First Mission scratched from Preakness

First Mission, the Lexington Stakes winner installed by linemaker Keith Feustle as the 5-2 second choice in Saturday’s 148th running of the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes, will scratch, his connections announced.

Ownership group Godolphin LLC announced the scratch Friday morning via a press release.

He was scratched after trainer Brad Cox and his team had consulted with veterinarians from 1/ST Racing, which owns Pimlico, home of the Preakness. First Mission will return to Kentucky, according to the release, and be evaluated at Rood and Riddle with Dr. Larry Bramlage.

The issue troubling First Mission, a Street Sense colt, is with his left hind, the release said, but did not elaborate further.


Godolphin’s Director of Bloodstock Michael Banahan said, “We are obviously very disappointed, but the welfare of the horse is our utmost concern, and we are going to take the necessary steps to determine the best course of action to get him back on the track.”

First Mission has won two of three career starts, including both his two-turn races. He most recently won the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland April 15, after which Cox said the Preakness was likely his next stop.

The scratch leaves a field of seven set to face the starter for the 148th running of the Preakness. It will be the smallest Preakness field in more than 25 years. Mage is the 7-5 morning line favorite.