Published: Mon, May 20, 2019
Sports | By Brett Lawson

War of Will takes the Preakness; race included riderless horse

War of Will takes the Preakness; race included riderless horse

Tyler Gaffalione, the jockey of 2019 Preakness Stakes victor War of Will, says the horse "relaxed beautifully" and the victory is surreal.

Jockey Mike Smith was aboard Improbable after Irad Ortiz Jr. rode the horse in the Derby.

"You've got to be careful because some of them try to win", legendary trainer Bob Baffert told the Associated Press about such runaway horses. You've got Alwaysmining. He looks like he could have been the favorite - a horse that's won six in a row.

War of Will was unfazed starting from the inside No. 1 post position for the second consecutive race, even though that contributed to his rough run at Churchill Downs.

"This isn't uncommon", the Hall of Fame jockey said during a teleconference last week.

The Belmont is another substantial test for the tough and talented War of Will because it's a third race in six weeks and is the longest of the Triple Crown races at 1 1/2 miles. He got me against the wall in the gate, and obviously when the doors open I was kind of off right from the start.

Velazquez said he was good but disappointed. It was just about showing how good he is.

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"It really hasn't sunk in yet that we won", Gaffalione said. She came in last in the eighth race on the card, then fell to the dirt about 100 yards past the finish line.

An outrider tried to corral Bodexpress at the top of the stretch, but he wasn't about to let the horseplay come to an end.

War of Will finished seventh in the Derby.

When has was finally done running, Bodexpress was fine. The same applied to favored Improbable, whose pre-race dance turned into a sixth-place finish. "I don't know what it is".

Regarding Bodexpress, Baffert could sympathize with Velazquez and appreciate what the other riders (and horses) were thinking as the jockey-less horse strode by.

The Stronach Group says they will conduct a full necropsy in an effort to determine the horse's cause of death. However, one title that's eluded Casse is the Kentucky Derby, the opening leg of American racing's Triple Crown. "So I'm just hoping for one of those again". "I'm not even calling it redemption". "I don't care to discuss the controversy surrounding the events of the race and the disqualification of my horse at this time, but I firmly believe I have the best 3-year-old in the country, and I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is".

The Stronach Group and Maryland Jockey Club, which oversees Pimlico, also released a statement: "Our thoughts go out to all of the owners, trainers and connections of Congrats Gal".

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