BALTIMORE – By 6:57 p.m. ET, a little more than half an hour after he was supposed to be on the way to history, Orb was led back to stall No. 40 in the Preakness barn. He wore a white blanket and stalked proudly into the green wooden structure as if he had won the Preakness by three lengths instead of his fourth-place stumble against winner Oxbow.
Orb shook his head. He sniffed the air. He pawed at the grass as he has every day of his life. He had no idea that the hopes and dreams of horse racing were riding on him. Nobody told him his loss meant there wouldn't be a Triple Crown winner for the 35th consecutive year. All that mattered was that a drizzly evening had a chill and someone had placed a blanket on his back.
"When you go back, Orb will be waiting for his rein and he won't think he did anything wrong," famed trainer Bob Baffert had said minutes before, back in the chaos of the Preakness result nobody expected.
A fading sport keeps lunging for its lifeline. The talk startsRead More »from No Triple Crown for Orb, the latest horse to fall short of reaching racing's most coveted club