With the dust more than settled after a historic Kentucky Derby finish at Churchill Downs, all eyes are on War of Will. Beyond Maximum Security’s historic disqualification in the 145th Kentucky Derby is War of Will’s Preakness Stakes win and potential in the 151st Belmont Stakes on June 8.
Two weeks after Maximum Security drifted in front of War of Will, contributing to the colt’s 8th place finish (elevated to 7th), he and his connections proved the colt is something special.
War of Will, known as WOW by his acquaintances, found his place on the rail in the middle of the pack before breaking through an opening on the homestretch to pass pace-setter Warrior’s Charge and win the 144th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico.
The win is especially sweet considering WOW was the horse most impacted by Maximum Security. Though Maximum Security was controversially disqualified 22 minutes after crossing the wire, War of Will still finished out of the money.
With War of Will’s charge in the Preakness, it’s hard not to wonder what could have been, had Maximum Security not stepped out of his lane. If Jason Servis’ colt had stayed put, would War of Will have been able to pull ahead to win?
Regardless of what could have, would have, should have been, WOW still has the chance to make history on June 8 at Belmont Park.
Should War of Will win the 12 furlong “Test of the Champion,” he would become just the 12th horse ever to run in the Kentucky Derby and lose, then come back to win the other two Triple Crown races. Afleet Alex was the last horse to do this in 2005.
Most of the horses who pulled off this feat went on to win champion 3-year-old male horse, and four were named overall Horse of the Year for their 3-year-old season, according to America’s Best Racing.
Among those to fall short in the Derby but win the Preakness and Belmont was Native Dancer, was one of the most dominant horses in history. Known as the “Grey Ghost,” he won 21 of 22 starts (the one loss being the 1953 Kentucky Derby) and can be found in many champion pedigrees.
Other horses in this exclusive club include Capot (1949), Nashua (1955), Damascus (1967) and Point Given (2001). Horse racing legend Man o’ War won the 1920 Preakness and Belmont but didn’t run in the Kentucky Derby.
Watch the 2019 Belmont Stakes only on NBC and NBCSN. Coverage on NBCSN begins Friday, June 7 at 5 p.m. for the Belmont Gold Cup and continues on Saturday, June 8 at 2:30 p.m. before moving to NBC at 4 p.m. Post time is set for approximately 6:38 p.m. See the full broadcast schedule here.