A busy and notable week in the world of horse racing continued Tuesday with the draw for the 2021 Preakness Stakes.
All eyes are on Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit. The horse's win in the May 1 race could be invalidated after his post-race drug test indicated a potential violation. He is in the field for the Preakness and will start from Gate 3.
Trainer Bob Baffert, who worked with Medina Spirit, has said he won't be at Pimlico Race Course because he wants avoid being a distraction.
Here's how the field will line up Saturday for the second Triple Crown race of the year (odds via Preakness Facebook):
Post 1: Ram (30-1)
Post 2: KeepMeInMind (15-1)
Post 3: Medina Spirit (9-5)
Post 4: Crowded Trade (10-1)
Post 5: Midnight Bourbon (5-1)
Post 6: Rombauer (12-1)
Post 7: France Go De Ina (20-1)
Post 8: Unbridled Honor (15-1)
Post 9: Risk Taking (15-1)
Post 10: Concert Tour (5-2)
Baffert's attorney announced Tuesday that an agreement has been made for Medina Spirit and Concert Tour, who is also trained by Baffert, to participate in the Preakness. Both horses will be required to undergo a pre-race drug test.
Medina Spirit is the heavy betting favorite at 9-5 odds (bet $500 to win $900).
Depending on how things play out with Medina Spirit the rest of the week, Concert Tour is prepared to become the horse that commands a lot of attention.
Concert Tour has been generating a lot of buzz in practice this week and has an impressive resume. The colt won the first three races of his career before a third-place showing at the Arkansas Derby on April 10.
During a Sunday run at Churchill Downs, Concert Tour clocked a time of 1:00.40 in five-eighths of a mile. Claire Crosby of BloodHorse.com noted that Concert Tour entered the Arkansas Derby as the odds-on-favorite before finishing 2.5 lengths behind Super Stock.
Baffert explained to reporters on May 6 that he decided to hold Concert Tour out of the Kentucky Derby because he didn't like how the horse responded in the Arkansas Derby:
"Coming off that [Arkansas Derby], we just didn't like it. We looked at the pros and cons of it all, and at the end of the day, [West] wanted a good horse for the rest of the year. That's why we didn't run. But I kept working him like we were going to the Preakness. When he breezed the day after the Derby, he went like a good horse."
Mike Smith will be riding Concert Tour on Saturday. The 55-year-old has two Preakness wins, most recently in 2018 when he led Justify to the Triple Crown.
During a practice session on Monday, Midnight Bourbon clocked a time of 50.2 seconds in a half-mile around Churchill Downs.
Trainer Steven M. Asmussen told reporters:
"This morning, I watched Midnight Bourbon work. He's just such a beautiful specimen and he goes over the racetrack so pretty. Driving back to the barn from the grandstand, I was thinking how crazy we are as horsemen. It's only less than two weeks from the disappointment of the Derby, and here I am, thinking I'm going to win a classic again and I get all giddy."
Coming off a disappointing sixth-place showing at the Kentucky Derby, Midnight Bourbon is hoping to rebound at Pimlico. The Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC horse is in the midst of a three-race losing streak, though he had top-three showings at the Risen Star Grade 2 event and Louisiana Derby.