Freaky Preakness Makes the Sorta History No One's Gonna Remember
The second jewel of the USA's horse racing Triple Crown has always had an intruiging role.
The Preakness is the validator as to whether a horse has a shot at the treble, which virtually guarantees built-in drama and a large audience.
So, what happens when the Kentucky Derby winner doesn't ride there?
Damn right it did.
Instead of the sorta tension that sells tickets, attracts wagers, and draws viewers, this year's race had all the anticipation of the circus coming to town.
Consider, with little else for storylines, the headers focus on negatives ...
- Pimlico's position as Preakness host being precarious got all the sorta attention it doesn't really need right now, and
- This will be the first time in 23 years the Derby winner -- actual or DQ'd -- hasn't been in the field.
OK, so it's time to work with what you've got.
Like Bodexpress forgetting everything he learned at gate-boarding school ...
... and deciding to go solo when the rubber met the road.
It started by turning his saddle into an ejection seat:
... and then going the distance without GPS and won the day:
He didn't need no outrider to spoil his fun:
Much has been made of War of Will's redemption here because he was the horse that Maximum Security cut off at Churchill Downs.
The reality is War of Will is lucky to be alive after that near-collision and was in the Preakness because he's proven to be competitive at this level.
He paid pretty well for winning it, too:
So, it's off to the Belmont Stakes in two weeks. War of Will will be there.
The only intrigue that's left now is whether that 1.5-mile jaunt can avoid the controversy of the Derby and the dark humor of the Preakness.
The parimutuel windows will be open, and that's the real bottom line.