Hot List: Preakness Stakes recap

May, 23, 2013

By Shawn Rychling, Hot List Staff

Last Weekend's Races

138th Running of the Preakness, Pimlico Race Course

After reviewing the Preakness several times a couple of racing axioms come to mind. First, you never know how a horse might react if he doesn't have things the way he is accustomed to having them. Certainly that was the case with Orb who likes to run in the clear, away from the rail. He just never looked comfortable when pinned down on the inside and was even kept in tight quarters between horses when trying to move up down the backstretch. Orb may never have won even with clear sailing, but it sure looked like he was frustrated by his situation on the far turn when he began to drop back.

The second axiom is that a jockey's memory only goes as far back as the last race. The suicidal speed duel in the Derby was fresh in everyone's minds so they allowed Oxbow to get loose on an uncontested lead, which just happens to be the way the D. Wayne Lukas-trained colt earned the only other two victories of his career. Jockey Gary Stevens said afterwards that he knew he had the race won when he and Oxbow waltzed through a half-mile in :48.60. Itsmyluckyday put in a mild rally for second and Mylute was the more-impressive late runner rallying from dead last into the slow pace get third. Orb was able to come back a bit and rally for fourth which is a good sign. We'll assign Oxbow a 'B' for the victory as his breeding and style are suited to the 1 ½-mile Belmont Stakes. Even with no Triple Crown on the line, it should be an excellent race with Orb likely to return as well as Golden Soul and Revolutionary -- the place and show horses from the Kentucky Derby.

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Hot List Key

A List: A preferred horse to watch
B List: Secondary horse to watch
*C List: Went down 2 or more betting notches and finished 1st through 3rd
*D List: Went down 2 or more betting notches and finished 4th or worse
* - 4 or more betting notches if 11-1 or more.

Do you have questions? Email Bob at

Shawn Rychling grew up around harness racing before a trip to Saratoga Race Course for the Travers Stakes hooked him on the Thoroughbreds. So began a 22-year tradition of attending the Midsummer Derby and soaking in all that Saratoga has to offer. Shawn works with Bob Ehalt on the daily compilation of the Hot List.
• Bob Ehalt grew up a few furlongs from Belmont Park and has followed horse racing as a fan, turf writer or owner since 1971.
• Has won three Associated Press Sports Editors awards and was the recipient of the '09 Breeders' Cup media award for outstanding social media.



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