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Country House to sidestep Preakness StakesPosted on Tuesday 6th August 2019 @ 12.07

Controversial Kentucky Derby winner Country House will not be heading to the Preakness Stakes, according to trainer Bill Mott.

This is due to Country House developing a cough, which has seen him draw blood. As a result, he's been taken off his training schedule, and it is yet to be decided where he'll head next.

Bill Mott said: "He developed a little cough. He doesn't have a fever, but he's been coughing. He's acting though he's going to get sick. It's probably a little viral thing. Usually when something like this happens, a horse misses a couple of weeks of training. He's not seriously sick but he's shown indications that something is not quite right."

Country House remains at Churchill Downs until he is in a better condition to travel.

Country House won the Kentucky Derby after the favourite Maximum Security was disqualified. Maximum Security was first past the post, but his win was ruled out for impeding rivals.

This is the first time in 20 years that the Kentucky Derby winner will not enter the second race of the Triple Crown. As a result of this, TV viewership is expected to fall.

Maximum Security's owner, Gary West, requested an appeal, but it has been rejected. Despite this, he has said he is currently planning legal action, which saw him miss out on the $3m prize. No horse who has won the Kentucky Derby has been disqualified prior to this year's race.

Even United States President, Donald Trump, has expressed his anger over the decision.

West said: "The state racing commission won't hear our appeal, so we will take it to the appropriate legal venue, whatever that might be, probably somewhere in Kentucky.

"My lawyers will figure it out. We're in a holding pattern until we figure out where to file the suit."

West decided to point the finger at War Of Will, who he believes to have caused the initial problem in the first place.

War Of Will's trainer, Mark Casse, responded by saying: "He carried everybody out intentionally, and then he dives in. It’s almost like following a drunk driver. You don’t know which direction he’s going to go.

"People were taking shots at Tyler, saying he should have went inside or should have went outside. That really upset me. I went back and watched the entire race and noticed that we were bothered not just in the main event, but we were herded prior to that."

Unlike Country House, War Of Will will indeed head to the Preakness Stakes, hoping for some kind of redemption. Maximum Security has also been confirmed that he is likely to miss the event, providing War Of Will with a superb opportunity that has been reflected in the standings of the race where, according to Oddschecker, War of Will is favorite to win in the absence of his main rivals.

The next time Country House and Maximum Security will go head to head again will potentially be at the Belmont Stakes.

If Maximum Security is to prove successful at the Belmont Stakes, this will cause further controversy over his disqualification, with West's horse being the first past the post in at least two of the biggest races in the US.

Country House may be sidestepping the Preakness Stakes, but this isn't a matter of choice, according to Bill Mott. Mott has already stated he will do everything to make sure his Derby winner is prepped and ready for the Belmont Stakes, which will prove popular among racing fans if he gets the chance to face Maximum Security

Article Posted on Tuesday 6th August 2019 @ 12.07

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