The odds-on favorite for this Saturday’s Preakness Stakes was scratched off from the second leg of the Triple Crown. The shocking news broke on Wednesday, and trainer Bob Baffert subsequently revealed that the horse racing community’s favorite Muth is no longer running following a 103 degrees Fahrenheit temperature.

Behind Muth with 8-5 in the post-position draw on Monday, Mystic Dan emerged second with 5-2 while Catching Freedom and Bob Baffert-trained Imagination tied for third at 6-1. Fans are sure to witness an unpredictable showdown since there are too many possible finishes weighing Preakness. But not everyone is happy about the update which has sparked an online frenzy.

Horse racing scene rearranges bets days before Preakness


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Even though Muth’s owner, Amr Zedan, initiated a desperate legal battle to get the horse trained by Bob Baffert’s suspension removed, the Preakness favorite could not run the race. @BloodHorse tweeted the information along with the caption:ALERT: #Preakness morning-line favorite #Muth scratched due to a fever, according to trainer @BobBaffert.” Disappointed, Baffert added, “We are sick about this. The horse was doing really well. However, we must act in the horse’s best interests.”


Mystic Dan’s assistant trainer Ray Bryner stated, “It takes a lot out of the equation,” following Muth’s departure. On March 30, Mystic Dan had finished third in the Arkansas Derby behind Muth. Bryner added, “I was confident we were going to get revenge.” Now, Baffert’s horse Justify won both the Derby and the Preakness in the 2018 Triple Crown only to become the 13th to do so in the sport’s history.

Mystic Dan’s victory on Saturday, May 18, 2024, would create a first-ever possibility at the Belmont Stakes when a Triple Crown would be up for grabs. The action at Pimlico is always a major betting ground, and record eight-time champion Baffert tops when it comes to the Triple Crown game.

Baffert is still anticipated to win since his second horse Imagination is still in the field of eight. In addition, the pressure to compete at their best has risen for Mystic Dan and jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. as their toughest opponent is no longer in the race. But, why is the omission questionable for some?

As excitement builds, fans chime in with mixed stances

Muth could not take part in the Kentucky Derby due to Churchill Downs’ ban on veteran trainer Bob Baffert after Medina Spirit was disqualified for testing positive for an illegal substance after winning the 2021 race. The Kentucky Horse Racing announced that Bob Baffert’s suspension will be extended until the end of 2024.

While the horse’s owner Amr Zedan pulled all the strings leading to a dead end, one commented on the uncanny situation saying, “Ugh! No! Poor Muth and the Baffert/Zedan connections -life is not easy but stuff happens and they are doing the right thing. Get Well Soon Muth.”

Baffert’s initial ban from competing in races held by Churchill Downs Inc. was supposed to end in June 2023. However, according to the Derby body, Baffert has consistently shown disregard for the standards governing horse racing at its premises. This was evidenced by what it claims to be the dissemination of lies about one of his horses’ failed drug tests.


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“Mr. Baffert continues to peddle a false narrative concerning the failed drug test of Medina Spirit,” stated the Derby organization. Hence, a strong note of condemnation for Bob Baffert’s fiasco read, “KARMA”

A well-wisher shared their well-wishes for Muth and wrote, “Awe hope he gets to feeling better he’s a great one” Another fan declared their favored 2024 Preakness Stakes finisher with 15-1 win-odds, “Just Steel for the win”


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Though assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes flew with the horses to New Jersey, and then to Maryland, Baffert wasn’t scheduled to arrive until Thursday. Additionally, Barnes remarked on Wednesday that Muth and Imagination had just been exploring the barn since their arrival; they had not yet stepped onto the track.

This particular detail didn’t sit right with a commenter who pointed out, “I was amazed that he is just shipping in on a Tuesday night for a Saturday Race.” Italian champion jockey Frankie Dettori will be riding Imagination for the Hall of Fame trainer in Saturday’s 149th Preakness Stakes, adding to the race’s enigma.