Medina Spirit was known as the horse that had never been passed, until the home stretch of the Preakness Stakes.
The wire-to-wire winner of the Kentucky Derby, who was cleared to participate in the Preakness after a controversial week over a post-victory failed drug test, held the lead from the start until the final turn. That’s where the horse’s quest for the Triple Crown came to an end after first being passed by Midnight Bourbon, and then by Rombauer, who came from behind to charge ahead of both co-favorites in the stretch and win the 146th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.
Rombauer, which entered with 11-1 odds, won by 3 1/2 lengths over second-place Midnight Bourbon, and finished 5 1/2 lengths ahead of third-place Medina Spirit.
Rombauer qualified for the Preakness after winning the El Camino Real Derby in February, a “Win & You’re In” event. The colt went on to play Preakness spoiler, finishing first in the 10-horse field to capture the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.
That ended what had been a tumultuous two weeks since the Kentucky Derby victory for Medina Spirit and trainer Bob Baffert, whose record-breaking seventh Derby victory remains in question.
Medina Spirit tested positive for betamethasone, a steroid that is legal but must clear the horse’s system prior to the race. Baffert initially denied the use of betamethasone before acknowledging that a veterinarian-recommended anti-fungal ointment Otomax, which contains the steroid, was used on Medina Spirit to treat dermatitis. Medina Spirit was permitted to run in the Preakness after Baffert agreed to “rigorous testing and monitoring” that included three rounds of clean drug testing.
Baffert, who Churchill Downs suspended indefinitely from the track following Medina Spirit’s positive test, opted not to be in attendance for the Preakness so as not to be a distraction on race day.
Medina Spirit -- which opened as a 9-5 morning line favorite and entered the race as co-favorite with Midnight Bourbon at 5-2 odds -- got off to a fast start before running out of gas down the stretch en route to a third-place finish..
Concert Tour, a Baffert-trained horse that entered the Preakness with 7-2 odds, finished second to last.
2021 Preakness Stakes Results
6 - Rombauer Win: $25.60 Place: $10.00 Show: $5.20
5 - Midnight Bourbon Place: $4.60 Show: $3.00
3 - Medina Spirit Show: $2.80
$2.00 Exacta 6-5 $98.60
$1.00 Trifecta 6-5-3 $162.70
$1.00 Superfecta 6-5-3-2 $1,025.50
2021 Preakness Stakes Order of Finish
6 - Rombauer
5 - Midnight Bourbon
3 - Medina Spirit
2 - Keepmeinmind
4 - Crowded Trade
8 - Unbridled Honor
7 - France Go De Ina
9 - Risk Taking
10 - Concert Tour
1 - Ram
The Belmont Stakes will be held on June 5 at Belmont Park.
Mike Gavin contributed to this story