OTB Race Previews & Odds
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War of Will eyes the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday, May 18, 2019.
Allen Hardy, who is overseeing trainer Mark Casse's Churchill Downs division, continued to be amazed that Preakness Stakes candidate War of Will came out of the Derby unscathed.
War of Will was running on the rail behind pace-setting Maximum Security on the far turn before jockey Tyler Gaffalione, with no space on the inside, eased him to the outside of the leader. Soon thereafter, Maximum Security apparently shied from something and drifted out in to the path of War of Will, causing War of Will to come over into Long Range Toddy. Through Maximum Security's disqualification, War of Will moved up from eighth to seventh place.
Hardy said the only scratch War of Will sustained was "the size of a fingernail."
War of Will is scheduled to resume training Wednesday or Thursday at Churchill Downs. The plan is to run in the 1 3/16-mile Middle Jewel of the Triple Crowns unless a reason not to surfaces, he said.
"We're really happy with how he came out of the race," Hardy said. "That was probably one of the biggest scares I've ever seen, and probably for many others. It was surprising. We checked him head to toe as soon as he came back to the barn. We were expecting something to pop up or see something, and he came out of the race great. He's happy, he's healthy. He's in his feed tub. He's bright-eyed. He still wants to bite you. So we're very happy.
"We all love him, and we're all so very highly confident in him," he added. "It was just an unfortunate day. But you know what? Nobody got hurt and nobody was injured. He's looking healthy and we'll progress from here and see what happens."
Preakness candidate Bodexpress, who also was impeded in the sequence that started when Maximum Security came out, also had a walk day. Trainer Gustavo Delgado is expected back at Churchill Downs on Wednesday. Bodexpress finished 14th and was moved up to 13th in the disqualification.
Mr. Money, a Preakness possibility after winning Churchill Downs' $400,000 Pat Day Mile (G3) with authority, likewise had the standard walk day two days after a race.
Other Preakness prospects include Code of Honor; Alwaysmining, who extended his winning streak to six races in the Federico Tesio at Laurel Park on April 20; Anothertwistafate, runner-up in the Lexington (G3) and the Sunland Derby (G3) in his last two races; Laughing Fox, winner of the inaugural Oaklawn Park Invitational; Owendale, winner of the Lexington (G3); and Signalman, third in the Blue Grass (G2).
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