Monday, 24 June, 2019

Canadian-trained horse War of Will wins Preakness Stakes

Bob Baffert knows why Improbable is Preakness Stakes favorite and why not Improbable trains at Pimlico Race Course on Wednesday in preparation for the Preakness Stakes on Saturday
Cary Erickson | 20 May, 2019, 19:11

Then there was the disqualification of Maximum Security at Churchill Downs and the ensuing lawsuit filed by owners Gary and Mary West and suspension handed down to jockey Luis Saez. He was promoted to seventh when Maximum Security was disqualified for the infraction.

But he wasn't even the worst of them, with Bodexpress knocking jockey John Velazquez off his back immediately out of the gate - and then running the remainder of the course on his own. Technically, Bodexpress gets a did-not-finish.

Unlike the Derby, there was no dispute about War of Will's victory.

The Preakness was run at a tumultuous time for horse racing. The same day, Santa Anita saw its 24th equine death in the last five months.

A filly collapsed and died while running at Pimlico Race Course on Friday, the day before the track hosts the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Kentucky Derby victor Country House will not participate at Pimlico, and neither will Maximum Security, who finished first at Churchill Downs before being disqualified moments later. "He trained super into the Derby and into the Preakness".

Improbable, the 5-2 favourite, finished far back. He had yet to win in his three previous starts this year. "He got me against the wall and the gate".

Anyway, take that Bodexpress energy into your work week!

Bob Baffert, the trainer of Improbable, has had seven Preakness winners, tied for the most in the race's history.

The field is the largest for the Preakness since 2011, when 13 challengers turned out to take on Kentucky Derby long-shot victor Animal Kingdom.

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The 13-horse field is the largest for the Preakness since 2011.

As he had in the Derby, War of Will broke from the No. 1 post.

"He's got so much heart", Gaffalione said.

"There's a scenario where two or three horses get going and the pace is fairly fast and sets up for a closer".

Saturday's Preakness may have been the penultimate Preakness. Baltimore's political leaders oppose the move.

Turns out, Bodexpress wasn't the only horse getting antsy in the gate.

The Preakness raked in about $1.5 million this year.

Casse, 58, was more relieved than anything that his prized 3-year-old colt didn't go down in the Derby, which could've been a multihorse catastrophe, and could finally take a deep breath following the Preakness. And lines for restrooms on lower floors were unusually long as the sunny afternoon of pre-race partying unfolded.

"This is even, I think, probably more special, given everything that we've been through, " Casse said. "We do everything we can to keep it up to the level we can".