There will be no Triple Crown bid in three weeks thanks to Rombauer as Medina’s Spirit’s fate was decided on the racetrack before it could in the testing lab.
The Michael McCarthy trained Rombauer came with a strong late rally to win by 3 ½ lengths in an impressive win under jockey Flavien Prat. The colt paid $25.60 to win.
The Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit set the early fractions with Midnight Bourbon pressing through fractions of :23.77, :46.93 and 1:10.97. It was a brisk but sensible pace.
Midnight Bourbon got by Medina Spirit and looked like the winner, but Rombauer came storming down the stretch and rolled on by. The $2 exacta with Midnight Bourbon returned $98.60.
“At the three-and-a-half furlong pole I saw some horses around him moving and not really going anywhere,” McCarthy said. “Coming to the quarter pole, I started to get a little excited. The two horses in front of him were traveling well. At the eighth pole, I’ve said it before, it was like an out-of-body experience.”
McCarthy is a former top assistant to Todd Pletcher, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year and it was his first win in a Triple Crown race.
Rombauer stamped his ticket to the Preakness by winning the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields in February. The son of Twirling Candy then ran third in the Toyota Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland and his connections elected to bypass the Kentucky Derby in favor of waiting for the Preakness.
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2021 Preakness Stakes Replay
There were no excuses for Midnight Bourbon, who was expected to be close to the lead in the Derby, but a bad break left him in mid pack. He showed plenty of improvement in the Preakness.
“He changed leads and did everything right,” his rider Irad Ortiz Jr. said after the race. “Off the turn, I asked him for run and he took off. ‘If they gonna beat me today, somebody really gonna have to come running.’ And that was Flavien [Prat], flying on the outside. My horse ran great, he just got beat.”
The biggest disappointment of the race was Baffert’s Concert Tour. Sent off as the third choice, the colt faded to finish a well beaten ninth.
Baffert started four runners over the two days and they all disappointed. Beautiful Gift checked in seventh as the 2-1 favorite in Friday’s Black Eyed Susan (G2). In the Preakness Day opener Baffert’s Hozier was sent off as the 3-5 chalk in the Sir Barton and was beaten a head.
Matt Hegarty of The Daily Racing Form reported that handle for the day was up more than 10% over 2019 and wagering set an all-time record with $68.69 million bet on the day.
Preakness Stakes Payoffs
6 -Rombauer 25.60 10.00 5.20
5 -Midnight Bourbon 4.60 3.00
3 -Medina Spirit 2.80
$1 EXACTA 6-5 PAID $49.30
$1 SUPERFECTA 6-5-3-2 $1,025.50
$1 TRIFECTA 6-5-3 PAID $162.70