Preakness Betting: 4 Times When Kentucky Derby Winner Didn’t Run

Written By Eli Hershkovich on May 16, 2022
Preakness Betting

After Rich Strike‘s connections withdrew the longshot Kentucky Derby winner from the Preakness, 2022 now marks a fourth consecutive year without a Triple Crown winner. It is historically very rare for the Derby winner to not run in the Preakness but has happened with increased regularity in recent years. Let’s take a look back at Preakness betting history to see how the odds shaped up when a Kentucky Derby winners didn’t run.

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Preakness Betting History: Exception to the Rule

In the 147-year history of Preakness Stakes odds, this will only be the fifth time that the Kentucky Derby winner didn’t race. Below is a list of the four previous occasions, and the respective Preakness betting results that followed.

As it turns out, no Preakness post-time favorite has won in the four previous cases where the Derby winner was not in the field.

2021: “Winner” Doesn’t Participate

Rombauer 112-1
Midnight Bourbon25-1
Medina Spirit 39-5

Even though Medina Spirit technically won last year’s Derby, his result didn’t count because he tested positive for a banned substance on race day. Hence, Mandaloun was crowned the winner after finishing in second. But trainer Brad Cox decided to hold Mandaloun out of the Preakness to keep the three-year-old fresh for future races.

Medina Spirit, possessing the second-shortest odds, was beaten by a new shooter in the Preakness. Rombauer cashed in at 11-1, passing both Midnight Bourbon and Bob Baffert’s horse on the final turn.

Baffert is in midst of serving a 90-day suspension for his connection with a medication positive for Medina Spirit. In April, his retrial was denied by the Kentucky Court of Appeals.

2019: Disqualification, And Another “Winner” Bows Out

War of Will110-1

History didn’t exactly repeat itself, but the 2019 Kentucky Derby presented a similar situation as the one two years later. Following a 22-minute review period, a trio of stewards at Churchill Downs ruled that Maximum Security, the initial winner, interfered with surrounding horses amid the stretch run. Runner-up Country House was proclaimed the winner as a result.

Nevertheless, Country House developed a cough leading up to the Preakness, forcing him to miss the race. War of Will (10-1), which started in the No. 1 hole, gained ground before leading the way down the stretch of the 1 3/16-mile race at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

War of Will marked the second consecutive Preakness betting winner with double-digit odds, as Swiss Skydiver won the 2020 Preakness at 11-1. That time around, it took place in October because of the pandemic.

1996: Retiring Into The Spotlight

Louis Quatorze117-2
Skip Away23-1
Editor's Note313-2

Unlike the previous two Kentucky Derby “winners,” Grindstone went into retirement following his 1996 Derby win after a bone chip was found in his knee. The horse passed away on March 23 at 29 years old.

In turn, Luis Quatorze (+850) came away victorious by three and one quarter lengths over runner-up Skip Away.

1926: Retiring, And A Broodmare Sire

Blondin 25-1

Just like Grindstone, 1926 Derby champ Bubbling Over rode off into the sunset. He wasn’t just proficient as a sire, but he also was a broodmare sire to fellow Derby winner Burgoo King (1932) and Preakness Stakes winner Hill Prince (1950).

In unlikely fashion, Display (+1900) knocked off runner-up Blondin by a head — cashing the upset against one of the favorites in the race.

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Eli Hershkovich Avatar
Written by
Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

View all posts by Eli Hershkovich