BALTIMORE – War of Will came back from a rough ride in the Kentucky Derby to win the Preakness Stakes on Saturday and held a field containing a rider-free horse throwing his jockey out of the gate and continuing to run.  Trainer Mark Casse got his first Triple Crown race victory, with the War of Will unfazed starting from the inside No. 1 position for the second round in a row. War of Will endured a tough trip and was disturbed in the Kentucky Derby, which led to the maximum safety of the first-time nurse disqualified.
Casse was grateful that Will of Will did not go down in Derby, which could & # 39; I've been a multihorse disaster.
"This is even I think probably more specifically, given everything we've been through," Casse said. "I don't even call redemption. I don't want to get his fair shot and that's all I wanted: a fair shot. And he showed what he had today. & # 39; & # 39;  Bodexpress threw Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez straight out of the starting gate, but finished the race and made an extra round around the Pimlico track. Passed a few competitors near the finish line – and continued. Technically, Bodexpress gets an unfinished finish.
"He didn't need good," said Velazquez, adding that he is fine and will not seek medical attention. opened, I was right from the start, and he jumped a little sideways, and I had my feet out sideways, and I lost my balance and went out. & # 39; & # 39;
War of Will made a step around the final tour, led by jockey Tyler Gaffalione and did not think down the stretch. Hard charging late addition Everfast came in second and Owendale finished third.
Casse, 58, entered a horse in Preakness for the fifth time and before Saturday came closest to winning two years ago when the Classic Empire finished second.
"I'm just very fond of Mark getting his first classic victory," Gaffalione said. "Very happy about the horse. He deserved it more than anything else. He is so special." It is also a breakthrough for Gaffalione, who has become a rising star when he became Appointed the Best Apprentice Rider in 2015. Gaffalione, 24, was aboard the Will of Will for the colt's sixth running and came away with the biggest victory of his young career.
"It hasn't really hit me yet," he said. "I can't even put it in words."
Bob Baffert trained unjustly was beaten as the favorite of the second consecutive Triple Crown race, indispensable finished sixth in the 13-horse field, which was the largest in the Preakness since 2011.
It was the first Preakness round without the Kentucky Derby winner since 1996. This time it was without the horse that crossed the finish line first and the long shot Country House raised until only after Maximum Security was disqualified for interference The 1951 race was said to be The last time Preakness was run without the four best finishers from Derby.
The race was run on a tumultuous time for horse racing. After the death of 23 horses in Santa Anita Park during a three-month period, another was training on Friday, and a rag collapsed and died after a race at Pimlico on Friday. Then there was disqualification of Maximum Security at Churchill Downs and the subsequent lawsuit filed by owners Gary and Mary West and suspension handed down to jockey Luis Saez.
In Maryland, the Stronach Group, which owns the track – and also Santa Anita – is involved in a continuous battle with local politicians over the Preakness future in historic but aging Pimlico or the owners' favored Laurel Park about 30 miles south. More than 6,000 chair seats were cut off because they were considered insecure and a water break disturbed the preparations for the event and left a lack of running water on race day.
The whole race fights horse racing threat to its existence in the form of legalized sports gambling. However, the Maryland Jockey Club reported a record meeting and bets on Black Eyed Susan Day on Friday.