Tuesday, 18 June, 2019

War of Will wins weird Preakness Stakes featuring riderless horse

Congrats Gal is loaded onto an ambulance Congrats Gal is loaded onto an ambulance
Shannon Reynolds | 20 May, 2019, 19:12

"He was just not behaving good in the gate", Velazquez told NBC's Kenny Rice after the race.

After shaking his jockey right out of the gate, Bodexpress finished the Preakness Stakes on Saturday solo. Well, that obviously wasn't the case.

The horse collapsed after an eight-horse race at Pimlico Race Course, which is hosting the Preakness Stakes Saturday, CBS Baltimore reported. However, without interfering with any of the other horses, Bodexpress took matters into his own hands and proceeded to race anyway.

Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez was the man kicked off of his horse at the starting line. He'll monitor the horse back at Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington, Kentucky, to make sure a sore foot and his energy level are good enough to run in the Belmont on a three-week turnaround.

Last year, Justify won at Pimlico en route to capturing the Triple Crown. An outrider tried to swoop in at the top of the stretch and corral Bodexpress, but the horse sped up and passed a few competitors near the finish line - and kept going. Yet, he was not declared the victor. Hard-charging late addition Everfast came in second, and Owendale finished third.

Smith said he and Baffert know there's "nothing personal" when one chooses to ride another horse or go with another jockey. Well, sometimes Hail Marys work, as it did this time. But that wasn't the case Saturday after Country House, the elevated victor of the Derby after Maximum Security was disqualified, pulled out of the race due to a respiratory infection.

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Of course, that wouldn't be the end of it.

"We were this close to never seeing him again", Casse said, reflecting on the Derby controversy, in which Maximum Security was disqualified, and speaking about his pride in the thoroughbred whose initials spell his nickname, "W-O-W".

A string of horse racing deaths in California has put a national spotlight on so-called "catastrophic breakdowns" at a pivotal time - the lead up to this weekend's Kentucky Derby.

Kentucky Derby victor Country House was not in the race due to an illness. "Just because Duke got beat, the No. 1 seed, didn't mean they didn't have a Final Four and it wasn't as impactful at the Final Four".

"Most experts agree that Maximum Security was the best horse in the Kentucky Derby", West said in a statement.

The owners of the Stronach Group have discussed moving the race in two years.

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