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There will be no Triple Crown winner in 2021, and I think many racing fans figured that would be the case due to overall the parity of this crop. Medina Spirit wired the field in the Kentucky Derby and the top four finishers were separated by a length or so. The nine furlong preps and the Derby itself showed how evenly matched these sophomores were.

In the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday, May 15, Derby hero Medina Spirit once again too command early, but Midnight Bourbon, a troubled 6th under the Twin Spires, got a clean beginning and never let the Baffert trainee out of his sights. Those two dominated the pace picture, and my top choice Midnight Bourbon took a short lead in the stretch, but it would not last.

Rombauer stalked the pace under Flavien Prat, and he came after Midnight Bourbon in the lane and kicked away late to score by 3+ lengths. Midnight Bourbon was a clear 2nd and Medina Spirit was best of the rest in 3rd. Keepmeinmind was up for 4th and Crowded Trade completed the top five. Unbridled Honor, France Go de Ina, Risk Taking, Concert Tour, and Ram also ran.

It is on to the Belmont Stakes an a field of 13 is shaping up at this early stage, but won’t include Midnight Bourbon or Medina Spirit.

Rombauer will try to make it two straight in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 5, but the Mike McCarthy trainee will have to do it without his Preakness pilot Prat, who jumps over to Hot Rod Charlie in the Test of Champions. John Velazquez has accepted the Belmont Stakes mount on Rombauer.

In addition to Hot Rod Charlie and Rombauer, the Belmont Stakes is expected to include Bourbonic, upset winner of the Wood Memorial; Remsen hero Brooklyn Strong; 2-year-old champ Essential Quality; France Go de Ina, unplaced in the Preakness; Arkansas Derby 4th place finisher Get Her Number; Keepmeinmind, most recently 4th in the Preakness; Florida Derby hero Known Agenda; Overtook and Promise Keeper, 3rd and 1st respectively in the Peter Pan Stakes; impressive UAE Derby winner Rebel’s Romance; and front running SA Derby winner Rock Your World.

​Article by Jarrod Horak

Jarrod Horak

Jarrod Horak posts stakes recaps from Del Mar and Santa Anita Park, along with full card recaps and free stakes picks from Southern and/or Northern California.