Preakness winner War of Will was in fine fettle on Sunday morning and is likely to head to New York for the Belmont Stakes (G1). (Photo credit: Maryland Jockey Club).
Following a troubled trip in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby, Gary Barber’s War of Will found redemption with a 1 ¼-length victory in Saturday’s Grade 1 Preakness and will likely target another American classic in the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets on June 8, according to trainer Mark Casse.
“There are only three Triple Crown races and they are pretty important,” Casse said. “If you can do it, you should do it. Two years ago, I think we were going to be the only one to run in all three with Classic Empire. It took three days of him before the race where he could not walk [before scratching with a foot abscess], so I think that was a legit reason not to run. That’s us, that’s what we do. We run.”
Casse said War of Will was no worse for wear the morning after his Preakness triumph, which provided his conditioner a first victory in a Triple Crown race.
“Just some energy from him. He’s kind of funny. [Hall of Fame trainer] Wayne [Lukas] was around and he said yesterday, ‘Boy he’s got a lot more energy today’,” Casse said. “You can see it when he gallops. I would say there is an extremely good shot that we’ll be there. Now, it’s just a matter of him saying he doesn’t want to go. That would be just if he was lethargic or something. As everyone has seen, he has extremely good energy on the track.”
War of Will Won Twice at Fair Grounds
War of Will stamped himself among the top horses on the Derby trail with a pair of Fair Grounds victories in the Grade 3 LeComte and Grade 2 Risen Star over the winter. He entered the Kentucky Derby off of a ninth-place finish in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby.
Casse said he was proud of the way his charge overcame a difficult trip in the Derby and that a victory in the Belmont would serve to showcase War of Will’s strength and durability.
“It would just show that he’s tough and able to overcome things,” Casse said. “You saw yesterday, the Derby was very trying. He was a little foot sore for a while after (the Derby). It’s a trying race. And the pace was extremely hot yesterday and you saw two deep closers. For our horse to continue on, after he was pretty close to the pace [was impressive]. Even when they were galloping out, he took off again. He wasn’t going to let anybody go by. But as far as the Belmont goes, it’s the third leg of the Triple Crown. Who doesn’t want to win it?”
2019 Preakness Stakes Replay
Preakness Stakes 2019 (FULL RACE), jockey John Velazquez thrown from horse | NBC Sports - YouTube
While Casse always held War of Will in high regard, it was his New York-based assistant Jamie Begg who sent out War of Will for a sharp three-eighths in 36.56 seconds on June 16, 2018 on the Belmont Park dirt training track.
“I actually worked him his first three-eighths against some older horses and I just wanted him to sit off them and not do too much,” Begg said. “He had been a real good training horse and he blew them out of the water. He galloped away from company that was much fitter than he was.
“I sent the video of him working to Mark and [bloodstock agent] Justin [Casse] and Mark said, ‘This horse is something serious’ and that he was a half to a Grade 1 winner,” continued Begg. “And I said to them, ‘Well a Grade 1-winner may end up being a half to him!’ It turned out to be true.”
War of Will Has Strong Turf Pedigree
War of Will’s pedigree is heavily turf based. Aside from being by prominent turf sire War Front, he is out of Visions of Clarity who produced Group 1 Irish National Stakes winner Pathfork. Visions of Clarity is a half-sister to 1997 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Spinning World.
War of Will made his first four starts on turf, including a strong second in the Grade 1 Summer at Woodbine won by well-regarded Fog of War, but Begg said he always suspected the Preakness winner was better on dirt.
“The thing about the track here is that it doesn’t trick you,” Begg said “If you work well on that track you’re probably a dirt horse.”
War of Will could become the 19th horse to complete the Preakness-Belmont double. The last horse to accomplish the feat was Afleet Alex in 2005.
Begg is also preparing the Casse-trained G3 Peter Pan runner-up Sir Winston for the Belmont and noted that the Awesome Again chestnut will breeze next week at Belmont.
