Medina Spirit was impressive at the Kentucky Derby on May 1. The horse wasn’t one of the favorites to win the Run for the Roses, but he toppled Essential Quality, Hot Rod Charlie, and Rock Your World.
He is now considered one of the favorites for the Preakness Stakes, but the oddsmakers aren’t too high on Medina Spirit winning the Triple Crown.
Will a Horse Win the Triple Crown in 2021?
It’s not easy for a horse to win the Triple Crown. There have been over 145 runnings of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes, yet only 13 horses have been able to win all three races to claim all three jewels of the Triple Crown.
Sir Barton was the first Triple Crown winner in 1919, but there were almost four decades between Triple Crown winners until a few years ago. Affirmed won all three races in 1978, yet we didn’t see another horse repeat this feat until 2015 when American Pharoah broke the drought. Justify won the 2018 Triple Crown, and he is the most recent Triple Crown winner.
The Preakness Stakes
One of the biggest potential stumbling blocks for Medina Spirit at the Preakness Stakes has been removed. It was announced that Essential Quality will not be taking part in the second leg of the Triple Crown by Brad Cox on Tuesday. Essential Quality is following in the footsteps of other Kentucky Derby contenders that miss out on the second leg after failing to hit the board in the first leg. However, Cox made it seem likely that Essential Quality would enter the Belmont Stakes next month, and he would be well rested in that case.
A handful of horses from the Kentucky Derby will take part in the Preakness Stakes. The biggest threat of the horses that Medina Spirit faced at Churchill Downs is Mandaloun.
Mandaloun was a longish shot in that race, but he finished just behind Medina Spirit after losing at the line following a neck and neck battle down the stretch. He is currently 4-1 in the Preakness Stakes futures odds.
Midnight Bourbon finished in sixth place at the Kentucky Derby, but Steve Asmussen thinks he has a better shot at the Preakness Stakes. The Louisiana Derby runner-up stumbled out of the gate last week, and that threw him off his pace. However, he rallied to finish in sixth place, so there are hopes that he can hit the board at least with a less crowded field.
Keepmeinmind is expected to head to Pimlico for the Preakness Stakes too. He finished in seventh place at the Kentucky Derby, but the oddsmakers aren’t giving him much of a shot. Keepmeinmind has failed to finish better than fifth in any of his three races in 2021, and he has yet to post a speed rating over 100.
Another Bob Baffert horse might be Medina Spirit’s biggest challenge. Concert Tour might close as the overall favorite at the Preakness Stakes after skipping the Kentucky Derby.
The horse won the Rebel Stakes by more than four lengths in March, but a third-place finish at the Arkansas Derby led to Baffert putting him in the Preakness Stakes. He has had time to rest, and experienced jockey Mike Smith will be on his back.
Caddo River might be a horse to watch at this distance. The Preakness Stakes is the shortest of the three Triple Crown races, and he is known as a frontrunner. He had to be scratched from the Kentucky Derby due to a fever, but unlike King Fury, he is considered likely to be ready for the Preakness Stakes.
It’s not going to be easy for Medina Spirit to win the Triple Crown. Most horses have to best at least 30 other horses over the span of three races, and there isn’t much of a break in between the legs. There are just two weeks between the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes and three weeks from the Preakness to the Belmont Stakes. Medina Spirit wasn’t too impressive at the Kentucky Derby and could have easily lost down the stretch, so the ‘No’ is the play despite the lofty juice.
Check out the latest Triple Crown odds at BookMaker.eu.