By Emily Shields
Gary Barber’s War of Will won the 144thPreakness Stakes Saturday at Pimlico outside Baltimore in what proved to be a race almost as dramatic as the Kentucky Derby two weeks before.
In that famous contest, Maximum Security bolted outwards on the far turn, with War of Will checking off his heels and several other horses being impacted. War of Will went on to be seventh in the Derby, but ran a big one Saturday, winning by 1 ¼ lengths after taking over around the far turn. He was the 6-1 third choice in a field of 13.
When the gates opened for the Preakness, Bodexpress launched himself into the air, throwing jockey John Velazquez skyward and running loose with the field through the 1 3/16 mile race. He was eventually caught several minutes after the race ended, but his antics shocked many hoping for a smooth ride after the confusion of the Derby.
Everfast, at 29 – 1, was the longest shot on the board but finished second. Owendale ran third, ahead of Warrior’s Charge, Laughing Fox, Improbable, Win Win Win, Bourbon War, Signalman, Anothertwistafate, Alwaysmining, and Market King.
The winner’s share of the $1,650,000 purse brought War of Will’s earnings to $1,360,000. He now has four wins in ten starts, with three of five wins coming this year. Mark Casse trains, Tyler Gaffalione was in the irons.
The third leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, takes place June 8.
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