Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott confirmed reports May 7 that Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve victor Country House will miss the May 19 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course because he has developed a cough and seems to be harboring a virus. He's off the training list, and if he's off the training list he's off the Preakness list.
Mott says he believes Country House has a virus and that the horse will likely miss a couple of weeks of training.
"Having the Derby victor, you're pretty much forced to go into the Preakness", Mott said to reporters outside his barn at Churchill Downs.
"He developed a little bit of a cough this morning", Mott said by telephone.
The stewards decided Maximum Security had interfered with other horses in the far turn and demoted the colt to a 17th-place finish - the first time in the Kentucky Derby's 145-year history that a victor had lost the victory for an on-the-track infraction. After coming from fourth in the stretch and beating Cavonnier by a nose in the Kentucky Derby, Grindstone never raced again.
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After a historic call, Country House, ridden by jockey Flavien Prat, wins the Kentucky Derby, May 4, 2019, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.
There will be no Triple Crown victor this year.
American Pharoah and Justify won Triple Crowns in 2015 and 2018, respectively.
On Monday, Gary West, the owner of Maximum Security, had said his colt wouldn't run in the Preakness. 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.
"I feel awful that I have to apologize for winning", said trainer Bill Mott. Visit SportsLine now to get Jody Demling's Preakness victor, see which huge long shot contends, and get the finish positions for every single horse, all from the man who's nailed 9 recent Preakness winners.
"I've never liked training a horse that's given an indication that he's sick", Mott said.