After a controversy-fueled finish to the Kentucky Derby, there was less drama deciding the winner of the 2019 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore on Saturday.
War of Will earned the victory in the 144th running of the event.
The colt started on the rail but quickly fell behind Warrior's Charge, Market King, Anothertwistafate and Alwaysmining. The order basically stayed the same down the backstretch, and Warrior's Charge emerged from the final turn up front.
But that's where War of Will made his charge.
Tyler Gaffalione rode the colt to the Preakness victory, outracing Warrior's Charge while holding off late surges from second- and third-place finishers Everfast and Owendale.
But you couldn't be faulted for losing focus; Bodexpress stole the attention of many viewers at the moment the race started.
Why? He threw off the jockey.
During a post-race interview on NBC, Bodexpress rider―well, momentarily, at least―John Velazquez said the horse wasn't behaving well in the gate. Though the Hall of Fame jockey didn't mention it, the starter seemingly had a hold on Bodexpress.
Perhaps it might not have ultimately affected War of Will's triumph, but Velazquez simply never had a chance Saturday.
Though disappointing for the team, some viewers will more likely remember Bodexpress' solo ride than War of Will's win.
Everfast—who had morning-line odds of 50-1, per TwinSpires—raced to second and brought a bit of a financial boon.
However, race favorite Improbable bucked in the gate and was never much of a contender during the race. A victory would've given Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert a record eighth win at the Preakness Stakes, but Improbable finished sixth.
Instead, the praise went to War of Will, Gaffalione and trainer Mark Casse, who secured his first-ever Triple Crown victory.
Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.