Curlin Florida Derby Presented by Hill 'n' Dale Farms at XalapaGulfstream Park
Score one for the little guys.
Score one for the little guys.
Small commercial breeders Diane and John Fradkin typically sell their stock. Various circumstances led them to retain Rombauer, and he rewarded them and trainer Michael McCarthy with a stunning 3 ½-length victory against Midnight Bourbon in the 146th Preakness Stakes on Saturday at Pimlico.
“It just goes to show you small players can be successful as well,” said an emotional McCarthy, a former assistant to newly-minted Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, after striking gold with his first starter in a Triple Crown race.
Controversial Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve winner Medina Spirit was again sent to the lead by John Velazquez, but he withered despite comfortable fractions and settled for third. Rombauer, patiently handled by Flavien Prat, took command in the upper stretch after Midnight Bourbon had edged past Medina Spirit. Keepmeinmind rallied for fourth.
“There is so much history behind these races,” said Prat, who was born in France. “To win one is amazing.”
The Fradkin’s initially retained Rombauer, a bay son of Twirling Candy, because his dam, Cashmere, had a history of producing precocious babies. They figured his value would only increase. Sure enough, Rombauer captured his debut on July 25 at Del Mar.
They anticipated strong offers for the juvenile after that and were prepared to cash out; no significant offers came.
With each day, Rombauer impressed McCarthy more and more. Soon, they were not so ready to sell. The April 7 foal earned $150,500 in a 2-year-old campaign that closed with a fifth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
Rombauer opened this season with a flourish, taking the Feb. 13 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields to earn fees-paid entry in the Preakness. He used a third-place effort in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes as a steppingstone to the Preakness upset.
The feel-good triumph came along at a perfect time. The two-week interval between the Derby and Preakness, normally an exciting period filled with anticipation, brought hard times for racing. Surprising Derby winner Medina Spirit tested positive for a trace amount of the corticosteroid betamethasone, leading Churchill Downs officials to immediately suspend Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert last Sunday and to say that his horse would be disqualified if the split sample that Baffert requested supported the initial finding.
That would cost Baffert a record seventh Derby triumph while Brad Cox, trainer of runner-up Mandaloun, would become the first Louisville native to saddle a Derby victor. In a testament to the rigid oversight of the nation’s premier event, only one positive test ever prompted a disqualification in the 147-year history of the run for the roses. That involved Dancer’s Image in 1968.
Baffert initially denied any knowledge of how Medina Spirit might have tested positive. The next day, though, he said he realized that they had used an anti-fungal ointment that contains betamethasone to treat dermatitis on the horse’s hind end.
The draw for Preakness post positions was delayed one day until Tuesday. Baffert agreed to three rounds of pre-race testing in order to be able to enter Medina Spirit and Concert Tour in the middle jewel of the Triple Crown and Beautiful Gift in the George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, a significant race for 3-year-old fillies. Samples drawn on May 6 and May 10 were screened by Industrial Laboratories in Colorado. A third sample, taken on May 11, was sent to the University of California at Davis Maddy Laboratory. All samples tested clean.
In addition, veterinary care of every starter was closely monitored and around-the-clock security was provided to ensure the integrity of the tradition-rich race.
Fastest Time (since 1976): 1:53:28
Greatest Winning Margin (since 1976): 11 1/2 lengths
|05/20/2022||Early Voting||Chad C. Brown||Jose L. Ortiz||Klaravich Stables, Inc.|
