Kentucky Derby third-place finisher Dullahan will skip the Preakness and head to the Belmont Stakes, while Gemologist will not participate in the Belmont Stakes because of an injury.
DRF.com reported that Jerry Crawford, managing partner of Donegal Racing, announced Friday that Dullahan will make his next start in the Belmont Stakes (G1), the third leg of the Triple Crown, on June 9 at Belmont Park. According to the report, Crawford said:
Dale Romans loves the way Dullahan came out of the Kentucky Derby and believes we could win the Preakness...But we believe we have a 3-year-old Horse of the Year candidate and that his future is best served by not asking him to race for the third time in just five weeks in the Preakness.
It's a good move either way for Dullahan's connections, as the Preakness is shaping up to be a race that will not favor closers like Dullahan.
Dullahan is a half-brother to 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird and had previously won the Dixiana Breeders' Futurity (G1) last year and the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1) a month ago. Both races were on the Keeneland racecourse polytrack.
He made his best effort on dirt to date at the Kentucky Derby and will definitely be better served on the deeper track at Belmont than at Pimlico.
After Dulahan's departure reduces to 16 the number of horses pointed to the Preakness, Zetterholm will now have the 14th position on the Preakness three-tiered classification system.
Zetterholm is entered in Saturday's Peter Pan Stakes (G2) at Belmont, but his connections always had as first option to run in the Preakness if the chance would arise.
In a separate report, DRF.com reported that previously unbeaten Derby top contender Gemologist, the 16th-place finisher at the Derby, has a badly bruised left front foot and will miss the Belmont Stakes, according to Elliott Walden, president, CEO and racing manager of WinStar Farm.
Also, it was expressed that Walden was hopeful that Gemologist could be ready for a summer campaign that would include the Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park on July 29 with possible a prep in the Dwyer at Belmont on June 30.
It's very unfortunate for the very promising Gemologist, who went into the Derby as one of the prime candidates to win the race and left fans everywhere wondering what caused his poor showing.