With the 151st running of the Belmont Stakes as its centerpiece, the 2019 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival will include 18 stakes races over the three days, including an unprecedented eight Grade 1 races on Belmont Stakes Day, June 8.
The Mark Casse trained War of Will won the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1) on Saturday at Pimlico. (Photo credit: Maryland Jockey Club).
After two weeks of nearly non-stop chatter about the controversial conclusion of the Kentucky Derby (G1), War of Will brought racing back to the forefront with an impressive victory in the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1) on Saturday at Pimlico.
After taking the worst of it in the Run for the Roses, War of Will received a picture perfect ride from 24-year-old jockey Tyler Gaffalione to win the second jewel of the Triple Crown by 1 ¼ lengths, returning $14.20 as my top pick in the race. He stopped the timer for the 1 3/16 miles over a glib racing surface in 1:54.34 and earned a career best 99 Beyer Speed Figure.
Breaking alertly from the rail, Gaffalione got the colt is perfect position along the rail in the early going over a racing surface that seemed to favor horses on the inner paths. The colt continued to save ground, a path opened up nearing the three-sixteenths and he came through the small opening to take over the lead and hold off his dozen foes.
Everfast, sent off at 29-1 also was down along the inside much of the trip. The colt was near the back of the pack early, raced along the rail heading down the backstretch, angled out to the three path in upper stretch and was taken closer to the rail late, rallying to get the runner up spot.
Trained by Dale Romans, Everfast showed some promise with a runner up finish in the Holy Bull (G2) in February at Gulfstream Park. However, in his next three starts he was beaten a combined 43 ¾ lengths. His final prep was a fifth in the Pat Daly Mile (G3) in the Kentucky Derby Day undercard where he was beaten 10 ¼ lengths.
2019 Preakness Stakes Replay
Preakness Stakes 2019 (FULL RACE), jockey John Velazquez thrown from horse | NBC Sports - YouTube
The $2 exacta returned $947.00 and the $1 trifecta with Owendale paid $4,699.80.
On a perfect afternoon, Pimlico set an all-time total handle record Saturday of $99,852,653. The record handle topped the previous mark of $97,168,658 set in 2017. Attendance was 131,256.
War of Will came out of his Preakness in good fashion and his trainer Mark Casse said it is on to the Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 8.
“He’s great this morning,” the trainer told Bloodhorse on Sunday morning at Pimlico. “I would say there’s an extremely good shot we’ll be there (in the Belmont). Now it’s just a matter of him saying he doesn’t want to go, that would be just if he was lethargic or something (during) training.
“There’s only three Triple Crown races. They’re pretty important, and I think if you can do it, you should do it. … The Belmont is the Belmont. It’s the third leg of the Triple Crown. Who doesn’t want to win it?”
While Kentucky Derby winner Country House and Maximum Security will not be in New York, there figures to be a competitive field. Everfast and Owendale seem likely for the third jewel of the Triple Crown. Tacitus, who was placed third in the Kentucky Derby is also being posited toward the race. Others we could see include Game Winner, Master Fencer, Global Campaign, Tax and Intrepid Heart.
A field of 13 line up in Saturday’s $1.5 million Preakness Stakes, one of eight stakes on an outstanding wagering card. (Photo credit: Maryland Jockey Club).
There is no Triple Crown at stake and the first four that crossed the wire in the Kentucky Derby (G1) are missing in action, but who cares, did you see Saturday’s Preakness Day card?
As horseplayers we can’t ask for much more. We have a 14-race card that kicks off at 10:30am ET and we have large competitive fields and no free squares if you are looking to hit a Pick 4 or a Pick 5.
The Preakness will be the final leg of a $2 million guaranteed Pick 4 covering Races 10-13 and a $1 million guaranteed Late Pick 5 spanning Races 9-13. Preakness Day will also feature a $500,000 guaranteed Pick 4 on Races 6-9 and $250,000 guaranteed early Pick 5 on Races 2-6.
