Maiden Bodexpress lands Johnny V. for the Preakness Stakes

Maryland Jockey Club
May 13, 2019 02:37pm

Trainer Gustavo Delgado, on hand to watch Florida Derby runner-up Bodexpress train Monday at Churchill Downs, said Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez will ride the Bodemeister colt in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes at Pimlico.

For all of his achievements, Velazquez has never won the middle jewel of the Triple Crown.


“I feel good. We’ve got Johnny V,” said Delgado, whose son, Gustavo Delgado Jr. oversaw Bodexpress’ training while the trainer returned to his Gulfstream Park West base. “I’m happy with him. My son says he’s been training well. ”


Bodexpress was among the horses that got caught up in the far-turn melee when front-running Maximum Security drifted into the path of War of Will. Bodexpress wound up 14th and was placed 13th through Maximum Security’s disqualification. 


“We think in the Derby, with getting bumped and checked and everything, he could have run better than he did,” Delgado said. “I think a better result was possible, because he came back to the barn and he wasn’t even tired.”


Delgado Jr. noted that jockey Chris Landeros also had to use Bodexpress more than desirable in the early stages to secure a position heading into the first turn after breaking from Post 19.

Bodexpress drew into the Kentucky Derby field from the also-eligible list with the defection of program favorite Omaha Beach. A subsequent scratch of Haikal made the Derby a 19-horse race. Because the No. 1 starting-gate stall was kept open to alleviate congestion inside, Bodexpress still broke from the 20th stall though it is considered Post 19.


“Probably going straight to the Preakness from the Florida Derby would have been the right thing to do, especially since we were going to have to start from the outside post,” the younger Delgado said, adding with a laugh, “But how can you tell an owner to skip the race, to skip the Derby?”


Instead, he said cheerfully, they’re viewing the Derby as a workout to set Bodexpress up for the Preakness.


Bodexpress will train Tuesday morning before vanning to the Lexington airport for a 1:30 p.m. departure of the Texas Sutton equine charter to Baltimore, Delgado Jr. said. 


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