Preakness Stakes 2021: News and Notes from Pimlico

Chris Adams

The 2021 Preakness Stakes is this Saturday at Pimlico. This year will have a different feel as the focus will be on the recent news surrounding Medina Spirit.

The Preakness

The Preakness, named for the first stakes winner at Pimlico, is the 2nd leg of the Triple Crown. It is run at a mile and 3/16ths or 9 1/2 furlongs on dirt for three-year-old horses. While this year’s field is shaping up to be all males the race is eligible for female horses. Although this is fairly infrequent, last year’s victor was a filly named Swiss Skydiver.

2021 Preakness Stakes Headlines

Bob Baffert

The big headline coming into the Preakness is the positive drug test for Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit. Churchill Downs immediately put a ban on any Bob Baffert trained horse which extends to his assistant trainers.

If Pimlico upholds the suspension it would eliminate Medina Spirit from competing. However, Baffert also planned to run Concert Tour, winner of the Rebel Stakes (G1). If Pimlico enforces the ban it could eliminate him as well.

Baffert has threatened a restraining order against Pimlico should they apply the suspension to the Preakness.

Post Draw

While Pimlico sorts out the Medina Spirit nightmare, they have moved the post draw back a day. The Preakness draw will now happen on Tuesday.

First Arrival

France Go De Ina was the first Preakness runner to arrive on the grounds. The shipper comes from Japan by way of Meydan Race Course.

Derby Rematch

The Preakness is scheduled to host a handful of returners from the Kentucky Derby. Keepmeinmind, Midnight Bourbon, and Medina Spirit are all listed as probable for the race.

New Shooters

One of the things that makes winning a Triple Crown so difficult is the fact that horses are not required to run all three. This year there are a number of horses that are pointing toward Preakness runs after skipping the Derby.

This includes two Chad Brown horses (Crowded Trade and Risk Taking), a highly touted Todd Pletcher colt named Unbridled Honor, and Blue Grass Stakes third place finisher Rombauer.

As previously mentioned Concert Tour for Bob Baffert also looks formidable provided he is permitted to run.

Slow Going in the Preakness?

The pace of the race will certainly be a puzzle. Medina Spirit won the Derby on the lead with little pressure and was able to have the race his own way.

Confirmed speed types like Caddo River and Rock Your World are skipping this race. Midnight Bourbon who has shown speed before, didn’t have a lick of it in the Derby.

It seems like the only thing preventing Medina Spirit from getting a similar could be a blitz from stalemate Concert Tour. Often trainers with 2 horses in the race will avoid sending two horses out with the exact same tactical instructions.

Further Preakness Coverage

Betting News will continue to provide updates throughout Preakness week including an exclusive betting guide with strategies for all budgets.

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