We have 144 horse entered on Saturday’s card including a field of 13 that will line up in the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1), the second jewel of the Triple Crown. A dozen of the 14 races have fields of nine or more.
The stakes action starts in the third race where a field of six go 1 1/16 miles in the $100,000 Sir Barton. The Todd Pletcher trained King for a Day makes his first start since running fourth in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs last fall.
The $100,000 James W. Murphy drew a field of 10 with Eons likely to scratch to bring the field to nine. Pletcher sends out the 4-1 morning line favorite Current, who was fifth in the Florida Derby (G1) and returns to turf.
The $150,000 Maryland Sprint (G3) drew seven with the Jeff Runco trained Lewisfield the 9-5 morning line favorite. The gelding has earned triple digit Beyers in his last two starts at Laurel Park and looks pretty tough. His main foe will be the Steve Asmussen trained New York Central (6-1).
The $1000,000 Searching is a 1 ½ mile turf marathon for fillies and mares that drew a field of eight. The Roger Attfield trained Ickymasho (8-5) comes into the race off a victory in the Bewitch (G3) at Keeneland in her last outing.
The $100,000 The Very One is led by the Wesley Ward trained Jo Jo Air (3-1), winner of the William Walker at Churchill Downs on April 27.
The $150,000 Galorette (G3) for fillies and mares is a tough one to figure out. Four of the nine in the field are coming back off layoffs including the Chad Brown trained Inflexibility (3-1) and Barkaa (6-1).
Three-year-olds go six furlongs in the $200,000 Chick Lang (G3). The Rodolphe Brisset trained Preamble is the 5-2 morning line favorite.
The $250,000 Dixie (G2) is the race preceding the Preakness. A dozen were entered with Flameaway a scratch after going on Friday.
The $1.5 million Preakness (G1) may be lacking in star power but it drew a field of 13, four exiting the Kentucky Derby and eight new shooters to the Triple Crown.
Improbable (5-2) and War of Will (4-1) both exit the Derby and figure to be the top two betting choices with newcomers Anothertwistofate (6-1), the Lexington (G3) runner up and Alwaysmining (8-1) the local hero and winner of the Federico Tesio figuring to take some action.
Let’s head out to Pimlico for Saturday’s featured wagering race of the day:
Pimlico Race 12 The Dixie G2 (Post time 5:39 ET)
#11 Inspector Lynley 7-2
#12 Catholic Boy 3-1
#2 Just Howard 10-1
#3 Admission Office 12-1
Analysis: Inspector Lynley tracked the early pace and finished gamely to win the Dangers Hour last out at the Big A going a mile. Two back he checked in sixth beaten 3 1/2 lengths in the Muniz Memorial (G2) behind Bricks and Mortar, who returned to w the Old Forester Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs in his next outing. Three back the Shug trainee won the Tampa Bay (G3) at this distance. He should be able to work out a good tracking trip and has the recency edge over our second choice who is coming back off the bench.
Catholic Boy faded to finish a well beaten 13th in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) last out in a disappointing effort. He ran twice on turf last year including winning the Belmont Derby (G1) last July. He has won four of his five trips on the lawn in his career. He is in good hands with the Thomas, a former assistant to Todd Pletcher and Christophe Clement. The trainer is 19% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. He has solid looking works on the morning tab and looks ready to fire off the sidelines, but his price may end up lighter than his 3-1 morning line.
WIN: #11 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 11,12 / 2,3,11,12
TRI: 11,12 / 2,3,11,12 / 2,3,10,11,12
There are 14 races on Friday’s card at Pimlico highlighted by the $250,000 Black Eyed Susan (G3) for three-year-old fillies. (Photo credit: Maryland Jockey Club).
