Big Brown (7), with Kent Desormeaux aboard, pulls in front of Riley Tucker (10), with Edgar Prado, and Gayego (12), ridden by Mike Smith, during the Preakness Stakes .
BALTIMORE -- Big Brown powered to the lead turning for home and then sailed through the stretch to win the Preakness, still perfect and squarely pointed down the path toward thoroughbred racing's first Triple Crown in 30 years.
Just as he did two weeks ago in a Kentucky Derby marred by the breakdown of the second-place finisher Eight Belles, the colt named for UPS delivered another stunning win, this time by 5¼ lengths. Macho Again was second and Icabad Crane was third.
But this time Big Brown broke from the middle of an undistinguished pack and jockey Kent Desormeaux took him off the pace. They ran third down the backstretch before roaring around the final turn and pulled away from the field.
"It was almost like the Kentucky Derby. He just set sail," Desormeaux said.
In the Derby, Big Brown started on the far outside of 19 horses and used an explosive finishing kick to win by 4¾ lengths, the tightest margin in his 5-0 career.
Big Brown joined Majestic Prince (1969), Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew (1977) and Smarty Jones (2004) as undefeated Derby and Preakness winners.
"He just keeps on getting better," trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. said.
The bay colt is the first 3-year-old since Smarty Jones to go into the Belmont Stakes in three weeks, June 7, with a triple try in play. It's been 30 years since Affirmed swept the Derby, Preakness and Belmont to give racing its 11th Triple Crown