Preakness Stakes Results
2021 Preakness Stakes Recap
In a crazy, unpredictable spring for three-year-olds where a winning favorite has been a rarity, it was almost inevitable the Preakness Stakes fell to another outsider.
Rombauer came into the race as an 11-1 shot following his third in the Blue Grass Stakes. Given he was more than five lengths behind Essential Quality and Highly Motivated at Keeneland he looked to need serious improvement to figure.
But the decision by his team to wait for the Preakness and take on the Derby runners with freshness on his side paid off, especially given the likelihood of a strong pace.
The race couldn’t have gone much better for Rombauer. With Medina Spirit and Midnight Bourbon setting a pace that resulted in the sixth-fastest in Preakness history, it left them sitting ducks for a strong closer and Rombauer packed too much power at the finish.
It was a Triple Crown race triumph at the first time of asking for trainer Michael McCarthy, the second for jockey Flavien Prat, and a first significant victory for owner-breeders John and Diane Fradkin.
But it also highlighted the volatility of the three-year-old season to date. Life Is Good, Greatest Honour, and Essential Quality were the early standouts, but with the first two unable to make the Classics through injury the scene became clouded.
With two legs of the Triple Crown completed, the picture isn’t that much clearer. With 12-1 shot Medina Spirit and 27-1 chance Mandaloun fighting out Kentucky Derby the pecking order didn’t seem clear, and the subsequent Preakness victory of Rombauer didn’t help either.
However, it can be said that the Fair Grounds form is looking the most solid of the 2021 Derby preps. The four Louisiana Derby runners that went to Churchill Downs – Mandaloun, Hot Rod Charlie, O Besos, and Midnight Bourbon – all finished in the top six at Churchill Downs, and the latter emphasized that form when finishing second at Pimlico.
The Blue Grass Stakes is also looking a useful form guide. Essential Quality ran fourth at Churchill Downs, while further down the track in the Blue Grass were Rombauer and Keepmeinmind, who later finished seventh in the Derby and fourth in the Preakness. It’s possible Essential Quality and Highly Motivated weren’t at their best in the Derby after their torrid Blue Grass duel and they are worth keeping an eye on.
It’s good news for the Triple Crown to see Rombauer heading to the Belmont Stakes, where hopefully he will be competitive. But if people were asked to identify the most talented three-year-old of 2021, chances are most will say it’s Life Is Good. His return later in the year to take on the best Triple Crown performers will be eagerly awaited.
2021 Preakness Stakes order of finish
- Midnight Bourbon
- Medina Spirit
- Crowded Trade
- Unbridled Honor
- France Go De Ina
- Risk Taking
- Concert Tour