forth a rude mix of emotions--disappointment, disdain, excitement, disbelief. Yes, lots of 'disses', but the latter was a good sort of disbelief, a surreal "did the little bay roan colt that I first saw at Saratoga last year just win the Preakness Stakes??" sort of disbelief.
Not only that, but he won under Gary Stevens, who is having a hell of a comeback, and for trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who once dominated the Triple Crown races but has been absent from the spotlight for the past decade.
But what happened to Orb? Orb had no excuses, in my opinion. He just had a bad day, as we all do. This is a wonderful post clearly illustrating that Orb had zero excuses. Unfortunately his bad day had very bad timing. I have no doubt he'll bounce back and awe us again later in the year, but it's now clear that he'll be facing a seriously tough contender in Oxbow.
Speaking of Oxbow as a tough contender, a particular line from this article from Steve Haskin made me laugh with delight: “[Oxbow]'s like a little fire-breathing dragon. He has a Napoleon complex. It’s like, ‘I may be little, but you don’t want to mess with me.’ Wayne is crazy about all his horses, but he’s really fond of this one.”
That article is fantastic and a must-read.
As for the Belmont, there's a very good chance that both horses will face off over Big Sandy's 1-1/2 miles. Will Orb or Oxbow emerge victorious, or will a third horse cap off the Triple Crown trail? We'll find out on June 8th.
Click here to watch the 138th edition of the Preakness Stakes.