Bodexpress throws jockey, steals the show at Preakness Stakes

The field hits the fourth turn during the Preakness Stakes

Velazquez said he was "good" after his frightening tumble coming out of the gate.

War of Will broke from the 1 post at Pimlico and when the rail opened up in the stretch, he sneaked through and took the shortest way home to the wire in the second leg of the Triple Crown.

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.

"This is even I think probably more special given everything that we've been through", Casse said. "I'm not even calling it redemption". "He got me against the wall and the gate". "He showed what he had today".

Trainer Casse hinted his Preakness victor could now be bound for NY and the Belmont Stakes which will take place on 8 June.

The Preakness Stakes is the second leg of U.S. racing's Triple Crown.

At the starting gate of the Preakness Stakes, the jockey on Bodexpress was tossed off of his horse after the horse started bucking right as the gates opened. 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.

While War of Will was the technical victor of the 2019 Preakness, it's clear that the real victor, at least in our hearts, is Bodexpress, the horse that made a decision to run the race without a jockey.

Trainer Mark Casse won his first Triple Crown race. Longshot Everfast (25-1) finished second and Owendale rounded out the trifecta. This was a great turnaround after the horse lost a chance at victory in the Kentucky Derby after stumbling with Maximum Security. The jockeyless horse won the hearts of viewers, as one person tweeted "Is it wrong that I was pulling for a riderless horse to win?". "Very happy for the horse. Very happy for the horse, he deserved it more than anything else". "It's a much bigger event than just a horse race".

"It really hasn't even hit me yet", said Gaffalione, who got advice Saturday morning from idol Jerry Bailey.

The Bob Baffert-trained Justify was the last to win the Triple Crown, taking the trophy last year, but with Country House's omission from Pimlico because of an illness it is not up for grabs this year.

Unencumbered by a jockey and suddenly free to run wherever he darn pleased, Bodexpress chose to take a shot at winning the Preakness.

The race was run at a tumultuous time for horse racing.

That hasn't been the worst of United States horse racing's woes in 2019, with the death of 23 horses in the space of three months at Santa Anita Park in California putting the sport under scrutiny. 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.

In Maryland, the Stronach Group that owns the track - and also Santa Anita - is embroiled in an ongoing quarrel with local politicians over the future of the Preakness being at historic but aging Pimlico or the owners' favoured Laurel Park about 30 miles south. "They don't even have to win the race to collect".

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