Preakness 2021: Post Time, TV Schedule, Post Positions InfoMay 10, 2021
The buildup to the 2021 Preakness Stakes is all about Medina Spirit, but not in the way we thought it would be.
The colt returned a positive drug test, which was announced Sunday, putting his Triple Crown hunt in jeopardy.
As of Sunday night, Medina Spirit had not been stripped of the Kentucky Derby crown, but trainer Bob Baffert was banned from entering any horses into races at Churchill Downs.
The positive test has affected race week at Pimlico Race Course, and the post position draw was moved from Monday to Tuesday to ensure there was enough time for a decision to be considered.
Before Sunday, Medina Spirit and fellow Baffert horse Concert Tour were expected to dominate the Preakness field, but that situation is in limbo until a final call is made on the Kentucky Derby winner.
2021 Preakness Stakes Info
Date: Saturday, May 15
Post Time: 6:50 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NBCSports.com or NBC Sports app
The decision on Medina Spirit's Kentucky Derby result will determine the fate of the Triple Crown.
If he loses his title, second-place finisher Mandaloun would be named the winner. However, the runner-up in The Run for the Roses is not scheduled to run in the Preakness.
The Maryland Jockey Club and 1/ST Racing, the owner of Pimlico Race Course, released a statement on Sunday about the current situation with Medina Spirit:
"Integrity in the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing is the ultimate priority for 1/ST RACING and the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC). 1/ST RACING has been an industry leader instituting processes and protocols that have led to nationwide medication reform and increased accountability. We are committed to achieving the highest level of horse care and safety standards, and we have a proven track record of pushing those standards forward.
"1/ST RACING and MJC intend to review the relevant facts and information relating to the reported medication positive as a result of the post-race blood sample testing completed by Churchill Downs following the 147th Kentucky Derby involving Medina Spirit trained by Bob Baffert. We are consulting with the Maryland Racing Commission and any decision regarding the entry of Medina Spirit in the 146thPreakness Stakes will be made after review of the facts."
Baffert is in Kentucky trying to work out how Medina Spirit turned in a positive test. He stated that his camp would conduct their own investigation into the situation, per ESPN.com:
"I got the biggest gut punch in racing for something that I didn't do. And it's disturbing. It's an injustice to the horse. ... I don't know what's going on in racing right now, but there's something not right. I don't feel embarrassed. I feel like I was wronged. We're going to do our own investigation. We're going to be transparent with the racing commission, like we've always been."
If Medina Spirit remains in the Preakness field, he will be viewed as one of the favorites to win Saturday's race.
At the Kentucky Derby, the horse won with 12-1 morning line odds over favorites Essential Quality and Hot Rod Charlie.
Before Sunday's news, the pre-Preakness buzz was about the potential showdown between Medina Spirit and Concert Tour.
Concert Tour has three victories and took third in April's Arkansas Derby, but he bypassed the Derby. And the Preakness may be his race to lose, even if Medina Spirit is still in the field.
Concert Tour is the only one of the two Baffert-trained horses with consecutive wins on his resume. Medina Spirit had three second-place marks to go along with two victories prior to The Run for the Roses.
The potential head-to-head showdown was made possible by the typical weakening of the field in the two weeks between the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.
Keepmeinmind and Midnight Bourbon are the only other Derby entrants scheduled to accompany Medina Spirit in the Preakness field.
Some of the Derby competitors may return for the Belmont Stakes on June 5, but the decisions to run those horses have yet to be made.
If Medina Spirit is withdrawn from the Preakness, the path to the winner's circle opens up a bit for Keepmeinmind, Midnight Bourbon and the other participants.
As of Monday morning, it is uncertain which horses will make up the Preakness field, and there may be no clear idea on the entrants until the post draw occurs Tuesday.