Trainer Steve Steve Asmussen officially took Kentucky Derby third-place finisher Gun Runner out of consideration for Saturday's Preakness at Pimlico Race Course.
"We're going to pass on the Preakness," Asmussen said Tuesday morning, according to a news release. "We're going to continue to train at Churchill [Downs] and plan on a serious summer of 3-year-old races with him. He's been in tremendous physical condition going into the Derby and coming out of it, and we expect for him to continue to physically develop."
A $20-million renovation of Laurel and Pimlico race tracks is proposed, and earlier this year legistlation passed that pledged $500,000 a year to revive the D.C. International and a $500,000 bonus for Maryland-bred horses winning the Preakness. Breeding is at the core of this revival
Brody's Cause, seventh in the Kentucky Derby, and Suddenbreakingnews, fifth in the race, dropped out of the running last week. Only Preakness favorite Nyquist, Exaggerator and Lani are set to race in the first two legs of the Triple Crown. In total, 10 horses are scheduled to compete in the Preakness.
With Gun Runner, who won the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby in March, not shipping to Baltimore, jockey Florent Geroux will have the mount on maiden runner Laoban for trainer Eric Guillot.