Well here we are the last jewel of the Triple Crown and unlike last year we do not have a Triple Crown hopeful or do we? It may not occur to you that we have a horse that is technically running for the chance to win the Triple Crown. War of Will who technically finished 7th in the Kentucky Derby was right in the middle of the controversy that moved Maximum Security (the horse who crossed the finish line first) from 1st all the way to 17th. Some say that if Maximum Security did not interfere with War of Will that War of Will would have chased down Maximum Security and won the Kentucky Derby. Fast Forward two weeks later, and although not all of the horses from the Kentucky Derby ran the Preakness Stakes, War of Will was clearly the best and won the Preakness. This sets up for an interesting debate if War of Will manages to win the Belmont Stakes on Saturday should we consider him a “Triple Crown Winner” obviously he would not be the official Triple Crown Winner but he has a case to at least have Triple Crown Winner with an Asterisk.
The Kentucky Derby Incident
As the field was turning for home in the final stretch War of will was in the 2 lane and primed to make a run when the leader Maximum Security darted into his path. By doing so War of Will’s jockey Tyler Gaffalione had to “check up” (a term in horse racing equal to having to hit the brakes). Why is that important because unlike a car when a horse is forced to stop running even if only briefly it is hard to get back up to speed and especially harder to try and win the race when the horse he was chasing is still going as fast as he was. So because of this, we will never know if War of Will would have chased down Maximum Security. In Horse Racing they do not reward the one who was interfered with rather punish the one who interferes, War of Will had no chance of being elevated to the winner of the Kentucky Derby. Therefore negating any chance of him winning a Triple Crown.
In closing I will say this if (and it is a big IF) War of Will manages to win the Belmont Stakes I know I for one will be petitioning for him to be named a Triple Crown winner with an asterisk as that is the best we can do as a consolation for his bad luck which he had no control over. To me if you can win the last 2 legs of the Triple Crown and you were in contention to win the Kentucky Derby but were interfered with then I have no other choice but to believe if the interference didn’t happen that War of Will would have won the Kentucky Derby and we would be looking at our quite possible 14 Triple Crown Winner.