Kentucky Derby runner-up Code of Honor will skip the Preakness Stakes on May 18 and may not run until July, according to David Grening of the Daily Racing Form.
Code of Honor was the third horse under the wire in Saturday's Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs but was elevated to second after Maximum Security was disqualified for interfering with multiple horses. It was the first time in Derby history that the winner of the race was disqualified for an infraction during the race.
Code of Honor has two wins, two seconds and one third in six career starts. According to Grening, trainer Shug McGaughey is considering the Grade 3 Dwyer Stakes on July 6 as the next start for the son of Noble Mission. In that scenario, Code of Honor would also bypass the Belmont Stakes on June 8.
With Code of Honor skipping the Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown has an early list of 12 potential runners, led by Kentucky Derby winner Country House, who was elevated from second to first after Maximum Security's disqualification. Bill Mott, trainer of the Derby winner, said Tuesday that the connections of Country House are favoring a run in the Preakness Stakes.
"We're leaning toward the Preakness, since he is the Derby winner and we don't want to pooh-pooh the Triple Crown," Mott said in a statement. "We want to support that. If he's real good and continues to do well with no issues, not worn out, all those good things, we'll keep pecking away and going in that direction.
"If there's anything we don't like as we get into the weekend or early next week, we won't feel-I don't feel-a lot of pressure to run him, and talking to the ownership group, I don't think they'll put on a lot of pressure, if I'm not happy with him for some reason."
The rest of the potential entrants for the Preakness include Improbable, fourth in the Derby; War of Will, seventh in the Derby; Bodexpress, 13th in the Derby; Alwaysmining, winner of six straight races, including the Federico Tesio; Anothertwistafate, winner of the El Camino Real Derby; late runner Bourbon War, who was fourth in the Florida Derby; Laughing Fox, winner of the Oaklawn Invitational Stakes; Mr. Money, impressive winner of the Pat Day Mile on Saturday at Churchill Downs; Owendale, winner of the Lexington Stakes; Signalman, winner of last year's Kentucky Jockey Club; and Sueno, third in the Louisiana Derby and Lexington Stakes.
So who wins the Preakness? And which long shots are a must-back? Join SportsLine right now to get Jody Demling's 2019 Preakness picks, and see Country House's exact finish position, all from the expert who has nailed 9 of the last 14 Preakness winners!