Veteran jockey Gary Stevens hailed his Preakness Stakes win as "super, super sweet" after partnering Oxbow to success at Pimlico.

The 50-year-old only returned to the saddle in January after seven years in retirement, but he demonstrated all his old magic with a front-running ride on the D Wayne Lukas-trained winner.

Kentucky Derby winner Orb was sent off a hot favourite to claim the second leg of the Triple Crown and while he showed up briefly, he eventually finished fourth.

Oxbow was only sixth in Kentucky but Stevens was positive from the off, setting a moderate early pace before pushing for home and fending off Itsmyluckyday by three-quarters of a length, with Mylute third.

"This is the reason I came back, to win races like this, the Classics," Stevens told

"To win a Classic, at 50 years old, after seven years of retirement, is super, super sweet.

"They gave me a free three-quarters of a mile today. With a half-mile to go, I was thinking, 'Are you kidding me?'. The race was over. I just walked the dog."

Stevens and Lukas first teamed up to win a Classic with Winning Colors in the 1988 Kentucky Derby and this was Stevens' third Preakness win and a sixth for Lukas.

Orb's trainer Shug McGaughey could offer few excuses for his champion's eclipse.

"I'm disappointed, but I know how the game works," McGaughey told

"I would be disappointed any time you have this kind of opportunity and don't get it done.

"This was quite a run for a couple of weeks. We'll pack it up and go back home and see what kind of horse we've got down the road."