He may be the favorite in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, but history is not in his favor. Heather Benson looks back at 5 Derby winners who were expected to win the Preakness but didn’t.
Top photo: Wikimedia Commons
The Preakness Stakes, the second leg on the Triple Crown, is run this Saturday. While spectacular Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome will be the obvious favorite, that pressure to win the second stage often results in disappointment. Here are 5 Kentucky Derby winners who caved into pressure:
1. Orb, 2013
Last year’s Derby winner, Orb, was hailed as the next Triple Crown winner. He had blue-blood connections, a pedigree as deep as the ocean and the looks of a champion. All that didn’t matter when he set foot on Pimlico and watched Oxbow gallop down the homestretch in FRONT of him. But is was pretty cool to see his jockey, 50- year-old Gary Stevens, win a Triple Crown race after coming out of retirement!
2. Super Saver, 2010
Super Saver looked the part of the “real deal” after his Kentucky Derby win in the mud, but that win may have only been possible because one of the Derby favorites, Lookin at Lucky, drew the dreaded inside post position. Two weeks later at Pimlico, Lookin at Lucky showed what might have been in the Derby if only he had gotten a better post.
3. Mine That Bird, 2009
The 50-1 shot that wowed the world when he took America’s greatest race in Kentucky tried valiantly to repeat that performance in the second leg. But the big bay superfilly Rachel Alexandra said “now” and beat all the boys that day.
4. Winning Colors, 1988
This superfilly happened to win the Kentucky Derby in 1988 but couldn’t hold on in the Preakness after getting roughed up and pressured the entire race by Forty Niner. She still held on for third to Risen Star in one of the roughest Preaknesses on record.
5. Monarchos, 2001
A huge fan favorite after his blazing-fast Derby win two weeks earlier, Monarcho was up against a veritable giant in Point Given once more in the Preakness. The tall chestnut colt had the measure of Monarchos in the Preakness, taking the race in fine style and leaving Monarchos in his dust.