June 7, 2023

Country House taken ill, to miss Preakness; Code of Honor also to skip Pimlico classic

Country House with Flavian Prat up in the Churchill Downs winner's circle after being award the 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1) via disqualification on May 4, 2019 (c) Horsephotos.com/Cecilia Gustavsson

Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Country House has been withdrawn from consideration for the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, the $1.5 million Preakness (G1) at Pimlico, on May 18.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.