While the Preakness Stakes (G1) on Saturday is missing the top four that crossed the wire in the Kentucky Derby (G1), there will be no shortage of outstanding betting opportunities for horseplayers over the next couple of days.
Friday’s Black Eyed Susan Day card features 14 races including seven stakes, and there are another 14 races on tap for Saturday including seven supporting stakes for the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
Not only are there 28 races over the course of the next two days, there is mostly large fields and for the first time in what seems like forever, Mother Nature is going to cooperate on a big racing day.
The stakes action on Friday starts with the seventh race, the $100,00 Skipat for fillies and mares going six furlongs on the main track. The race drew 10 led by Chalon, the 6-5 morning line favorite. She makes her first start since missing winning the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) by a head at Churchill Downs last fall.
The $150,000 Miss Preakness (G3) drew a full field of 12 with one sitting on the also-eligible list. Covfefe (7-2) turned heads with a good looking maiden win in her debut last fall and is coming off a sharp win versus first level optional claimers in her last outing.
The $100,00 Hilltop is at a mile on turf for three-year-old fillies. A field of 14 go and of course trainer Chad Brown is well represented. He sends out the Euro invader Nova Sol (7-2) and Miss Grillo (G2) fourth place finisher Dogtag (9-2), who makes her three-year-old debut.
The $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3) drew 14 and if you are playing Pick 4 and Pick 5’s this is one race you might want to go deep. The Todd Pletcher trained Rally Cry is the 9-2 morning line favorite.
Black Eyed Susan Draws Nine
The $250,000 Black Eyed Susan (G2) for three-year-old fillies drew an evenly matched group of nine. Point of Honor is the 5-2 morning line favorite but Always Shopping (4-1) and Brill (5-1) will take some betting action.
The $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint will have one of the shorter prices on the day. Bound for Nowhere is the even money morning line favorite. He was beaten a neck in the Shakertown (G2) at Keeneland in his last start.
Closing out the stakes action on Friday is the $150,000 Allaire Dupont Distaff (G3) drawing a field of seven. The Bill Mott trained Golden Award is the 5-2 morning line favorite but Gio Game (6-1) and Another Broad (7-2) look like major threats.
Let’s head out to Pimlico for Friday’s featured race of the day:
Pimlico Race 11 The Black Eyed Susan G2 (4:48 ET)
#6 Always Shopping 4-1
#7 Brill 5-1
#2 Off Topic 8-1
#8 Point of Honor 5-2
She prompted the early pace while down toward the inside, brushed with a foe, got her nose in from at the eighth pole and drew clear late to win the Gazelle (G2) at Aqueduct by 1 3/4 lengths in a sharp looking outing. The filly raced down toward the inner paths most of the day on an afternoon where the outer paths were the best place to be. Two back in the Busanda in her stakes debut she stalked the early pace and came with a four-wide bid, drawing off to win by 1 1/4 lengths. She caught a racing strip that day that was playing to inside speed. She has shown improvement with each career start and looks capable of moving forward once again. She is out of the stakes winner Stopshoppingaria ($394,361) for the same connections. The mare has dropped one other foal tor ace, stakes winner Mo Shopping ($131,250). She looks very tough in this spot and I doubt we catch the 4-1 morning line.
The filly pressed the early pace and did not have enough punch left late in a third-place finish in the Fantasy (G3) at Oaklawn park last out. She was stretching out form a runner up finish going six furlongs two back off a six-month layoff. She was fourth and third in a couple of Grade 1 races last year in SoCal. The $1 million purchase is out of the stakes winner Hung the Moon ($170,092). The Hollendofer trainee looks primed for a top effort in her third start off the shelf here.
She exits the Gazelle where she tracked the early pace while down along the deep inside paths and finished evenly in a third-place finish, beaten two lengths for the top spit. She as second two back Agilent Alw-1 optional claimers in her first start against winners. She is bred to get nine furlongs, by Street Sense out of a stakes placed Include mare. The Pletcher trainee looks as if she may still have some upside and may end up getting overlooked in the betting here with her stablemate looking so good.
