Gaffalione: War Of Will's Preakness Win 'Really Hasn't Sunk In Yet'


War of Will dominated the Lecomte Stakes (GIII) and Risen Star (GII) at Fair Grounds prior to breaking awkwardly in the Louisiana Derby to finish ninth. Well, that obviously wasn't the case.

War of Will crossed the finish line first at the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, but it was the horse Bodexpress who stole the show. Bodexpress proceeded to run the race without a jockey.

Bodexpress threw Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez just out of the starting gate but finished the race, then did an extra lap around the Pimlico track. For a period, he remained in the middle of the pack before falling back towards the finish line.

I mean, look at this horse run.

It was the first Preakness run without the Kentucky Derby victor since 1996, but the 13-horse field was the largest since 2011.

Maximum Security, the first horse to the wire in the Kentucky Derby on May 4, isn't in the Preakness field either. Yet, he was not declared the victor.

Gaffalione, a 24-year-old native of Davie, Fla., was on the Churchill Downs backstretch early Sunday morning to work horses and was named to ride eight races.

Improbable finished fifth before being bumped up to fourth following the disqualification of Maximum Security.

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

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

He has also offered a $20 million bounty to the owners of Country House - declared the victor at the Derby - War of Will, Long Range Toddy and Bodexpress, the four horses that were impeded at Churchill Downs.

War of Will, a War Front colt, was making a similar move in the Kentucky Derby when Maximum Security shifted out, directly in front of him. "They don't even have to win the race to collect". Casse spoke with his jockey well beforehand about the importance of keeping the horse relaxed before the start, easing him into the pass and them letting him go.

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

The death marred one of the two biggest days of the year at aging Pimlico, where a sizable crowd gathered for Black-Eyed Susan Day.

Officials halted racing there in March after 21 equine deaths in a three-month span, but another horse, 3-year-old filly Princess Lili B, was killed after breaking both legs at the conclusion of a timed workout the day after the track reopened.