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Rombauer Holds Off Midnight Bourbon and Medina Spirit, Wins 2021 Preakness

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVMay 15, 2021

Horsephotos/Getty Images

Rombauer ended any hope of a Triple Crown with a surprise win at the 2021 Preakness Stakes.

NBC Sports @NBCSports

ROMBAUER HAS WON THE @PreaknessStakes!<br><br>Rombauer passed Medina Spirit and Midnight Bourbon in the stretch at @PimlicoRC! pic.twitter.com/sfQmuO1Qjc

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit was the morning-line favorite, but it was the No. 6 horse who crossed the finish line after pulling away from Midnight Bourbon down the stretch. Medina Spirit came in a distant third place in Saturday's race at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

The event was surrounded by controversy after Medina Spirit tested positive for an excessive amount of the steroid betamethasone following the Derby. He was later cleared to compete in the Preakness after passing three drug tests, although the win at Churchill Downs could still be vacated.

The colt wasn't able to replicate his speed Saturday, as Flavien Prat rode Rombauer to an upset victory.


Order of Finish

1. Rombauer (6)

2. Midnight Bourbon (5)

3. Medina Spirit (3)

4. Keepmeinmind (2)

5. Crowded Trade (4)

6. Unbridled Honor (8)

7. France Go de Ina (7)

8. Risk Taking (9)

9. Concert Tour (10)

10. Ram (1)


Payouts (Win, Place, Show)*

1. Rombauer ($25.60, $10.00, $5.20)

2. Midnight Bourbon ($4.60, $3.00)

3. Medina Spirit ($2.80)

*Based on $2 bet

$2 Exacta (6-5): $98.60

$1 Trifecta (6-5-3): $162.70

$1 Superfecta (6-5-3-2): $1,025.50


Trainer Bob Baffert wasn't in attendance at the Preakness, but all eyes were on his horses Saturday as Medina Spirit and Concert Tour were both considered top contenders.

There was also additional scrutiny because of Median Spirit's positive test result at the Derby, although Baffert denied any attempt to cheat in a statement to NBC Sports.

None of it mattered when the gates opened, however, as Medina Spirit raced to an early lead with a great start.

Unlike the Kentucky Derby, the favorite faced a lot more of a challenge around the track as Midnight Bourbon stayed within a length virtually the entire run. The No. 5 horse eventually took the lead around the final turn, and it looked like he would pull out the win.

That was until Rombauer seemingly came from nowhere on the outside track to storm past everyone.

NBC Sports @NBCSports

ROMBAUER HAS WON THE @PreaknessStakes! pic.twitter.com/Qtn4JP00dj

It was an excellent run from the veteran Prat, who conserved energy in the early going before coming on strong when it was needed. It's the first Preakness win for him and trainer Michael McCarthy.

The upset win in the middle jewel of the Triple Crown will also prevent Medina Spirit from chasing history.

The focus now shifts to the Belmont Stakes, the 1Β½-mile race scheduled for June 5 in Elmont, New York.


Morning-line odds via Preakness.com.

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