Florida-bred colt's status is a question mark . . .
BALTIMORE - Zedan Racing Stables’ Medina Spirit, who upset 18 rivals in the now-controversial Kentucky Derby at odds of 12-1, was installed at 9-5 in the morning line for Saturday’s 146th Preakness Stakes following the post-position draw at Pimlico Race Course.
The Florida-bred son of Protonico, under investigation for a too-high, microscopic dose of a non-banned medication in the Derby, drew Post. No. 3, and is scheduled to face nine other 3-year-olds in the 1 3/16-mile Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. He has been entered under 'rigorous conditions' and it is not yet clear if he will be allowed to run.
Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, who was aboard for Medina Spirit’s front-running half-length decision at Churchill Downs, was awarded the return mount by Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who has won the Preakness a record seven times, most notably with Triple Crown winners American Pharoah (2015) and Justify (2018).
Gary and Mary West’s Concert Tour, who incurred his first loss in four starts while finishing third in the Arkansas Derby last time out, will also represent Baffert in the Preakness after skipping the Kentucky Derby. The home-bred son of Street Sense, who will be ridden by Mike Smith for the first time, was rated second in the morning line at 5-2 after drawing Post. No. 10.
The $1 million Preakness will headline a program featuring 10 stakes, six of them graded, worth $2.25 million in purses.
Winchell Thoroughbred’s Midnight Bourbon will remain on the Triple Crown Trail after finishing a troubled sixth in the Kentucky Derby, 8 ½ lengths behind Medina Spirit. The son of Tiznow is rated third in the morning line at 5-1 and will break from Post No. 5.
Midnight Bourbon finished second in the Louisiana Derby prior to his Derby run. Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen has enjoyed success in the Preakness Stakes, saddling Curlin and the filly Rachel Alexandra for victories in 2007 and 2009, respectively. Irad Ortiz Jr., the defending three-time Eclipse Award winner, is scheduled to ride Midnight Bourbon for the first time.
Chad Brown, who won the 2017 Preakness with Cloud Computing, will saddle Klaravich Stable’s Crowded Trade and Risk Taking in search of his second success in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. Crowded Trade, who finished third in the Wood Memorial last time out, is rated at 10-1 in the morning line, while Risk Taking, who won the Withers before finishing a disappointing seventh in the Wood, is rated at 15-1. Crowded Trade drew Post No. 4, while Risk Taking will break from Post No. 9.
John and Diane Fradkin’s Rombauer, who most recently finished third in the Blue Grass, has been shipped from Southern California. The son of Twirling Candy, who is rated at 12-1 in the morning line, earned a fees-paid berth by capturing the ‘Win & In’ El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields on Feb. 13. Rombauer will break from Post No. 6.
Trainer Todd Pletcher, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year, will seek his first Preakness victory with Whisper Hill Farm’s Unbridled Honor. The son of Honor Code, who finished second in the Lexington at Keeneland last time out, was rated at 15-1 in the morning line after drawing Post No. 8.
Cypress Creek Equine, Arnold Bennewith and Spendthrift Farm's Keepmeinmind will join Medina Spirit and Midnight Bourbon as the only horses in the starting gate that ran in the Kentucky Derby. The son of Laoban trailed the Derby field before closing well to finish seventh. The Robertino Diodoro-trained colt, who has been winless in three starts this year after winning the Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill last fall, is rated at 15-1 in the morning line and will break from Post. No. 2.
Yuji Inaida’s France Go de Ina, who raced three times in Japan before finishing sixth in the March 27 UAE Derby in Dubai, is rated at 20-1 in the morning line and will break from Post No. 7. The son of Will Take Charge will go to post five years after Japan-based Lani finished fifth in 2016.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who has saddled six Preakness winners during his Hall of Fame career, will be represented by Ram, who is slated to make his stakes debut following back-to-back victories in a $50,000 maiden claiming race at Oaklawn Park and an allowance race at Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Derby undercard. Christina Baker and William Mack’s son of American Pharoah was rated at 30-1 in the morning line after drawing the Post No. 1.