For the first time in history we might have a Preakness Stakes where the Kentucky Derby winner is entered, but no Triple Crown winner is possible.
Right now Medina Spirit is the winner of the Run for the Roses. However, that victory could be overturned by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission due to the post-race failed drug test of the horse for betamethasone, which doesn’t allow the performance enhancer to appear for two weeks prior to running in the Commonwealth.
The second place horse that would be declared the winner at Churchill Downs if the race is vacated, Mandaloun, has declined to run at Pimlico on Saturday. But his trainer Brad Cox has said if he won the Derby, he’d have probably went ahead and run in Baltimore as well.
Bob Baffert is the trainer of Medina Spirit and he is also the trainer of the last two horses to win the Triple Crown. He guided American Pharoah to the feat in 2015, becoming the first equine in 37 years to pull off the feat. He followed that in 2018 with Justify.
There have been 13 Triple Crown winners in history, with the only two immortalized horses of the last four decades guided by Baffert in the last six years. He’ll be going for a third in seven at Pimlico, but only if his Derby win stands — which certainly seems unlikely as of now.
What makes the Triple Crown so challenging isn’t just the best horses in the world, but the need to win three races in six weeks across three different distances.
Kentucky Derby: 10 furlongs (1.25 miles)
Preakness Stakes: 9.5 furlongs (1.1875 miles)
Belmont Stakes: 12 furlongs (1.5 miles)
Here is the list of all 13 winners of the most elusive prize in American sports, the Triple Crown of horse racing.
1919 Sir Barton
1930 Gallant Fox
1937 War Admiral
1943 Count Fleet
1977 Seattle Slew
2015 American Pharoah