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Man and Horse

Coming out of the gate, Yesterday at the Preakness Stakes, Bodexpress dumped its jockey and ran the race without its rider. With a definite weight advantage, Bodexpress ran near the middle of the pack, but faded towards the end.

 

 

 

The Riderless Horse

In case you missed it, the Preakness Stakes, held recently in Baltimore, featured a riderless horse. Bodexpress dumped his  coming out of the gate, but managed to finish the race, despite lacking a rider. For most of the course, the riderless horse was enthusiastically cheered on by the crowd.

As luck would have it, it just happened to be the horse I bet on to win. Fortunately, all was not loss for I picked the eventual winner, War of Will, to show, so at least I picked up a few dollars.

Somedays you’re up, and some days you’re down. John Velazquez falls from Bodexpress at 2019 Preakness

 

What the Jockey Said

“I had my feet out of the irons and I lost my balance and I went off……Things like this happen with horses, but it’s disappointing.”    Hall of Game jockey, John Velazquez after the race.

Maryland steeplechases features timbered jump and often a riderless horse or two

 

 

 

Common Occurrence

Though rare in track racing, this type of event occurs all the time in a steeplechase race. By coincidence, the rural countryside just outside Baltimore is home to several steeplechase events. They occur in the spring on the pristine rural stretches that surround Worthington Valley in Baltimore County. The races are very popular, even though the fans only get a brief glimpse as horses and riders crisscross the fields and pasture, leaping numerous fences during the course of the race.

The track is long and hard and invariably a few riders fail to finish the course. The same is not always true for the horses, who, even without a rider, often keep right up with the pack, even successfully jumping over the wooden obstacles that are part of the racing event.

In 2017, John Velazquez won the Kentucky Derby riding Always Dreaming

 

 

 

High Stakes

If one considers how much money, time, training and effort go into getting a thoroughbred prepared for a major race that just lasts a few minutes, the only logical conclusion is that horse racing is a very expensive sport.  Still, nothing seems to gather the spirits, quite like an iconic racing event, where a dozen or so highly-trained animals compete for a bouquet of flowers, as tens of thousands of spectators watch from the stands.

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