Underdog Rombauer Wins Preakness Stakes

The big story at Maryland’s Pimlico Race Course all week was Bob Baffert and the status of his horses Medina Spirit and Concert Tour for the Preakness Stakes. By now everyone knows the backstory–Baffert’s Medina Spirit won the Kentucky Derby but failed a postrace drug test. Kentucky racing officials have taken steps to validate the sample but in the meantime Baffert’s status for the Preakness was in serious doubt. Ultimately, it looks as if the powers that run horse racing in Maryland decided that it wasn’t worth a costly and messy legal fight to keep Baffert’s horses on the sidelines.

They did receive some vindication as neither horse turned in a particularly memorable performance. Medina Spirit faded late settling for a well beaten third behind second place Midnight Bourbon. Concert Tour was downright awful leaving veteran jockey Mike Smith without any explanation and saying that his mount ‘didn’t participate at all down the backstretch.’. The winner of the race was 11-1 underdog Rombauer Rombauer is owned by John and Diane Fradkin and trained by former Todd Pletcher assistant Michael McCarthy. It was McCarthy’s first victory in a Triple Crown race and he was clearly excited:

“Means a lot to be here, participate on a day like this. Happy for the Fradkins. Just goes to show you that small players in the game can be successful, as well.”

Rombauer’s jockey Flavian Prat indicated that his horse ran strong throughout the race:

“I was pretty confident going to the three-eighths pole. I was behind the two favorites in the race and I was traveling well. I thought if he switched leads and give me a good kick, I might be able to run them down.”

For now, no word as to the next move for Baffert’s two horses though it’s difficult to see either running in the Belmont Stakes for a variety of reasons. A decision on Rombauer’s status for the Belmont is forthcoming.

About the Author: Jim Murphy

For more than 25 years, Jim Murphy has written extensively on sports betting as well as handicapping theory and practice. Jim Murphy has been quoted in media from the Wall Street Journal to REASON Magazine. Murphy worked as a radio and podcasting host broadcasting to an international audience that depended on his expertise and advice. Murphy is an odds making consultant for sports and 'non-sport novelty bets' focused on the entertainment business, politics, technology, financial markets and more.