Bodexpress had a mind of his own as he exited the gate and tossed off jockey John Velazquez. 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.
If you didn't tune into the 144th running of the Preakness Stakes on Saturday because there were no Triple Crown implications, you missed one of the craziest moments in a long time. War of Will, ridden by Tyler Gaffalione won.
Racing to the win was War of Will who got a solid ride from young jockey Tyler Gaffalione. Bodexpress, made a decision to run the race without a jockey after a little hustle as the beginning of the race wherein its jockey fell off right before the race began.
War of Will had plenty of kick and put himself in position to become the first horse since Afleet Alex in 2005 and 19th all-time to fall short in the Derby but win the Preakness and Belmont. Trainer Bill Mott didn't enter Country House in the Preakness, citing illness. "When the doors opened, I was off right from the start and he kind of jumped sideways, and I had my feet out sideways and I lost my balance and went out".
Maximum Security crossed the wire first in the Derby but was disqualified for veering out around the final turn and interfering with War of Will, among others.
The Preakness Stakes is the second leg of the Triple Crown that includes the Derby and the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in NY on June 8.
"Very happy for Mark to get his first classic win and I'm very happy for the horse", Gaffalione said.
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There was another grim reminder of racing's dangers on the eve of the Preakness when Congrats Girl, running in the Grade 3 Miss Preakness Stakes, collapsed and died just past the post after being eased through the final furlong at Pimlico.
"He just got mad and reared up", Baffert said of Improbable's antics in the starting gate. "He got me against the wall in the gate".
Jockey John Velazquez was unseated off of Bodexpress out of the gate, and the riderless No. 9 horse continued to run with the pack. "I'm not even calling it redemption".
Preakness favorite Improbable finished a disappointing sixth.
"It really hasn't even hit me yet", said Gaffalione, who got advice Saturday morning from idol Jerry Bailey.
War of Will paid $14.20, $7.40 and $5.40 across the board.
"He was acting pretty well and then he got fired up and then after that, when horses do that it just takes a lot of energy out", said Baffert, who was denied a record-setting eighth Preakness win.