Preakness Stakes winner Rombauer will take the next 60 days off and won’t race for the duration of the 2021 season, according to the Daily Racing Form.

Rombauer-Time off
After recent workouts didn’t meet his approval, trainer Mike McCarthy decided Preakness Stakes winner Rombauer needed a freshening, so he’s giving his prize colt the next 60 days off. (Image: Maryland Jockey Club)

Trainer Mike McCarthy told the DRF that Rombauer hadn’t been training “as sharp as he was before the Preakness and Belmont.” That June 5 Belmont Stakes marked the last time Rombauer entered a starting gate. He finished a distant third, 11 ¼ lengths behind Essential Quality and Hot Rod Charlie.

Rombauer’s last three workouts were all handily, meaning the rider had to use encouragement at times. He worked out three times at Santa Anita between June 25 and July 9. That last July 9 work was a five-furlong hand work in 1:00.80. That was 24th of 72 horses covering that distance that day.

The DRF reported that Rombauer went to Del Mar with McCarthy’s string and was scheduled to work this past weekend, before McCarthy hit the brakes. Instead, Rombauer will take some R&R at a Temecula, Calif. farm an hour northeast of Del Mar.

Expect to see 4-year-old Rombauer next winter

According to McCarthy, Rombauer will resume training in the fall. He won’t run in the Breeders’ Cup, but McCarthy told the DRF the targets are the lucrative early 2022 races, such as February’s Saudi Cup or March’s Dubai World Cup.

It’s not like Rombauer isn’t used to travel. The California-based colt raced four times this year on four different tracks. Three of those were in the East at Keeneland, Pimlico, and Belmont Park. Rombauer opened his 3-year-old season winning the Listed El Camino Real Derby on Golden Gate Fields’ synthetic track. He finished third in the Grade 2 Blue Grass behind Essential Quality and Highly Motivated at Keeneland.

After passing the Kentucky Derby on owner John Fradkin’s orders, a rested Rombauer won the Preakness. A one-time, one-dimensional closer, Rombauer employed a more stalking style in that race. That took the 11/1 shot past Midnight Bourbon and Medina Spirit, and gave McCarthy his first Triple Crown race victory. Rombauer won his Preakness with the eighth-fastest time since the race went to 1 3/16 miles in 1925, and the second-fastest time in the last 14 years: 1:53.62.

Discretion the better part of valor

This year, Rombauer is 2-0-2 in those four races, banking $890,000. Rombauer is already a millionaire, with his 3-1-2 record in eight career starts bringing home $1,040,500.

“We didn’t think the right thing to do was push it,” McCarthy told the DRF. “He’s done a lot for us. We’ll do whatever he needs.”