Orb and Oxbow Face Off in the Belmont Stakes
Time For the Carnations
Orb, powerfully pedigreed son of Malibu Moon, grandsired by prolific stakes-winning producer A.P. Indy, and Oxbow, (Awesome Again--Tizamazing, by Cee's Tizzy), are set to face-off once again in the 2013 Triple Crown races. They'll face "the test of a champion" 1-1/2 miles of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the Triple Crown, on June 8th at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.
Three-old-year Thoroughbreds entered in the Belmont Stakes generally are facing a race of 1-1/2 miles for the first time, and they rarely run that distance again in their careers.
Kentucky Derby champion Orb will start from the No.5 Post Position in the 145th Edition of the Belmont Stakes, while Oxbow heads to the No.7 Gate.
Young riding sensation Joel Rosario, 28, will pilot Orb for trainer Shug McGaughey. Rosario won the Dubai World Cup on March 30 with Animal Kingdom, 2011 Kentucky Derby winner. Just the second jockey in history to win the Dubai Cup and the Kentucky Derby in a single season, Rosario matched the feat accomplished for the first time by Hall of Fame rider Jerry Bailey.
Orb finished fourth in the Preakness field of nine.
D. Wayne Lukas, 77, winner of a record 14 Triple Crown races with Oxbow's Preakness Stakes triumph on May 18, enters his Awesome Again colt for the third time in this season's three-year-olds Classics.
Oxbow finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby on May 4th under Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, who at 50 has created a buzz-talk comeback this season.
The reconnected Lukas-Stevens duo, in the books with the very few who have won the Kentucky Derby with a filly, 1988's Winning Colors, face a field of 13 others in the run for the wreathe of carnations in the Belmont.
Belmont Stakes, 145th Edition, at Elmont, New York's Belmont Park
Horse Race Track, Belmont Park
Where Are the Three American Triple Crown Races Held?
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In The 1938 Pimlico Special...
Post Positions for the 2013 Belmont Stakes
On June 8th, 14 horses will post for the Belmont Stakes at Elmont, New York's Belmont Park.
Lukas told interviewers after the post position drawing for the Belmont Stakes June 5 that he was "more concerned about who is around me and what they're going to do than what gate we got". The Hall of Fame trainer has won four Belmont Stakes in his 50-plus-year career.
A second entry for Lukas is Will Take Charge, while Five-Time Trainer of the Year Todd Pletcher, one of three former Lukas apprentices, sends five horses to the gate -- Overanalyze, Midnight Taboo, Revolutionary, Palace Malice, and the filly Unlimited Budget. Pletcher won the 2007 Belmont with filly Rags to Riches. Kiaran McLaughlin and Dallas Stewart also were mentored by Lukas in their early careers.
Following are the post draws for the 145th running of the Belmont Stakes:
- No.1 ---- Frac Daddy, trained by Ken McPeek; ridden by Alan Garcia
- No.2 ---- Freedom Child, Tom Albertrani; Luis Saez
- No.3 ---- Overanalyze, Pletcher; John Velazquez
- No.4 ---- Giant Finish, Anthony Dutrow; Edgar Prado
- No.5 ---- Orb, McGaughey; Rosario
- No.6 ---- Incognito, McLaughlin; Irad Ortiz, Jr.
- No.7 ---- Oxbow, Lukas; Stevens
- No.8 ---- Midnight Taboo, Pletcher; Garrett Gomez
- No.9 ---- Revolutionary, Pletcher; Javier Castellano
- No.10 -- Will Take Charge, Lukas; Jon Court
- No.11 -- Vyjack, Rudy Rodriguez; Julien Leparoux
- No.12 -- Palace Malice, Pletcher; Mike Smith
- No.13 -- Unlimited Budget, Pletcher; Rosie Napravnik
- No.14 -- Golden Soul, Stewart; Robby Albarado
New shooters to the Triple Crown races are Freedom Child, Incognito, Midnight Taboo, and Unlimited Budget.
Frac Daddy went 16th in the Kentucky Derby, while Overanalyze was 12th, and Giant Finish finished 10th. Revolutionary ran third; Will Take Charge charged to eighth; Vyjack faded to 18th; Palace Malice was 11th; and Golden Soul finished 2-1/2 lengths behind winner Orb for second place money.
In the Preakness, Will Take Charge tried again, going seventh to victor Oxbow.
To the Wire At Churchill Downs
The Lukas-Stevens Team
Jockey Stevens had doubts about the success of his comeback after a seven-year hiatus from the Thoroughbred racing saddle, right before his Preakness victory. He'd started the year well, winning three times at Keeneland, but he hadn't triumphed at Churchill Downs in the spring.
Then came Lukas with his offer for Stevens to ride Oxbow. Although they finished just sixth in the Kentucky Derby, Stevens was certain he had a winner-in-the-making on Preakness day. He had the feeling with Oxbow, which came an hour after a victory for Lukas on Skyring in the Longines Dixie Stakes (G2T).
Stevens won his third career Preakness, and ninth overall Triple Crown race, with Oxbow. He also won the race in 2001 with Point Given, and in 1997 with Silver Charm. In 2004, he finished second to the rock star Smarty Jones aboard the 17-hander Rock Hard Ten. Victory Gallop also gave him a place finish. That came in 1998.
Stevens had victories in 20 races this season from 165 starts, with 20 places and 21 thirds rounding out his year through the Preakness victory, all of which had earned him a cool $2.2 Million through May 18. Comeback intact.
Stevens' training partner, Lukas, has a Triple Crown race record that may never be surpassed. Although Lukas hasn't won a Triple Crown, he did win all three races in one season (1995) -- with two different horses.
Lukas' Classic victories include a record six Preakness triumphs with the following:
- Codex -- 1980
- Tank's Prospect -- 1985
- Tabasco Cat -- 1994
- Timber Country -- 1995
- Charismatic -- 1999
- and Oxbow -- 2013
In the Kentucky Derby, Lukas' wins include:
- Winning Colors -- 1988
- Thunder Gulch -- 1995
- Grindstone -- 1996
- Charismatic -- 1999
The Belmont Stakes has been won four times by Lukas, with the following:
- Tabasco Cat -- 1994
- Thunder Gulch -- 1995
- Editor's Note -- 1996
- Commendable -- 2000
Stevens was the Kentucky Derby winning jockey on Winning Colors, Thunder Gulch, and Silver Charm, and he posted victories in the Belmont Stakes with Thunder Gulch, Victory Gallop, and Point Given.
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