Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Country House has been withdrawn from consideration for the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, the $1.5 million Preakness (G1) at Pimlico, on May 18. Daily Racing Form reports that Country House came down with a cough Tuesday morning and has been showing signs of becoming ill, according to trainer Bill Mott.
The last time a Kentucky Derby winner did not race in the Preakness was in 1996, when Grindstone exited the Derby with a career-ending injury.
Earlier Tuesday, Daily Racing Form also reported that Kentucky Derby runner-up Code of Honor would also bypass the Preakness. That currently leaves a field of 10 aiming for the 1 3/16-mile classic, only three of whom — Improbable, War of Will, and Bodexpress — competed in the Derby.