They could have taken a spot in the gate this month at the Kentucky Derby. But John and Diane Fradkin decided to save the $50,000 it would have cost to get Rombauer into the race.
Instead, they took advantage of a free, win-and-you’re-in entry into the Preakness Stakes. It paid off handsomely with a 3 1/2-length victory Saturday afternoon at Pimlico.
Rombauer (11-1) closed on an honest pace and ran past the two frontrunners, Midnight Bourbon and Medina Spirit, to win the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
A Twirling Candy colt who was bred by the Fradkins, Rombauer parlayed his February win in the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields into trainer Mike McCarthy’s first victory in a classic and the second for jockey Flavien Prat, who was a beneficiary of Country House’s promotion to first place in the 2019 Kentucky Derby.
Midnight Bourbon (3-1) was second followed in third by tenuous Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit (2-1) and Keepmeinmind (14-1) in fourth.
The winning time for the 1 3/16 miles was 1:53.62 after early fractions of 23.77, 46.93, 1:10.97 and 1:34.78.