WIN: #6 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 6,7 / 2,6,7,8
TRI: 6,7 / 2,6,7,8 / 2,4,6,7,8
A field of 13 will line up on Saturday in the Preakness Stakes (G1). (Photo credit: Maryland Jockey Club).
A field of 13 will head to the starting gate on Saturday in the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico led by the Bob Baffert trained Improbable.
Baffert is seeking a record eighth win in the second jewel of the Triple Crown. He won the race in 2015 with American Pharaoh and last year with Justify, both going on to win the Triple Crown. The Hall of Fame trainer is tied with R. Wyndham Walden for all time wins in the Preakness at seven.
Improbable crossed the wire fifth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and was placed fourth after the disqualification of Maximum Security for interference at the five-sixteenths mark.
Maximum Security is resting up at Monmouth Park for a summer campaign that may include the Haskell Invitational (G1) and the Travers Stakes (G1). At Saratoga.
Code of Honor and Tacitus, who were placed second and third I the Derby will also bypass the Preakness Stakes.
Three Others Exit Derby
We have three other Derby alum that are making the trip to Baltimore—War of Will, who was seventh, Win Win Win, who was ninth and Bodeexpress, who was placed 13th.
War of Will drew the rail and was installed as the second choice on the morning line at 4-1. The colt took the worst of the chain reaction bumping in the Derby. Tyler Gaffalione has the return call for trainer Mark Casse.
We have eight new shooters to the Triple Crown led by Anothertwistofate (6-1), who was second in the Sunland Derby (G3) and Lexington (G3) in his last two starts. Jose Ortiz will ride and break from post 12.
Alwaysmining is next on the morning line at 8-1. The Kelly Rubley trainee will break from the seven post with Daniel Centeno in the irons. The gelding has won his last six starts, taking the Federico Tesio at Laurel Park in his last outing by 11 ½ lengths.
The Preakness Stakes is one of nine stakes on a blockbuster 14-race card on Saturday. First post is 11:30am ET.
There are seven stakes on Friday’s card at Pimlico. The marquee event is the $250,000 Black Eyes Susan (G2) for three-year-old fillies that drew a field of nine. The George Weaver trained Point of Honor is the 5-2 morning line favorite. The filly was fourth in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) in her last outing.
A field of 12 is expected for the $1.5 Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico. (Photo credit: Pimlico Race Course).
The expected field for Saturday’s $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico has grown to a dozen with the addition on Sunday of the D. Wayne Lukas trained Market King.
The colt faded to finish a well beaten 11th in the Toyota Blue Grass (G2) at Keenland in his last outing at 33-1 on April 6. His stakes debut came in the split Rebel (G2) at Oaklawn Park where he ran third, beaten 8 ¼ lengths by Omaha Beach and Game Winner, who were separated by a nose at the wire.
Lukas, a Hall of Fame trainer has won the Preakness Stakes six times in his career and holds the record with the most starters at 43. His first Preakness starter, Codex, won in 1980. His other winners were Tank’s Prospect (1985), Tabasco Cat (1994), Timber Country (1995), Charismatic (1999) and Oxbow (2013).
Trainers R. Wyndham Walden and Bob Baffert are tied for the most wins at seven. Baffert won last year’s running with Justify, who went on to win the Triple Crown.
Baffert has the early betting favorite in the Preakness with Improbable. The colt was sent off as the betting favorite in the Kentucky Derby (G1) but crossed the wire fifth and was placed fourth due to the disqualification of Maximum Security. The colt finished 3 ¼ lengths back.
The top four that crossed the wire first in the Derby—Maximum Security, Country House, Code of Honor and Tacitus will bypass the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
War of Will, who took the worst of the interference in the Kentucky Derby is the second choice in early Preakness betting at US Racing at 3-1. The colt was in the mix until Maximum Security veered in on him nearing the five-sixteenths and weakened to finish eighth, beaten 4 ½ lengths. He was placed seventh thanks to the disqualification.
