Two weeks after his brave win in the 147th Kentucky Derby (G1), MEDINA SPIRIT, the once $1,000 yearling purchase, goes for the second jewel of the Triple Crown May 15 in the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico.
This year’s Preakness is tarnished for the moment, even before its running, as Medina Spirit was found to have traces of betamethasone, an allowed medication but with a 14-day withdrawal time, in his blood following the Derby.
The Bob Baffert-trained colt has gone through three stages of testing already heading into Saturday’s racing and reportedly the first two have come back clean.
Owned by Zedan Racing, Medina Spirit heads a modest field of 10 for the 1 3/16 mile Preakness and anything close to his Derby performance gets him the win two weeks back.
1- CROWDED TRADE; 2- MEDINA SPIRIT; 3- UNBRIDLED HONOR
Per the condition of entry agreement into Preakness 146 between the Maryland Jockey Club and trainer Bob Baffert reached earlier this week, Baffert-trained horses Medina Spirit, Concert Tour and Beautiful Gift underwent three rounds of out-of-competition blood sample testing. The Maryland Racing Commission (MRC) took two samples, one on May 6th and the other on May 10th. A third sample was taken by 1/ST RACING and the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) on May 11th
Samples drawn on May 6th and May 10th by the MRC were sent to Industrial Laboratories in Colorado while the samples drawn by 1/ST RACING and MJC on May 11th were sent to the University of California at Davis Maddy Laboratory.
The May 6th samples were screened for both prohibited and therapeutic substances and were reported clear for all horses on May 13th by Industrial Laboratories.
Results for the May 10th and May 11th samples will be available on Friday, May 14th and are expected by 3:00 pm ET in advance of the George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (GII) for which Beautiful Gift is currently entered. The outcome of those results will be announced publicly by 1/ST RACING and MJC upon receipt.
The Preakness is race 13 on Saturday with a post time of 6:47 p.m.
MEDINA SPIRIT’s last three Beyer Speed Figures according to Daily Racing Form are 102, 94, 95 and he has won three of six races. The son of Protnico will be ridden again by John Velazquez.
CONCERT TOUR, also trained by Baffert, skipped the Derby and he won the first three races of his career before fading to third in the Arkansas Derby (G1). Mike Smith rides.
MIDNIGHT BOURBON did well to come on for 6th in the Derby after a troubled start that left him well back in the field early.
CROWDED TRADE looks like a good bet from the Chad Brown stable. The More Than Ready colt by-passed the Derby and he was third in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 3 and a close second in the Grade 3 Gotham in his second career race.
Calgary, Alberta-born Robertino Diodoro trains KEEPMEINMIND who was seventh in the Derby. Todd Pletcher has never won a Preakness Stakes and he sends out UNBRIDLED HONOR, a grey stretch-running colt by Honor Code who was second in the Lexington Stakes on April 10.
Saturday, Pimlico, post time: 6:47 p.m. EDT
PREAKNESS S.-GI, $1,000,000, 3yo, 1 3/16m
PP HORSE SIRE OWNER TRAINER JOCKEY ML
1 Ram, K American Pharoah Baker, Christina and Mack, William L. Lukas Santana, Jr. 30-1
2 Keepmeinmind, Laoban Cypress Creek Equine, Bennewith, Arnold and Diodoro Cohen 15-1
Spendthrift Farm LLC
3 Medina Spirit, Protonico Zedan Racing Stables Baffert Velazquez 9-5
4 Crowded Trade, K More Than Ready Klaravich Stables, Inc. Brown Castellano 10-1
5 Midnight Bourbon, K Tiznow Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC Asmussen Ortiz, Jr. 5-1
6 Rombauer, Twirling Candy Fradkin, John and Fradkin, Diane McCarthy Prat 12-1
7 France Go de Ina, K Will Take Charge Yuji Inaida Mori Rosario 20-1
8 Unbridled Honor, Honor Code Whisper Hill Farm, LLC Pletcher Saez 15-1
9 Risk Taking, K Medaglia d’Oro Klaravich Stables, Inc. Brown Ortiz 15-1
10 Concert Tour, Street Sense West, Gary and West, Mary Baffert Smith 5-2
Breeders: 1-Michael Edward Connelly, 2-Southern Equine Stables, LLC, 3-Gail Rice, 4-Forging Oaks LLC, 5-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC, 6-John Fradkin & Diane Fradkin, 7-Betz, Kidder, B & K Canetti & Jim Betz, 8-Whisper Hill Farm, LLC, 9-G. Watts Humphrey Jr., 10-Gary & Mary West Stables
Associated Press report here.