Reed Palmer Photography, Churchill Downs

Dullahan Will Skip Preakness; Belmont Next

Kentucky Derby third-place finisher will not contest second leg of the Triple Crown.

Donegal Racing’s Dullahan, a fast-closing third in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), will not run in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and will be pointed for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), trainer Dale Romans confirmed May 11.

“Jerry Crawford (head of Donegal) texted me last night that he wasn’t running, but I didn’t get the text until this morning,” Romans said.


The decision will come as a surprise to many people considering how big Dullahan ran in the Derby, and the fact that Romans said he came out of the race “in great shape, like he never ran.”


Crawford made the decision May 10. He told the Des Moines Register, “We’re trying to be fair to the horse, number one. Secondly, it will be a full field of 14 horses in the Preakness, and none of us were too thrilled about the possibility of traffic problems again.”

Crawford added, “We looked at the genetics, and horses like Dullahan seem to fare better at Belmont than Pimlico. It’s a better surface for him.”


Because Dullahan came out of the Derby, in which he was forced seven paths wide at the head of the stretch, in such good shape, even Crawford had to admit, “He’d be (angry) about this decision. He’s like, ‘Put me in coach.'”


Romans still will be represented in the Preakness by Cozzetti, a late-running son of Cozzene who was third in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) and fourth in the Arkansas Derby (gr. I).