Bourbon War is one of several new faces on the Triple Crown trail that are trying their luck in the 144th Preakness Stakes this Saturday (6 p.m., NBC). MetroBet will dive into his racing résumé, human connections and pedigree below.
Bourbon War was originally scheduled to run in last Saturday’s Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park after coming up short on points to make the Kentucky Derby, but there was a change of heart in his camp soon after the “Run for the Roses.”
“He’s doing excellent.” trainer Mark Hennig told wbaltv.com. “We had a conference call…and speaking with the owners we felt like after watching the events of the [Kentucky Derby] weekend, the Florida horses gave a good account of themselves and we felt we were competitive with them. So why not take a shot in the Preakness?”
Hennig is alluding to the performances of Maximum Security, who crossed the wire first in the Derby before being DQ’d, and Code of Honor, who ran third but was placed second.
Bourbon War broke his maiden at first asking at Aqueduct last November before checking in fourth with a wide trip in the Remsen Stakes. After a brief freshening, he burst through to win an allowance at Gulfstream over Kentucky Derby runner Cutting Humor. Bourbon War was sent off at 4-1 in his next start, the Fountain of Youth, and was a fast-closing second behind Code of Honor. His Florida Derby fourth was disappointing, but he had little chance to close into such a slow tempo. That shouldn’t be the case in the Preakness with the presence of Alwaysmining and Anothertwistafate, among others.
Bourbon War is bred to go long being by prodigious sire Tapit out of a mare named My Conquestadory, who won over $500k in just six starts (2-1-2 record, all stakes). Bloodhorse has reported that Irad Ortiz Jr., the 2018 Eclipse Award winner for champion jockey, has accepted the mount on Bourbon War. The Preakness would represent Hennig’s Triple Crown victory.