• The week’s highest Beyer speed figure in North America
Pimlico (May 15): Preakness Stakes G1 $1m, 1m1½f, dirt, 3yo
Trainer: Michael McCarthy
Jockey: Flavien Prat
Owner: John & Diane Fradkin
Pedigree: 3 bc Twirling Candy – Cashmere (Cowboy Cal)
Somewhat overshadowed by the hullabaloo surrounding Bob Baffert at the second leg of the Triple Crown, west-coast trainer Michael McCarthy made a winning Triple Crown debut as surprise winner Rombauer ran down his Preakness Stakes rivals.
There was a reason Rombauer was a surprise, as he had won only two of his previous six starts, neither success on dirt, and neither at higher grade than the Listed status of the El Camino Real Derby in February on the Tapeta at Golden Gate Fields.
Only third to beaten Kentucky Derby favourite Essential Quality in the Blue Grass Stakes on his previous start, Rombauer got a nice setup, racing in mid-division as Medina Spirit cut out the pace pressed by Midnight Bourbon.
The latter took the lead in the stretch – but not for long, as Rombauer took control a furlong out to win going away by 3½ lengths.
Final time was 1m53.62s, which equated to a respectable BSF of 102 – precisely the same figure as that achieved by Medina Spirit at Churchill Downs, and the third-highest figure of the year by a three-year-old behind Life Is Good (107) and flashy maiden winner Flightline (105).
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