Medina Spirit Would Face Mostly Newcomers in Preakness

www.bloodhorse.com
5 min read
fairly easy
The morning after the May 1 Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs, participating trainers were reluctant to immediately commit their horses to the May 15 Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course.
The morning after the May 1 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) at Churchill Downs, participating trainers were reluctant to immediately commit their horses to face Derby winner Medina Spirit in the May 15 Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course.

Many of the 18 horses that finished behind Zedan Racing Stables' son of Protonico are expected to bypass the second leg of the Triple Crown. Decisions on the select Derby starters still under consideration for the 1 3/16-mile classic may not be made until next weekend after they have resumed training for a few days.

That leaves most of Medina Spirit's likely competition, at this early juncture, to be new shooters to the Triple Crown. Among these are probable starters Crowded Trade and Rombauer , colts that had the necessary qualifying points to gain entry in the Derby, but whose connections opted to await the Preakness instead.

The Bob Baffert-trained Medina Spirit could also face competition from within his own stable. Gary and Mary West's Concert Tour , third as the favorite in last month's Arkansas Derby (G1), remains under consideration for the Preakness after breezing five furlongs Sunday in 1:00 3/5 at Churchill Downs.

"He worked well this morning," Baffert said before the media throng assembled outside Barn 33. "(I need to) sit down and talk to Mr. West. He wants that horse to develop, don't get in a rush with things. We know he's a really good horse."

Concert Tour won the March 13 Rebel Stakes (G2) on the lead, a style Medina Spirit utilized successfully in the Derby, but Baffert appeared to suggest he would not let their similar styles preclude him from running both 3-year-olds.

"We just want to look at them, see how they're training. They have to be doing really well," Baffert indicated.

The Hall of Fame trainer has notched seven Preakness victories, matching his total from the Derby. He is the winningest trainer in both races.

Six of his seven Preakness wins came with horses that won…
Byron King
Read full article