Only two other Derby alum are wheeling back in two weeks. Bodeexpress, who was part of the bumping in the Derby and faded to 14th returns and is listed at 16-1.
Win Win Win was outrun early and not a threat in a 10th place finish in the Derby (placed ninth) and is currently 8-1 in early Preakness betting.
The lowest price among the newcomers to the Triple Crown is Alwaysmining at 8-1, the co-third choice. The colt has won six races in a row, taking the Federico Tesio at Laurel Park in his last outing. He is trained by Kelly Rubley and will be ridden by Daniel Centeno.
Preakness Stakes Expected Field and Odds via USRacing
The Bob Baffert trained Improbable is the early betting favorite for the Preakness Stakes (G1). (Photo credit: Breeders’ Cup Ltd.).
The Bob Baffert trained Improbable leads the prospective field for the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico which now numbers 10.
Improbable crossed the wire fifth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and was placed fourth after the disqualification of the winner Maximum Security, who was placed 17th for veering in and causing interference that affected War of Will, Long Range Toddy and Bodexpress.
Country House was elevated to the victory and returned $132.40, the second biggest price in the 145-year history of the Run for the Roses. The only winner that paid more was Donerail in 1913, who returned his backers $184.90.
Trainer Bill Mott announced on Tuesday that the Derby winner developed a cough and is off the Triple Crown trail. It will be the first time since a Derby winner skipped the Preakness since 1996 when Grindstone was inured and retired.
The first four that crossed the wire in this year’s Derby are skipping the Preakness, leaving Improbable as the betting favorite, currently listed at +200 in early Preakness wagering.
With the addition of Win Win Win and the defection of Mr. Money, right now the field stands at 10.
War of Will took the brunt of the interference that got Maximum Security disqualified. The colt weakened to finish eighth and placed seventh. The colt is the current second choice in early Preakness betting at +300. The colt is trained by Mark Casse and will be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione.
There are two others coming back after running in the Derby—Win Win Win, who was ninth and Bodexpress, who checked in 13th.
We have six newcomers to the Triple Crown and three of them, Alwaysmining, Anothertwistofate and Bourbon War are the co-third choices at +800.
Alwaysmining has won six in a row and seven of his dozen career starts. He comes in off a victory in the Federico Tesio at Laurel Park in his last start. Trained by Kelly Rubley, Daniel Centeno will be in the irons.
Anothertwistofate won the El Camino Real which earned him a ticket to the Preakness. He returned to run second in the Sunland Derby (G3) and Lexington (G3) in his last two starts. Jose Ortiz rides the colt for the first time for trainer Blaine Wright.
Bourbon War just missed getting into the Kentucky Derby, running second in the Fountain of Youth (G2) and then checking in fourth in the Florida Derby (G1). The Mark Hennig trainee will have Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard for the first time.
Completing the field at this time is Lexington (G3) winner Owendale, Blue Grass (G3) third place finisher Signalman and Oaklawn Park Invitational victor Laughing Fox.
Country House, winner of the Kentucky Derby (G1) has developed a cough and will miss the Preakness Stakes according to his trainer Bill Mott. (Photo credit: Churchill Downs).
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott announced on Tuesday that Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Country House will not head to Baltimore for the Preakness Stakes (G1) on May 18.
“He developed a little bit of a cough this morning,” Mott said via by telephone according to David Grenig of the Daily Racing Form. “He appetite is good. He doesn’t have a fever. But he’s coughing. We drew blood. He’s acting like he’s going to get sick. He’s off the training list, and if he’s off the training list he’s off the Preakness list.”
Country House was the beneficiary of the disqualification of Maximum Security, who crossed the wire first but veered in and interfered with War of Will, starting a chain reaction that also affected Long Range Toddy and Bodexpress.
