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Kentucky Derby Top 3 Finishers to Not Race in the Preakness

Date Posted: May 17, 2019

For the first time in almost 70 years, not one of the top three finishers of the recently concluded Kentucky Derby will race in the Preakness Stakes.

The winner of the Derby, Country House, will stay out of the Preakness track because of an illness, according to the horse’s trainer Bill Mott. He told the Daily Racing Form:

“He developed a little bit of a cough this morning. His appetite is good. He doesn’t have a fever. But he’s coughing. We drew blood. He’s acting like he’s going to get sick. He’s off the training list, and if he’s off the training list, he’s off the Preakness list.”

Country House was not supposed to be the top finisher had it not been for the disqualification due to interference of Maximum Security.


The second placer in the Kentucky Derby, Code of Honor, will also be not joining the next Triple Crown race. Shug McGaughey, the trainer, said: “I’m not planning on it.”

Tacitus, the Derby’s third finisher, will not be at the Preakness as well. The horse’s trainer is also Bill Mott, the same person training Country House. According to a report by Baltimore Sun, Mott never had the intention of placing Tacitus in the Preakness Stakes racetrack no matter what the outcome was of the Kentucky Derby.

The Preakness Stakes is the second of the three races of the Triple Crown series, following the Kentucky Derby and preceding the Belmont Stakes. It was in 1951 when no top three Derby finishers last formed part of the Preakness racers.