NO PREAKNESS FOR ESSENTIAL QUALITY, KING FURY

Essential Quality won the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Photo by Scott Serio/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup/CSM

Trainer Brad Cox confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Godolphin’s Essential Quality, the fourth-place finisher and beaten favorite in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby (G1), has been removed from consideration for the May 15 Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico.

Likewise, trainer Kenny McPeek said that King Fury, who missed the Derby with a fever, also would skip the Preakness.

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Cox said via text that no decision has been made on the 2020 Eclipse champion’s next start.

Decisions on the Preakness status of Juddmonte Farms’ Kentucky Derby runner-up Mandaloun and Shortleaf Stable’s Caddo River are still pending. Caddo River, the Arkansas Derby (G1) runner-up who was taken out of Derby consideration after spiking a temperature, returned to the worktab at Churchill Downs Monday with a half-mile breeze in 48.80 seconds. Both are trained by Cox.

Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Midnight Bourbon, who finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby (G1),had another scheduled walk day at Churchill Downs Tuesday morning. Trainer Steve Asmussen said all was well with the Tiznow colt but that no final decision on the May 15 Preakness (G1) at Pimlico could be made until after Midnight Bourbon resumes training.

Trainer Kenny McPeek took Lexington (G3) winner King Fury out of consideration for the 146th Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico, reporting Tuesday that the temperature that had knocked him out of the Kentucky Derby (G1) has flared back up.

“There’s no way to make the Preakness,” he said. “It’s a no-brainer.”

McPeek said that King Fury had a “significant cough” Tuesday morning.

King Fury, who earned his way into the Kentucky Derby with an impressive victory in the Lexington at Keeneland, was withdrawn from the Run for the Roses the day before the race. It originally had seemed he would head to the Preakness, but defections allowed him into the Derby field. King Fury earned 20 points on the Derby trail.

You can see the list of contenders here.

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