Bodexpress: the colt who captured hearts at the Preakness and Gary West’s $20 million dollar challenge

Patrick Semansky / Associated Press

After watching this year’s Preakness Stakes, one thing that’s for certain: Bodexpress likes to run. He loves racing. I think he’s still running. Joking aside, Bodexpress did run two laps around the Pimlico track before the outrider could catch up to him.

Despite the fact that Bodexpress had an woeful trip without his rider, bad start, running wide in the turns at the beginning, he didn’t cross the wire last. File this fact away for the Belmont Stakes as you have visual proof that the son of Bodemeister will take to the added distance just fine. And that he has plenty of heart.

I agree with NBC broadcaster Eddie Olczyk, Bodexpress didn’t get a fair shake. The starter still had a hold of him when the gate opened so that’s what sent his jockey into the air on his launch out of the gate. All bets on Bodexpress should have been returned to bettors. But once again, bettors–the ones who keep this sport afloat–didn’t get the common courtesy benefit of the doubt here. All of this after the Preakness set a wagering record with a handle of $99,852,653.

But back to Bodexpress. His run should also be visual proof to critics of the sport who say horse racing is cruel because these horses are made to race against their will. Horses are just like people in this regard. Some people like to run marathons or the 100 yard dash. Most people don’t. Same goes for horses. The colts and fillies who have a competitive need for speed and like racing are the ones who excel at it and have a career. There are plenty of high profile progeny that sold for six-figures in yearling sales that never made it into an actual race.

The future race plans for Bodexpress haven’t been announced yet but his connections have to be seriously considering the Belmont Stakes for the reasons I mentioned earlier. However, I bet they’re circling the Haskell Invitational on their calendar (Saturday July 20th) with the following news.

Gary West, the owner of Maximum Security, offered as much as $20 million to the owners of four other horses if they can best his colt in their next race. West’s challenge extends to owners of Country House, War of Will, Long Range Toddy and Bodexpress. West will pay $5 million to the owner of any of those four horses if they beat Maximum Security in their next race.

I love this. I love the confidence. Wasn’t this how the Sport of Kings evolved? This will get more people to tune into horse racing. Maximum Security is probably more well-known and popular due to the Derby disqualification than if his win had stood. And West is targeting the Haskell Invitational as his next race.

If you needed a reason to watch horse racing after the Kentucky Derby, you just got a huge one. The sport of horse racing just got way more interesting.

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