Perhaps the commercial that used a subtle version of Fleetwood Mac’s great “Go Your Own Way” was a harbinger, but the 144th Preakness Stakes was as nutty as the Kentucky Derby. We can only wonder what the Belmont Stakes will bring in three weeks.
Just as the race began Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Bodexpress — the Nick Kyrgios of racehorses — bucked like a bronco and tossed off jockey John Velazquez (who was not hurt, thank God). And then the miraculously natural and unexpected happened: Bodexpress ran the race. He not only completed the race, poor baby, but he ran it twice. (Well, aren’t there days when you say, You know what? I wish people would just get off my back and let me do my job?)
It is a tribute to the instincts of these magnificent animals — their ability to endure at great speeds, their love of their fellow horses, their desire to please us — that they not only run, they race. There’s a difference. Horses run naturally. We train them to race — at great price to them as the death of Congrats Gal, a 3-year-old filly, after finishing last in the Miss Preakness Stakes the day before attests.
The actual Preakness winner was War of Will, whom Maximum Security cut off in the Kentucky Derby, leading to Max’s disqualification. Watching the replay yet again, you have to wonder if Max hadn’t done that — or rather if jockey Luis Saez hadn’t done that — would WOW now be vying for the Triple Crown? It will be interesting to see if they go head-to-head at the Belmont.
As for Bodexpress, outriders finally caught up with him. Otherwise he might’ve raced off into eternity. Instead, he was slapped with an ironic “Did Not Finish.” But we know otherwise. Of course, he finished and then some, riding like the wind into our hearts.
Hey, Bode, you can go your own way. Or as one admiring poster, Robin, put it, “You do you, Bodexpress. You do you.”