News and STORIES

King Fury & Essential Quality Set To Bypass Preakness Stakes

Author: Ryan Knuppel
Published: Wednesday May 05, 2021
There was big news revealed on Tuesday morning in the United States, as it was revealed that two of the entries for the upcoming Preakness Stakes had been withdrawn from the race. Among the entries that are set to skip the Preakness Stakes is previously unbeaten three-year-old Essential Quality for trainer Brad Cox.

Essential Quality To Miss Preakness

The number of contenders for the Preakness Stakes has gone down to ten after the latest declaration was made. The biggest name that will no longer be challenging for the second Triple Crown race of the season is Essential Quality. Brad Cox admitted during a radio interview on Sirius that the three-year-old would not be heading towards the Preakness Stakes. Essential Quality had been among the leaders in the betting for the race before the radio interview but has since been dropped out, with the three-year-old no longer having a price for the Grade 1 at Pimlico. There is every expectancy that the three-year-old will now instead target the final Triple Crown race in June.

Essential Quality was the favorite for the Kentucky Derby just seven days ago, as the Godolphin-owned horse went into the race at Churchill Downs with a perfect record over his first five starts. However, he struggled to contend with the pace that was set by Medina Spirit at Churchill Downs. He didn’t get off to the best of starts in the Grade 1, as he was bumped twice in the opening exchanges. He never looked like getting close to the leader, but there had been hope that he would be back on track to avenge the defeat in the second Triple Crown race of the season. He eventually finished the Kentucky Derby in fourth, which was one and a quarter lengths behind the Bob Baffert-trained winner.

King Fury Also Out Of Preakness

On Tuesday, it was also revealed by trained Kenneth McPeek that King Fury would not be heading to Pimlico. The three-year-old was pulled out of the Kentucky Derby on the day of the race, as he recorded a 104-degree fever just hours before the off. It is unknown at this point whether the fever is also the reason why he was pulled from the second of the Triple Crown races this season. The decision to pull the McPeek trained horse out of the Preakness was reported by Jennie Rees.

Many had expected a strong challenge from the three-year-old in the Preakness, as the conditions would have certainly suited his racing style. However, it isn’t likely that we will see the three-year-old now until the Belmont Stakes next month. However, the latest omissions have thrown the race wide open, with the clear favorites being the two trained by Baffert.

Baffert Duo Lead Betting

Essential Quality was listed as the third favorite even before his omission was made official. That means that there hasn’t been a lot of movement at the top of the betting, as Concert Tour and Medina Spirit are still the joint 3/1 favorites for the Preakness Stakes. However, the omissions of both King Fury and Essential Quality has seen the market tighten up behind the leading pair trained by Baffert.

Mandaloun was a slightly higher price yesterday, but he can now be found at 4/1. Meanwhile, Caddo River and Midnight Bourbon have both shortened in price, as they have odds of 7/1 and 10/1, respectively. Further down the market, the prices of Rombauer, Crowded Trade, and Keepmeinmind haven’t altered that much. Rombauer remains a 14/1 chance, while Crowded Trade and Keepmeinmind are valued at 16/1 and 18/1, respectively.

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