The 2021 Triple Crown roster looked average at best during the prep season. This was confirmed with the result in the Preakness. With two long shots winning the first 2 legs of the Triple Crown it seems as though this crop of horses has a lot left to prove.
2021 Preakness Stakes Race Recap
With far fewer horses than the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness is less likely to produce significant trouble from the gate. However, the break was close to immaculate with the only horse starting noticeably slow was confirmed closer Keepmeinmind.
The lead was immediately grabbed by Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit. Midnight Bourbon settled in just off his flank in a close second and Mike Smith took Concert Tour in a hold for third.
Crowded Trade and France Go De Ina sat just off the front three with the latter noticeably begging his jockey to loosen the reigns and let him run.
The First Turn
With the top 5 clearly established most of the remaining horses in the Preakness sat in a tight bunch just in behind. The back of the field was brought up by Unbridled Honor and Keepmeinmind who looked to close into a fast pace.
The pace was 23 and 3/5th seconds which is brisk, but reasonable for horses of this caliber at the distance.
As they raced up the backstretch leader Medina Spirit posted the 2nd call in 46 4/5 seconds quickening from the first call. It seemed as though Velazquez was concerned about a dead rail path or Midnight Bourbon to his outside as he took Medina Spirit several paths out.
Joel Rosario aboard France Go De Ina noticed the opening and attempted to repeat Swiss Skydiver’s move from 2020 where she made a middle move up the rail that took the horses by surprise. It was the last stand for the Japanese invader who failed to progress through the opening and failed to menace the remainder of the race.
Meanwhile, Rombauer was making quiet progress between horses.
The Far Turn
As they entered the far turn of the 2021 Preakness, the front runners remained unchanged. Concert Tour in the second flight was proving that he is unratable and began doing the moonwalk midway around the turn.
Once Rombauer put a nose in front of France Go De Ina he became and emboldened and found another gear accelerating toward the leaders.
Crowded Trade was being scrubbed on hard, but making little progress. Keepmeinmind started making a bid that paled in comparison to the McCarthy trainee, Rombauer but started to advance mildly.
The Preakness Stretch Run
Medina Spirit and Midnight Bourbon were shoulder to shoulder and looked to have a stretch duel on their hands. The lighter framed Medina Spirit conceded and Midnight Bourbon ground his way past putting to bed any concern about the legacy of the Derby DQ impacting the Triple Crown.
As Midnight Bourbon fought on Rombauer loomed, gobbling up ground with every stride. At the 1/8th pole, the Michael McCarthy trainee shot passed Midnight Bourbon and Irad Ortiz Jr. for an easy victory.
The three Kentucky Derby runners finished 2nd, 3rd, and 4th as Midnight Bourbon held for second. Medina Spirit dropped to third in the late stages while Keepmeinmind finished his minor late kick passing Crowded Trade for fourth.
- Win: $25.60
- Place: $10
- Show: $5.20
- Place: $4.60
- Show: $3
- 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
- $2.00 Black-Eyed Susan/Preakness Double 1-6 $137.00
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Historical Significance of the 2021 Preakness
The 2021 Preakness had a couple of noteworthy historical outcomes.
- Rombauer became the first horse since the 1800s to earn his first dirt victory in the Preakness. His previous victories came on turf and the synthetic surface at Golden Gate Fields.
- Rombauer was also a new shooter meaning he did not run in the Kentucky Derby. He joins Cloud Computing (2017), Bernardini (2006), and Red Bullet (2000) as the only colts since 2000 to win the Preakness after skipping the Derby.
- Swiss Skydiver (2020) and Rachel Alexandra (2009) also accomplished this feat as fillies running against the boys in their Preakness victories.
- Another cool story is the trainer of Rombauer, Mike McCarthy. The trainer has been a top trainer in California with a much smaller stable than some of the more recognizable names in the sport.
- Although he has some incredible horses in the past such as Pegasus winner City of Light and Apple Blossom champion Ce Ce, this was his first horse in a Triple Crown race. He now officially holds a 100% win percentage in Triple Crown races.
On to the Belmont Stakes
The racing world now turns its eyes to the Belmont Stakes in New York. Rombauer is already pointed there and will meet a number of foes who have been pointing to the Belmont since either leaving the Road to the Kentucky Derby or competing in the run for the roses before skipping the Preakness.
Betting News will continue to provide extensive coverage of the Triple Crown and racing across the country throughout the summer.