Struggle of Will will get ‘honest shot,’ wins 144th Preakness

BALTIMORE — Struggle of Will bounced again from a bumpy experience within the Kentucky Derby to win the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, holding off a subject that included a riderless horse that threw his jockey out of the gate and saved operating.

Coach Mark Casse obtained his first Triple Crown race victory, with Struggle of Will unfazed ranging from the within No. 1 put up place for the second consecutive race. Struggle of Will endured a tough journey and was interfered with within the Kentucky Derby, which led to first-place finisher Most Safety being disqualified.

Casse was grateful that Struggle of Will did not go down within the Derby, which might’ve been a multihorse disaster.

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“That is even, I believe, most likely extra particular, given every little thing that we have been by means of,” Casse stated. “I am not even calling it redemption. I did not really feel like he obtained his honest shot, and that is all I wished: a good shot. And he confirmed what he had right this moment.”

Bodexpress threw Corridor of Fame jockey John Velazquez simply out of the beginning gate however completed the race, then did an additional lap across the Pimlico monitor. An outrider tried to swoop in on the high of the stretch and corral Bodexpress, however the horse sped up and handed a number of opponents close to the end line — and saved going. Technically, Bodexpress will get a did-not-finish.

Struggle of Will made a transfer across the remaining flip led by jockey Tyler Gaffalione and did not relent down the stretch. Arduous-charging late addition Everfast got here in second, and Owendale completed third.

Casse, 58, entered a horse within the Preakness for the fifth time and, previous to Saturday, got here closest to successful two years in the past, when Basic Empire completed second.

“I am simply very blissful for Mark to get his first Basic win,” Gaffalione stated. “Very blissful for the horse. He deserved it greater than something. He is so particular.”

It is also a breakthrough for Gaffalione, who has turn into one thing of a rising star since he was named high apprentice rider in 2015. Gaffalione, 24, was aboard Struggle of Will for the colt’s sixth consecutive race and got here away with the largest victory of his younger profession.

“It actually hasn’t even hit me but,” he stated. “I am unable to even put it into phrases.”

Bob Baffert-trained Inconceivable was crushed as the favourite for the second consecutive Triple Crown race. Inconceivable completed sixth in a 13-horse subject that was the largest on the Preakness since 2011.

“He simply obtained mad and reared up,” Baffert stated of Inconceivable’s antics within the beginning gate. “After that, he was in a great spot. He simply did not kick.”



Tyler Gaffalione, the jockey of 2019 Preakness Stakes winner Struggle of Will, says the horse “relaxed superbly” and the victory is surreal.

Struggle of Will had loads of kick and put himself in place to turn into the primary horse since Afleet Alex in 2005 and the 19th all time to fall brief within the Derby however win the Preakness and the Belmont — which is about for June eight.

Successful the $1.5 million Preakness by a 1¼ size over Everfast, who wasn’t entered till Wednesday, was one other illustration of Struggle of Will’s mixture of expertise and grit.

“He is obtained a lot coronary heart,” Gaffalione stated. “We all the time knew he had the flexibility. We simply needed to get a bit of bit fortunate, and right this moment was our day.”

It was the primary Preakness run with out the Kentucky Derby winner since 1996. This time, it was with out the horse that crossed the end line first and the lengthy shot Nation Home, who was elevated to first after Most Safety was disqualified for interference. The 1951 race was the final time the Preakness was run with out the highest 4 finishers from the Derby.

The Preakness was run at a tumultuous time for horse racing. After 23 horse fatalities at Santa Anita Park over a three-month span, there was one other in coaching Friday, and a filly collapsed and died after a race at Pimlico on Friday. Then there was the disqualification of Most Safety at Churchill Downs and the following lawsuit filed by homeowners Gary and Mary West and suspension handed all the way down to jockey Luis Saez.

In Maryland, the Stronach Group that owns the monitor — and in addition Santa Anita — is embroiled in an ongoing quarrel with native politicians over the way forward for the Preakness at historic however growing older Pimlico or the homeowners’ favored Laurel Park about 30 miles south. Greater than 6,000 grandstand seats had been cordoned off as a result of they had been deemed unsafe, and a water predominant break disrupted preparations for the occasion and led to an absence of operating water on race day.

Everywhere in the nation, horse racing is heading off a menace to its very existence within the type of legalized sports activities playing. Nevertheless, the Maryland Jockey Membership reported a file attendance and quantity guess on Black-Eyed Susan Day on Friday.

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