Country House -- the winner of the 2019 Kentucky Derby -- will NOT get a shot at the Triple Crown after his owner pulled him from the Preakness because the horse developed a bad cough.
"He developed a little bit of a cough this morning," trainer Bill Mott told the Daily Racing Form.
"His appetite is good. He doesn't have a fever. But he's coughing. We drew blood. He's acting like he's going to get sick. He's off the training list, and if he's off the training list, he's off the Preakness list."
Mott believes the illness is probably a "little viral thing" but he doesn't want to take any chances and feels it's best to pull Country House from the May 18 race.
"Hopefully it doesn't develop into anything serious. Usually when something like this happens, a horse misses a couple weeks of training. He's not seriously sick right now, but he's showing indications that something is going on."
Probably a smart move considering Country House is now set to make a FORTUNE as a stud horse -- and the owners must feel there's not much to gain in running a sick horse in the Preakness.
Country House was named Kentucky Derby winner after Maximum Security was DQ'd for interfering with other horses during the race.