BALTIMORE (AP) — Rombauer left Medina Spirit behind — and put horse racing’s newest controversy on the again burner.
Little-known Rombauer sprung an 11-1 upset to win the Preakness on Saturday, passing Bob Baffert’s Kentucky Derby winner to finish a possible Triple Crown bid that might have carried an enormous asterisk.
Medina Spirit completed third and won’t go on to the Belmont with a Triple Crown on the road and a possible Derby disqualification hanging over the game.
“Somewhat dissatisfied, however we’ll go on from right here,” mentioned assistant coach Jimmy Barnes, who saddled the horses in Baffert’s absence.
Baffert was not current at Pimlico Race Course, opting to remain away due to the controversy surrounding Medina Spirit, who examined optimistic for the steroid betamethasone in post-Derby testing. He mentioned in a spotlight-stealing assertion hours earlier than the race: “As we speak is just not about Bob Baffert. As a substitute it’s about Medina Spirit and all the different equine athletes in our great sport.”
All the main focus nonetheless was on 2-1 favourite Medina Spirit, Baffert and his different Preakness runner, Live performance Tour, who went off at 4-1. Medina Spirit was handed for the primary time in his profession by Rombauer, who received by 3 1/2 lengths over second-place Midnight Bourbon.
“I needed to come out working to get my place,” mentioned Medina Spirit jockey John Velazquez, who fell to 0 for 11 within the Preakness. “I knew that he was going to be pressed in the present day. I hoped that he wouldn’t overdo it, and we did.”
Live performance Tour was a disappointing ninth in a 10-horse area.
“I’m perplexed,” mentioned Live performance Tour jockey Mike Smith, who left Midnight Bourbon after the Derby to journey Baffert’s different Preakness horse. “He simply wasn’t going anyplace.”
Maryland racing officers required Live performance Tour and Medina Spirit to endure extra testing and monitoring as circumstances to run within the Preakness. These three rounds of exams got here again Friday, clearing them to race. Not one of the different horses have been topic to that stage of scrutiny, which got here out of the scenario at Churchill Downs and Baffert’s 4 different remedy violations over the previous 13 months with different horses.
That was put aside for no less than the 1:34.78 it took for Rombauer to accomplished the 1 3/16-mile race, paying $26.50 to win, $10 to put and $5.20 to indicate.
“He broke as anticipated and I assumed he put sufficient strain on Medina Spirit to make it a horse race after which he ended up second,” Midnight Bourbon coach Steve Asmussen mentioned. “He confirmed up. He’s bettering. And he’s not there but, all on the identical time.”
Midnight Bourbon was sixth within the Kentucky Derby behind Medina Spirit, whose victory nonetheless hangs within the stability with a second take a look at but to be analyzed. It’s unclear how lengthy that may take.
Coach Michael McCarthy received a Triple Crown race for the primary time and captured the Preakness earlier than Corridor of Famer Todd Pletcher, for whom he labored as an assistant earlier than opening his personal barn. Pletcher gave McCarthy a bear hug after the race.
Rombauer is owned by John and Diane Fradkin, a far cry from Medina Spirit’s Zedan Racing Stables and different horse racing conglomerates. He received for the third time in seven begins.
McCarthy choked again tears whereas speaking about everybody concerned with Rombauer.
“Means loads to be right here, take part on a day like this,” he mentioned. “Blissful for the Fradkins. Simply goes to indicate you that small gamers within the recreation will be profitable, as effectively.”
Rombauer busted the bias of horses hugging the rail on the grime at Pimlico Race Course all day, going previous Midnight Bourbon and Medina Spirit down the stretch and profitable by 3 1/2 lengths.
Jockey Flavien Prat received the Preakness two years after being elevated to the Derby winner aboard Nation Home when Most Safety was disqualified.
“In fact it’s loads totally different if you cross the wire first: You get that feeling,” Prat mentioned. “It’s plenty of pleasure.”
With the standard pleasure changed by chatter about Baffert and medicine violations, the Preakness was run in entrance of a restricted capability of 10,000 followers, a fraction of the group of 100,000-plus that sometimes packs Pimlico on the third Saturday in Could. Masks have been nonetheless required due to metropolis and monitor protocols.
This was a brief turnaround from the 2020 Preakness, which was run final fall because the third leg of the Triple Crown with no followers allowed.
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