Bourbon Lane Stable and Lake Star Stable's Bourbon War will be sporting new attire when he goes to post in Saturday's 144th Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico with regular rider Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard.
“We're adding some short-cup blinkers to the mix this time. It's nice to keep the rider atop just so he has a feel for what he thinks about the equipment change,” trainer Mark Hennig said.
Bourbon War, who came up short on qualifying points to make the Kentucky Derby field, most recently finished fourth behind disqualified first-place Derby finisher Maximum Security in the March 30 Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream. The son of Tapit, who closed from ninth in the Florida Derby, had previously rallied from far off the pace to finish a half-length behind victorious Code of Honor in the Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream.
Bourbon War, who recorded a five-furlong bullet workout Thursday, jogged over the sloppy going at Belmont Park Monday.
“He's doing great. He's been in the mud the last couple days,” Hennig said. “Everything's fine. All is well.”
Bourbon War is among eight Preakness candidates who did not compete in the Kentucky Derby. Four scheduled starters, Improbable, War of Will, Win Win Win and Bodexpress, ran in the Derby.
“Improbable is the horse to beat. He didn't get beat far in the Derby. He should be the favorite. Rightfully, so,” Hennig said. “There are new shooters that are bringing great credentials to the table, too. I guess we'll find out if the new shooters can be competitive with those horses that ran in the Derby. We have confidence in our horse based on his form in Florida, but he still has to reproduce that on the track.”
Bourbon War is scheduled to ship to Pimlico after training at Belmont Wednesday.
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