Three days afterby way of Maximum Security's , Country House has been withdrawn from the 2019 Preakness Stakes, trainer Bill Mott announced Tuesday.
The Kentucky-bred American Thoroughbred developed an illness while at Churchill Downs, according to Daily Racing Form. The horse is still in Louisville following the Derby victory.
"He developed a little bit of a cough this morning," Mott said, per DRF.com. "(His) appetite is good. He doesn't have a fever. But he's coughing. We drew blood. He's acting like he's going to get sick. He's off the training list, and if he's off the training list, he's off the Preakness list."
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Mott added that Country House's illness is "probably a little viral thing" and that the horse is "not seriously sick right now." But he admitted that issues like this tend to keep horses sidelined from training for a couple weeks at a time.
It's the latest chapter in a stunning turn of events for a horse that, just days ago, finished second behind Maximum Security at Churchill Downs only to be elevated to champion after a riders' objection led to the winner's disqualification because of alleged racetrack interference. It marked the first time in the event's 145-year history that a Derby champion had been stripped of a title because of a track infraction.
Country House not racing at the Preakness Stakes guarantees that there will be no chance of an American Triple Crown happening, which is won through victories at the Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Justify last completed the feat in 2018.
The Preakness Stakes are scheduled for Saturday, May 18, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Maximum Security's owner, Gary West, said this week that his horse would also not partake in the Preakness.