Empire Maker's Return to Preakness Field Shortlived

Just hours after saying that Empire Maker would point to the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), trainer Bobby Frankel had second thoughts, and as a result, the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) runner-up is back out of the Preakness picture.

Frankel, who left for New York Saturday evening, was quoted in the Associated Press as saying, "I don't think there'll be any change, so I'll stick to my original plans."

After hearing about the Kentucky Racing commission's investigation into the possibilty that Derby winner Funny Cide's rider Jose Santos was carrying a suspicious object in the race, Frankel and owner Juddmonte Farms decided to put Empire Maker back in the Preakness picture, just in case there was a disqualification. By being placed first, that would have given Empire Maker a shot at sweeping the Triple Crown.

But after talking to several people who have studied the photo, and learning of likely miscommunication between Santos and the Miami Herald, which first reported the controversy, Frankel felt there wasn't enough evidence against Santos, and withdrew Empire Maker from consideration once again.

That means either Peace Rules or Midas Eyes, both owned by Edmund Gann, will be Frankel's lone representative in the second leg of the Triple Crown.