There will not be another Triple Crown champion this year. Last weekend’s Kentucky Derby champion Country House has been ruled out for the Preakness Stakes on May 18 due to “a little bit of a cough,” according to trainer Bill Mott.
The initial report came from Jay Privman of DFR.
“He developed a little bit of a cough this morning,” Mott told Privman by telephone on Tuesday. “(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.
“It’s probably a little viral thing,” Mott continued. “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.”
Country House won the Kentucky Derby in controversial fashion. Maximum Security crossed the finish line first, but it was determined that jockey Luiz Saez initiated contact with War of Will. After a lengthy review, the original winner was disqualified, giving the 1st-place honor to Country House and jockey Flavien Prat.
It is unclear if Country House will be available for the Belmont Stakes on June 8. This is a developing story.