Bodexpress runs without jockey John Velazquez during the Preakness Stakes on Saturday. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

War of Will may have crossed the wire first at the Preakness Stakes, but the real winner was clear: Bodexpress.

The 3-year-old colt bucked jockey John Velazquez coming out of the starting gate, then captured the hearts and minds of those watching the Preakness when he ran the dang race without a rider.

Bodexpress galloped on the outside of the pack early in the race, perhaps rooting on his horse friends. After the finish, he just ran around for a while longer, because, why not?

Do we not all desire freedom? Do we not all wish to buck the troubles off our backs? Do we not all wish to live our days unencumbered by extra baggage, such as human beings literally clinging to our sprinting bodies?

Eventually an outrider corralled the horse after giving chase for a couple minutes. And luckily, Valazquez was unharmed.

“He was just not behaving good in the gate,” Valazquez said on NBC’s broadcast. “I’m good. Just disappointed.”

You know who was not disappointed? Twitter. Twitter loves Bodexpress. Twitter has anointed Bodexpress. Twitter identifies with Bodexpress.

Back to reality for a moment: Bodexpress is officially listed as a “DNF” — did not finish — in the race. A horse can’t win a race without a rider.

Here are a bunch of looks at Bodexpress shedding his jockey.


(Mike Stewart/AP Photo)

(Will Newton/Getty Images)

(Nick Wass/AP Photo)

(Will Newton/Getty Images)

(Patrick Semansky/AP Photo)

Okay. Back to Twitter.

Bodexpress: the people’s champion.

Read more:

War of Will wins the Preakness Stakes

On Preakness Day at Pimlico some bathrooms aren’t working, highlighting track’s rundown condition

Horse dies at Pimlico after finishing race on the day before Preakness

A horse died at Santa Anita on the same day another died at Pimlico