“We made the decision to bypass the Preakness and point to Grade 1s for the rest of the year,” Cox said about Mandaloun, who finished a close second to Medina Spirit on Saturday in the Derby. “He ran extremely well and hard, and we just feel we would like to give him some time and not run him back in two weeks.”
Cox also told reporters in a National Thoroughbred Racing Association teleconference that his aim for Mandaloun in the long term this summer is Aug. 28 at Saratoga.
“The goal is to get him to the Travers (G1) in the best shape we can,” he said.
Of Caddo River, Cox said, “we just haven’t done enough with him to pursue the Preakness, and we’re going to target the Matt Winn (G3) at Churchill” on May 29.
Caddo River had been taken out of Derby consideration early last week after Cox said he spiked a fever. His absence took away the likely pacesetter, helping Medina Spirit take an uncontested lead on the way to a gate-to-wire victory.
The absence of Cox’s horses leaves a potential field of nine to contest the Preakness, with the Bob Baffert colts Medina Spirit and Concert Tour the 3-1 favorites in foreign futures.