BALTIMORE - Curlin nipped Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense in the final strides to win the Preakness Stakes in a riveting finish today, ending a chance of a Triple Crown.

Street Sense seemed to have the race won after another of his patented rallies, taking the lead from Hard Spun in the stretch. But the colt was unable to hold off Curlin's late charge thanks to an expert ride by Robby Albarado.

Curlin's final time of 1:53.46 was the fastest in Preakness history.

Curlin paid $8.80 to win, $3.80 to place and $2.80 to show. Street Sense paid $3.00 and $2.40. Hard Spun paid $3.00 to show.

The rest of the finishing order was C P West, Circular Quay, King of the Roxy, Mint Slewlep, Xchanger and Flying First Class.

Earlier in the day, Albarado was thrown from his mount but walked away unhurt and came back for the ride of his life.

Curlin came into the Preakness with just four career starts, including a third-place finish in the Derby just two weeks ago. Still, trainer Steve Asmussen was confident in his lightly raced colt, and believed the 3-year-old son of Smart Strike would improve after his first defeat.

Did he ever.

Curlin won his first three races by a combined 281/2 lengths, and was well back in the field of nine. As Hard Spun swung into the lead with a three-wide move, Street Sense started to roll under Calvin Borel.

Street Sense went to the outside in the stretch and moved into the lead, and the crowd began to cheer in anticipation of a Triple Crown bid in the making.

But Curlin came flying along the far outside, and took dead aim at the Derby winner. He caught him on the final jump and, just like that, Street Sense was a beaten horse.

Just barely.