BALTIMORE — Right from the start, a horse trained by one not-so-over-the-hill Hall of Famer and ridden by another took control.
The result: a huge upset in the Preakness, and another end to a Triple Crown attempt.
Thanks to Oxbow's wire-to-wire win Saturday over Kentucky Derby winner Orb, trainer D. Wayne Lukas and jockey Gary Stevens have themselves another classic to add to their stellar resumes.
"I get paid to spoil dreams," said Lukas, 77, after his record 14th win in a Triple Crown race.
Stevens ended his retirement in January, and won his third Preakness to go along with three victories in the Derby and three in the Belmont.
"At 50 years old, after seven years retirement, it doesn't get any better than this," Stevens said.
Stevens was a big hit at Les Bois Park, where he launched his career and where local fans bet $35,419 on the Preakness. The track paid out more than $22,000 in win tickets.
"It's just kind of hard to believe,'' said Stevens' brother, Craig, who is the clerk of scales at Les Bois and watched the race in the jockeys room. "It's so exciting - being off as long as he had been, it's so tough to come back, but I know how competitive he is. He wouldn't have come back if he couldn't do something like this. But I don't think even he thought he'd win a Triple Crown race right away.''
Gary Stevens thanked Lukas, who first worked with Stevens to win a Triple Crown race aboard Winning Colors in the 1988 Derby.
Said Stevens: "He was the first guy to call me up (earlier this year) and said, 'I'm going to have a colt for you. His name is Oxbow.' "