War Of Will's Preakness, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

War Of Will's Preakness

Trainer reckons his horse 'didn't get a fair shot' in the Kentucky Derby

War Of Will won the 144th Preakness Stakes on Sunday (Singapore time), holding off a field that included a riderless horse to give trainer Mark Casse his first Triple Crown race triumph.

War Of Will, who had a tough ride in the Kentucky Derby, had a smooth trip from the No. 1 post under jockey Tyler Gaffalione, taking the lead at the top of the stretch and hanging on to beat late-charging Everfast by 11/4 lengths. Owendale was third.

An inquiry was briefly put up on the board at Pimlico racetrack in Baltimore, Maryland, but was quickly taken down.

Bodexpress threw Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez coming out of the starting gate and, with outriders unable to catch him, ran with the field past the finish line.

That was the biggest drama of the day, a relief after the controversial Kentucky Derby saw Maximum Security cross the line first before he was demoted to 17th for interfering with another horse, with Country House declared the winner.

The absence of both of those horses - the first time since 1996 that the Kentucky Derby winner failed to start the Preakness - took a little lustre from the race.

But it was a sweet comeback for War Of Will, who stewards ruled was hindered by Maximum Security in the Kentucky Derby as they turned for home.

"This is even I think probably more special, given everything that we've been through," Casse, 58, said. "I'm not even calling it redemption. I didn't feel like he got his fair shot (in Kentucky) and that's all I wanted, fair shot. And he showed what he had today."

Gaffalione, 24, notched the biggest win of his career.

"It really hasn't even hit me yet," he said. "I can't even put it into words."