After a 22-minute delay, the stewards disqualified Maximum Security and placed him 17th, behind the finish of the affected horses.
It was the first disqualification of the winner of the Kentucky Derby for interference in the 145-year history of the race.
Country House returned $132.40, the second biggest price in the history of the Kentucky Derby. Only Donerail, who paid $184.90 in 1913.
Gary West, the owner of Maximum Security appealed to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC), but his appeal of the Churchill Downs stewards’ decision was denied.
West may not be done and may appeal in federal court.
In addition to Maximum Security and Country House, trainer Shug McGaughey announced this morning that Code of Honor, who was placed second in the Kentucky Derby will also miss the Preakness. His target likely will be the Dwyer Stakes (G3) at a mile at Belmont Park on July 7.
The defections leave the Preakness Stakes wide open. Among the favorites at this point likely will be War of Will, Improbable and possibly Tacitus, who is trained by Mott who seemed unlikely to run in the Preakness. However, with Country House now out, Mott could change his mind.
Looking at the key contenders for the 2019 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot (Photo credit: Ascot Racecourse).
Royal Ascot is now fast approaching, in what is the greatest spectacle of flat racing, and the pinnacle of UK horse races. The key race of the meeting is the Gold Cup, and this year’s edition is already billing up to be a fascinating contest. Here we cover the leading horses.
The son of Sea the stars quickly established himself into the leading stayer last season, that included a victory in this race. Stradivarius put in an unbeaten season winning five starts in succession, that included landing the ‘Stayers triple crown’, meaning a £1 million bonus for connections. This was a clear indication of just how tough the horse was, as he continued to perform in the leading races throughout the season. This included victories in the Goodwood Cup and Lonsdale Cup stakes, before the end of season victory on Champions day in the Long Distance Cup. Stradivarius now heads into this season as the horse to beat and is just 2/1 to pick up another Ascot Gold Cup.
The current second favourite for the race, who is a best priced 6/1. The Charlie Appleby trained, Godolphin owned stayer, appears to be a horse of real class. He keeps improving so is now likely to pose a real challenge to the previously mentioned Stradivarius. His key performance to date came in the 2018 running of the Melbourne Cup at Flemington racecourse. He travelled ominously well and once getting a clear run, he stayed on very well to win readily. This also meant a first victory in the race for his trainer. He returned with a victory in the Dubai Gold Cup, on World Cup night, again showing his staying ability. He now rates a very strong contender for the Ascot showpiece.
The final horse worth a mention is the Aiden O’Brien trained Capri, who is a general 8/1 shot for the race. The five year old son of Galileo is a seasoned performer and if able to return to his best, could be another stayer to follow for connections. You only have to go back to 2017, when he landed the Irish Derby ahead of no other than Cracksman. He was also only beaten 3 ¼ lengths in last years Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, which shows the level he has been performing at. He returned with a very disappointing defeat in the Group three Vintage Crop, when he looked very one paced, finishing fifth behind stablemate Master of Reality. He can be expected to improve greatly from this and is another key contender for the upcoming Ascot Gold Cup.
War of Will had crossed the wire eighth, Bodexpress 14th and Long Range Toddy finished 17th.
First DQ for Interference in History
It was the first disqualification of a Kentucky Derby winner for interference in the 145-year history of the Kentucky Derby. The last objection came in 2001 when the rider of Invisible Ink, John Velazquez lodged a claim of foul against the winner Monarchos, but no change was made.
There was no information up on the refund the Twinspires website as of 7:30 ET. For players that have Twinspires accounts and played Maximum Security to win, they likely will just get an automatic credit to their wagering account.
While Country House is headed to Baltimore for the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico on May 18, Maximum Security will not race ion the second jewel of the Triple Crown according to his trainer Jason Servis.
Check out Twinspires for more information on the Derby refund.