|05/14/2021||Rombauer||Michael W. McCarthy||Flavien Prat||Fradkin, John and Fradkin, Diane|
|10/02/2020||Swiss Skydiver||Kenneth G. McPeek||Robby Albarado||Peter J. Callahan|
|05/17/2019||War of Will||Mark E. Casse||Tyler Gaffalione||Gary Barber|
|05/18/2018||Justify||Bob Baffert||Mike E. Smith||WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, et al|
|05/19/2017||Cloud Computing||Chad C. Brown||Javier Castellano||Klaravich Stables, Inc. and Lawrence, William H.|
|05/20/2016||Exaggerator||J. Keith Desormeaux||Kent J. Desormeaux||Big Chief Racing, LLC, Head of Plains Partners LLC, Rocker O Ranch, LLC et al.|
|05/15/2015||American Pharoah||Bob Baffert||Victor Espinoza||Zayat Stables, LLC|
|05/16/2014||California Chrome||Art Sherman||Victor Espinoza||Coburn, Steven and Martin, Perry|
|05/17/2013||Oxbow||D. Wayne Lukas||Gary L. Stevens||Calumet Farm|
|05/18/2012||I'll Have Another||Doug F. O'Neill||Mario Gutierrez||Reddam Racing LLC|
|05/20/2011||Shackleford||Dale L. Romans||Jesus Lopez Castanon||Lauffer, Michael and Cubbedge|
|05/14/2010||Lookin At Lucky||Bob Baffert||Martin Garcia||Watson, Karl, Pegram, Michael E. and Weitman, Paul|
|05/15/2009||Rachel Alexandra||Steven M. Asmussen||Calvin H. Borel||Stonestreet Stables and McCormick, Harold|
|05/16/2008||Big Brown||Richard E. Dutrow||Kent J. Desormeaux||IEAH Stables and Pompa, Jr., Paul|
|05/18/2007||Curlin||Steven M. Asmussen||Robby Albarado||Stonestreet Stables, Padua Stables, Bolton, George and Midnight Cry Stables|
|05/19/2006||Bernardini||Thomas Albertrani||Javier Castellano||Darley Stable|
|05/20/2005||Afleet Alex||Timothy F. Ritchey||Jeremy Rose||Cash is King LLC|
|05/14/2004||Smarty Jones||John C. Servis||Stewart Elliott||Someday Farm|
|05/16/2003||Funny Cide||Barclay Tagg||Jose A. Santos||Sackatoga Stable|
|05/17/2002||War Emblem||Bob Baffert||Victor Espinoza||The Thoroughbred Corporation|
|05/18/2001||Point Given||Bob Baffert||Gary L. Stevens||The Thoroughbred Corporation|
|05/19/2000||Red Bullet||Joseph F. Orseno||Jerry D. Bailey||Stronach Stables|
|05/14/1999||Charismatic||D. Wayne Lukas||Chris W. Antley||Lewis, Robert B. and Beverly J.|
|05/15/1998||Real Quiet||Bob Baffert||Kent J. Desormeaux||Mike Pegram|
|05/16/1997||Silver Charm||Bob Baffert||Gary L. Stevens||Lewis, Robert B. and Beverly J.|
|05/17/1996||Louis Quatorze||Nicholas P. Zito||Pat Day||Condren, William J., Hofmann, G. and Cornacchia, J.|
|05/19/1995||Timber Country||D. Wayne Lukas||Pat Day||Overbrook Farm, Gainsway Thoroughbreds Ltd. and Lewis, Robert and Beverly|
|05/20/1994||Tabasco Cat||D. Wayne Lukas||Pat Day||Overbrook Farm and Reynolds, David P.|
|05/14/1993||Prairie Bayou||Thomas K. Bohannan||Mike E. Smith||Loblolly Stable|
|05/15/1992||Pine Bluff||Thomas K. Bohannan||Chris J. McCarron||Loblolly Stable|
|05/17/1991||Hansel||Frank L. Brothers||Jerry D. Bailey||Lazy Lane Farm, Inc.|
|05/18/1990||Summer Squall||Neil J. Howard||Pat Day||Dogwood Stable|
|05/19/1989||Sunday Silence||Charles E. Whittingham||Patrick A. Valenzuela||Gaillard, Hancock III and Whittingham|
|05/20/1988||Risen Star||Louie J. Roussel, III||Eddie J. Delahoussaye||Roussel, III, Louie and Lamarque, Ronald|
|05/15/1987||Alysheba||Jack C. Van Berg||Chris J. McCarron||Scharbauer, Dorothy and Pamela|
|05/16/1986||Snow Chief||Melvin F. Stute||Alex O. Solis||Grinstead and Rochelle|
|05/17/1985||Tank's Prospect||D. Wayne Lukas||Pat Day||Klein, Mr. and Mrs. E. V.|
|05/18/1984||Gate Dancer||Jack C. Van Berg||Angel Cordero, Jr.||Ken J. Opstein|
|05/20/1983||Deputed Testamony||J. William Boniface||Donald Andrew Miller, Jr.||Francis P. Sears, Jr.|
|05/14/1982||Aloma's Ruler||John J. Lenzini, Jr.||Jack Leroy Kaenel||Nathan Scherr|
|05/15/1981||Pleasant Colony||John P. Campo||Jorge Velasquez||Buckland Farm|
|05/16/1980||Codex||D. Wayne Lukas||Angel Cordero, Jr.||Tartan Stable|
|05/18/1979||Spectacular Bid||Grover G. Delp||Ronald Joseph Franklin||Hawksworth Farm|
|05/19/1978||Affirmed||Lazaro S. Barrera||Stephen Cauthen||Harbor View Farm|
|05/20/1977||Seattle Slew||William H. Turner, Jr.||Jean Cruguet||Karen L. Taylor|
|05/14/1976||Elocutionist||Paul T. Adwell||John Lively||Eugene C. Cashman|