After completing a thrilling come from behind win at the Kentucky Derby, Orb was supposed to walk away with Preakness and charge onto the Belmont Stakes in pursuit of the elusive Triple Crown. Unfortunately a horse named Oxbow had other ideas.
Orb was coming into the race as a heavy favorite. Oxbow was a 15-1 underdog. Or, to put it another way, someone just got paid. Orb struggled to find his footing on the inside and Oxbow had the race pretty much locked down after a half mile.
In some ways Orb's collapse should have been seen coming. Maybe some people were blind with hope that a horse could finally win the Triple Crown. Orb started in the worst pole position possible -- number 1. Slotted against the rail, Orb tried to become only the second horse since 1961 to win the Preakness when coming out of the gate from the number 1 spot. Orb was just as successful as the other 51 horses who started in the same position.
Last year's potential Triple Crown winner I'll Have Another took the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby, too. I'll Have Another was to compete for the greatest prize in horse racing until the horse withdrew and retired the day before the Belmont Stakes, the final race in the Crown. Affirmed was the last horse to complete the Triple Crown back in 1978. Maybe, just maybe, a horse will actually replace him in the record books next year.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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