The Preakness Stakes took place around 7 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, May 18. As the horses took to the dirt track, jockey John Velazquez was tossed off the No. 9 horse, Bodexpress.
Based on video footage, it appeared as though the No. 9 starter still had a hold of the horse when the gates opened. The incident was flagged but quickly cleared.
Many thought that Bodexpress would be declared a non-starter but his status was changed to “DNF” (Did Not Finish) on the leaderboard.
War of Will was the winning horse. Everfast came in second and Owendale finished third. Bodexpress is listed in last place with “DNF” (Did Not Finish) next to his name. The last horse that was listed as “DNF” following the Preakness Stakes was Barbaro back in 2006. Barbaro was a favorite in the race but suffered a devastating leg break after a false start.
Here’s what you need to know:
If Bodexpress Had Been Declared a Non-Starter, Full Refunds Would Have Been Issued to People Who Bet on Him
A non-starter is defined as a horse that fails to run in a race for which it has been entered. If officials declared Bodexpress a non-starter, those who wagered money on the horse would have been refunded in full.
After Velazquez fell off of his horse, Bodexpress ran around the dirt track at Pimlico, and wasn’t even in last place, despite not having a rider on his back.
“Outriders couldn’t attempt to catch him until later in the race because of how close he was running to other horses,” NBC News reported.
His antics inspired several jokes on social media.
During a horse race at Del Mar back in 2016, a horse by the name of Papa Papa Papa was declared a non-starter.
“The stewards ruled his break from the gate had been compromised because the gate opened simultaneous to an assistant starter grabbing his head to keep him straightened,” DRF reported at the time. Del Mar had to refund $527,606 in wagers following the decision.
Velazquez Is a Hall of Fame Jockey Who Was Left ‘Disappointed’ by Bodexpress’ Behavior
Velazquez was not hurt when he was thrown to the ground. In a post-race interview, the esteemed jockey said that Bodexpress was a bit rambunctious before the race.
“He was just not behaving good in the gate, he was not settling in really well. He got me against a wall in the gate and obviously when the doors opened, I was kind of off right from the start and I kind of jumped sideways and I had my feet out, so I lost my balance and I went off,” Velazquez said.
“I’m good, I’m good. To tell you the truth, I’m just disappointed. You know when you come in here, to a big race like this and then things happen like this with the horses, it’s [disappointing],” he added.