Rombauer springs big Preakness upset, Medina Spirit third

Sports

Flavien Prat atop Rombauer reacts as he crosses the finish line to win the Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Course, Saturday, May 15, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

BALTIMORE (AP) — Rombauer romped to an 11-1 upset victory in the Preakness on Saturday, denying Bob Baffert-trained Kentucky Derby winner Medina Sprint the chance at a Triple Crown that would have come with a giant asterisk.

Medina Spirit finished third in the 1 3/16-mile race and was passed for the first time in his career after going off as the 2-1 favorite. All eyes were on Medina Spirit after he failed a post-Derby drug test for the presence of the steroid betamethasone.

Midnight Bourbon, who was 3-1, was second. Keepmeinmind was fourth and Baffert-trained Concert Tour ninth in the 10-horse field.

Rombauer busted the bias of horses hugging the rail, going past Midnight Bourbon and Medina Spirit down the stretch and winning by 3 1/2 lengths.

Jockey Flavien Prat won the Preakness two years after being elevated to the Derby winner aboard Country House when Maximum Security was disqualified.

Trainer Michael McCarthy won his first Triple Crown race and captured the Preakness before Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, for whom he worked as an assistant before opening his own barn.

Rombauer is owned by John and Diane Fradkin, a far cry from Medina Spirit’s Zedan Racing Stables and other horse racing conglomerates. He won for the third time in seven starts.

McCarthy said this week Rombauer’s best weapon was between his ears and that his colt was training well. But few picked the long shot to win the Preakness, which was run in front of 10,000 fans at Pimlico Race Course.

Baffert was not in attendance, staying away because of the controversy with Medina Spirit, who still could be disqualified from the Derby.

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