Rombauer takes shock victory at Preakness Stakes: NPR

Jockey Flavien Prat, # 6, on Rombauer, celebrates the 146th round of the Preakness Stakes on the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore on Saturday. Patrick Smith / Getty Images Hide caption

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Patrick Smith / Getty Images

Jockey Flavien Prat, # 6, on Rombauer, celebrates the 146th round of the Preakness Stakes on the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore on Saturday.

Patrick Smith / Getty Images

Rombauer fought against two top competitors and won the 146th Preakness Stakes on the Pimlico Race Course in sunshine Baltimore on Saturday.

Midnight Bourbon, who took off with 3: 1, and a contested Medina Spirit (2: 1) alternately led the pack until Rombauer achieved a clear lead with 11: 1 in the last section. Midnight Bourbon came second, followed by Medina Spirit.

Jockey Flavien Prat’s preakness triumph comes two years after winning the Kentucky Derby Riding Country House after a competitor was disqualified.

This win “feels different,” said Prat after the win.

“What a feeling,” said the driver and thanked the groom and the ponying team for keeping a wild Rombauer under control before the race.

It is Michael McCarthy’s first Preakness win. He managed to beat his former employer, the newly minted Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher.

“I’m so proud of this horse, everyone involved,” said an emotional McCarthy. “It just shows that even small players can be successful at the game.”

Medina Spirit is allowed to run in preakness amid the controversy over the failed drug test

The Kentucky Derby winner fails the drug test and renews the exam for coach Bob Baffert

The surprise win distracts attention from the controversy surrounding Medina Spirit trainer Bob Baffert, whose loss destroys his chance for the triple Triple Crown title. Baffert’s Kentucky Derby win earlier this month is in jeopardy after his fifth horse failed a drug test in a year. On Preakness Day, Medina Spirit completed additional tests for the run. But Baffert, who said his presence would be a distraction on the exam, was a no-show.

The surprise means that no horse will win a Triple Crown this year.

Due to the pandemic, the capacity was limited to 10,000 people – only 10% of the normal number of visitors to the event – including the infield which is normally fully occupied. Pimlico upheld his masking mandate, as did Baltimore, although Maryland lifted its mask-wearing protocol.

The Belmont Stakes, the final stop of the three races at the Triple Crown, will take place on June 5th in Elmont, NY

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