Kentucky Derby winner Country House won’t be attempting a Triple Crown run this year after coughing and showing signs of a burgeoning illness, Jay Privman of the Daily Racing Form reports. Assistant trainer Riley Mott confirmed to the Associated Press that the 3-year-old colt will not race in the Preakness Stakes on May 18.
Still at Churchill Downs, trainer Bill Mott told Privman that Country House, who was named the 145th Kentucky Derby winner after the historic disqualification of Maximum Security, was pulled off his training list: “If he’s off the training list, he’s off the Preakness list.”
“It’s probably a little viral thing,” Mott also told Privman. “Hopefully it doesn’t develop into anything serious. Usually when something like this happens, a horse misses a couple weeks of training. He’s not seriously sick right now. But he’s showing indications that something is going on.”
It’s been quite a week for Country House. The 65-1 long shot colt was the second over the wire at Churchill on Saturday, but was elevated to first after track stewards determined Maximum Security had impeded several other horses in the field. On Monday, trainer Jason Servis announced that Maximum Security would also skip the Preakness.
This was the first time in the Kentucky Derby’s 145-year history that the winner was disqualified on site. Dancer’s Image, the first horse to finish in 1968, was disqualified long after the race ended for having too much phenylbutazone, an anti-inflammatory drug, in his system.