PADDOCK TO POST: WILL A ‘WAR OF WILL’ MAKE THIS A ‘WIN WIN WIN’?
By Jennifer Thibodeaux Bourque and Michael – Louis Ingram
LAFAYETTE, LA and PHILADELPHIA PA (www.basnnewsroom.com) At Pimlico Race Course, the afternoon should produce Black-eyed Susans rather than the black eye racing received after the running of this year’s Kentucky Derby. The 144th edition of The Preakness should provide a more suitable impression.
Among the fallout of the Derby damage was the disqualification of Maximum Security and his rider Luis Saez. It is likely this caused ‘Security’s team to bow out of the Preakness. Saez, who was taking his tack to Belmont Race Track and New York City, was given a 15 – day suspension; which in terms of potential racing revenue, could easily be a six-figure lesson to learn…
Country House, the declared winner after the DQ, has decided to skip the Preakness so there will be no shot at a Triple Crown winner after back-to-back winners in the previous two years.
All of this may smack of an overall weakness in The Preakness, but we say no!
My l’il sis Jenny says the right action was finally taken. “You’ve got to hit their ass in the wallet when something like that (DQ/suspension) happens; the fact Saez caught the suspension was a good sign. Rough riding happens – but when a potential disaster like that occurs, everyone must be put back on point. The space for thoroughbred racing is small enough as it is for highlights in the sports calendar.
“When all the looky-lous leave and it’s business as usual, you have to call that song exactly what it is. That incident would have been a ‘DQ’ at any track.”
Which brings us to today and the hero of the hour, jockey Tyler Gaffalione, who will ride War of Will from the inside post to a full field of 13. Win Win Win, who we touted as our selection to win the Derby, seemed to struggle in the slop a bit but finished a sneaky ninth out of the cavalry charge two weeks ago.
“Given all Gaffalione did between the ride and his skill in the Derby, I figure he would be a likely favorite here,” says Jenny – and he is currently the second fave on the board at 4-1. If he gets out cleanly, War of Will will most likely be saving ground and pushed up to a stalking position…
While many folks are just concerned with laying down their two bucks, let us not ever forget that thoroughbred jockeys are among the best pound-for-pound athletes in all of sport; and Gaffalione’s actions in adverse conditions were exemplary.
The Preakness has also been a showcase for Maryland – bred horses, who occasionally Drop The Bomb at the tote board. Alwaysmining has been tearing up next door neighbor Laurel and might have something to say about the result.
Right now the Bob Baffert/Mike Smith tandem come in with Improbable as the 5/2 morning line favorite. We believe while Win Win Win will have far more to do, the task is not impossible. The only hoss to win from Post #13 ever in the Preakness is Her Royal Badass, The Dominatrix of Dirt, Rachel Alexandra!
Less traffic and a fast track will make a difference, and if jockey Julian Pimentel can get a clear run, this is where we should see the close into a winning situation.
We’ll do a trifecta partial wheel with #1 (War of Will) and #13 (Win Win Win), #1 #13 and #7 (Alwaysmining) with the field – and a superfecta box #1, #2, #3, #4, #7 and #13…
So good luck, good hunting – and when you see your hoss eatin’ up turf down the stretch, scream at the top of your lungs…
WORK THAT NOBLE BEAST!!!