Bourbon War Joins Preakness Cast


Bourbon War | Leslie Martin

Bourbon Lane Stable and Lake Star Stable’s Bourbon War (Tapit), fourth in the Mar. 30 GI Florida Derby and second in the Mar. 2 GII Fountain of Youth S., has joined the list of likely contenders for the May 18 GI Preakness S.

“He’s doing excellent. Right now, he’s probable for the Preakness,” trainer Mark Hennig confirmed Monday. “We had a conference call yesterday and, speaking with the owners, we felt like after watching the events of the 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 rather than the more conservative route we were thinking in the [May 11 GIII] Peter Pan?”

Bourbon War closed from far back to finish fourth behind GI Kentucky Derby runners Maximum Security (New Year’s Day), Bodexpress (Bodemeister) and Code of Honor (Noble Mission {GB}) in the Florida Derby and he was second behind Code of Honor in the Fountain of Youth.

“He and Code of Honor have been pretty close together in their races. Maximum Security certainly showed up and held up that form from Florida, so I think it seems like a smart move to try the Preakness,” Hennig said.

Trainer Bill Mott said Monday he was “leaning toward” running GI Kentucky Derby winner Country House (Lookin at Lucky) in the Preakness.

“We’re leaning toward the Preakness, since he is the Derby winner and we don’t want to pooh-pooh the Triple Crown,” Mott said. “We want to support that. If he’s real good and continues to do well with no issues, not worn out, all those good things, we’ll keep pecking away and going in that direction. If there’s anything we don’t like as we get into the weekend or early next week, we won’t feel–I don’t feel–a lot of pressure to run him, and talking to the ownership group, I don’t think they’ll put on a lot of pressure, if I’m not happy with him for some reason.”

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