The stars of yesterday’s Preakness race were not the winning horse and jockey but the loose horse and pursuing outrider team.
Bodexpress ran the entire race without his jockey, John Valezquez, unceremoniously dumped at the starting gate. A loose horse on the track is incredibly dangerous and fortune smiled at Pimlico on Saturday when Bodexpress ran outside the other horses. The end of the race did not end the potential for disaster. Unlike the horses with riders who pulled up after the finish line, Bodexpress continued running another 1 3/16 miles.
Unaware the horse was still loose, people began crossing the track toward the winner’s circle at which point Bodexpress chose to turn and run back toward the crowd. But outrider, Kaymarie Kreidel was having none of that. Kreidel and her off-the-track TB, Witch Hunter, wove through the crowd toward Bodexpress, catching him after several attempts.
“He was playing games,” she told a reporter of Bodexpress. “…I was the party pooper.”
Kreidel knows the track, having worked as a jockey for 16 years and outrider the past 17. Outriders are important at all tracks as they help maintain a level of safety. The job requires excellent riding skills, focus, determination and a good horse to help contain dangerous situations – like a loose horse.
Kreidel was quick to credit her horse and his understanding of his job at the track explaining that he gets mad when he can’t catch a loose horse.
“They love it – these ponies, once they learn this job they love it. It’s just like being a racehorse- they take pride in winning a race and these guys take pride in catching a horse,” she said.
All in a day’s work, Kreidel and Hunter were not done for the day. Following the Preakness, they returned to the track for the final race.
The winner of the 2019 Preakness was War of Will.
Feature Photo by Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun
Text Photos by Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun