Kentucky Derby winner Country House won’t run in Preakness

Kentucky Derby winner Country House won’t run in Preakness

There will be no Triple Crown in horse racing this year.

After Monday's denial of appeal by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC), the co-owner of the disqualified GI Kentucky Derby victor said a lawsuit is the imminent next step in trying to reverse the decision by the Churchill Downs stewards to strip Maximum Security (New Year's Day) of the official victory and relegate the horse to 17th place.

"He developed a little bit of a cough this morning", Mott told the paper by telephone. He doesn't have a fever. But he's coughing. We drew blood.

"He's acting like he's going to get sick", Mott tells DRF.


With trainer Mark Casse's War of Will and other contenders expected to enter the Preakness, Country House likely would not have been favored to win.

Country House, a 65-1 underdog, won after Maximum Security was disqualified in the Kentucky Derby.

"Having the Derby victor, you're pretty much forced to go into the Preakness", Mott said to reporters outside his barn at Churchill Downs.

For the first time since 1996, the Preakness Stakes will be run without the Kentucky Derby victor.


The 1 3/16-mile Preakness is May 18 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

With Country House and Maximum Security missing the Preakness, they'll be no Triple Crown victor this year - even one with an asterisk. Though shorter than the Kentucky Derby, the race requires a quick turnaround. Maximum Security's owner, Gary West, said this week that his horse would also not partake in the Preakness.

It takes the luster off one of a Preakness that had already been hit with the news that Maximum Security - who arrived at Monmouth Park Tuesday after his Kentucky Derby DQ - will be skipping second leg of the Triple Crown. It marked the first time in the event's 145-year history that a Derby champion had been stripped of a title because of a track infraction.

"It's probably a little viral thing", Mott added. It was the first time the horse who crossed the finish line first was not declared the victor. As usual, it is the second of the three major American races, followed by the Belmont Stakes in June.


The third jewel of the Triple Crown is the Belmont Stakes in NY on June 8.

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