There will be no Triple Crown in horse racing this year, since the 2019 Kentucky Derby winner Country House will not be participating in Saturday's Preakness Stakes in Baltimore. It is the first time since 1996 that the Derby winner will not be racing at Pimilco Race Course.
Country House's trainer, Bill Mott, said the horse will not race in the Preakness just three days after the Derby, citing an illness.
"He developed a little bit of a cough this morning," Mott told Daily Racing Form on May 7. "He appetite is good. He doesn't have a fever. But he's coughing. We drew blood. He's acting like he's going to get sick. He's off the training list, and if he's off the training list he's off the Preakness list."
Mott continued, "It's probably a little viral thing. Hopefully it doesn't develop into anything serious. Usually when something like this happens a horse misses a couple weeks of training. He's not seriously sick right now. But he's showing indications that something is going on."
It's not clear when Country House will run again. This week, assistant trainer Kenny McCarthy said the horse was ready for "some light training" after he was examined at the Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky.
Country House won the Kentucky Derby on May 4 in stunning fashion. Maximum Security crossed the finish line first, but was disqualified after the race because he veered into other horses' lanes, pushing the field further from the inside track. The judge ruled that it cost horses War of Will and Long Range Toddy better finishes. Since Country House finished second, the horse and jockey Flavien Prat were declared the new winner.
Notably, Maximum Security is also not participating in the Preakness. Ben Glass, the racing manager for owners Gary and Mary West, said the horse suffered abrasions on his hind legs during the Derby.
"If he’s not cut up in the hind legs, we probably would have gone to the Preakness," Glass told Horse Racing Nation.
The last horse to win the Kentucky Derby then miss the Preakness was Grindestone, who won the Derby in 1996. The horse was forced to retire early after bone chips were found in his knees, reports CBS Sports.
The Triple Crown of thoroughbred horse racing starts with the Kentucky Derby, then the Preakness Stakes and finishes with the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York. There have only been 13 Triple Crown winners since the first in 1919, and there was a drought between 1978 and 2015. The last two winners were American Pharoah in 2015 and Justify in 2018.0comments
The Preakness Stakes starts at 6:48 p.m. ET on NBC.
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