Rombauer Wins 2021 Preakness Stakes, Upsets Medina Spirit's Triple Crown Bid

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Mike McCarthy's Rombauer trotted away victorious on Saturday after snagging first in 146th running of the Preakness Stakes. 

The racehorse, ridden by Flavien Prat, finished just ahead of Midnight Bourbon at Pimlico Race Course, and subsequently ended Medina Spirit’s bid to become the 14th horse to win a Triple Crown. Midnight Bourbon and Medina Spirit finished second and third respectively.

Attendance was capped at 10,000 fans whereas the Derby a few weeks ago held 51,838—the largest crowd at an American sporting event since the pandemic began. Heading into the race, Concert Tour, Medina Spirit and Midnight Bourbon were all expected to snag an early lead, SI Gambling insider Frankie Taddeo predicted.

The Preakness Stakes featured more drama leading up to race day than in previous years as Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit and two of Bob Baffert's other horses waited to be cleared to compete. Medina Spirit tested positive for the steroid betamethasone after the Derby victory, throwing the world of horse racing into turmoil. 

Baffert has been suspended by Churchill Downs Racetrack while the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission conducts an investigation. In a statement released by Baffert earlier this week, he alleged that Medina Spirt's positive drug test could be explained by an ointment used to treat dermatitis on the racehorse.

This isn't the first time Baffert faced a drug-related scandal. The Hall of Fame trainer was fined and suspended last year by the Arkansas Racing Commission after two of his horses tested positive for the painkiller lidocaine. Baffert won his appeal in the month leading up to this year's Kentucky Derby, blaming the positive tests on a pain patch worn by his assistant, who saddled the horses. 

Baffert's three horses were given three rounds of blood sample testing as a condition for competing in this year's Preakness Stakes, and all three were cleared to compete. 

Medina Spirit and Concert Tour competed in the Preakness while Beautiful Gift ran in the George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes.

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