Rombauer’s Retirement: Farewell to Preakness Champion Due to Ankle Injuries

Rombauer Retired from Racing After Preakness Stakes Victory

Rombauer, the surprising winner of the 2021 Preakness Stakes, has been retired from racing, bringing an end to one of the most captivating stories in the world of horse racing this year.

Ankle Injuries Cut Short Rombauer’s Career

The decision to retire Rombauer came after the colt suffered a training injury at Santa Anita Park on New Year’s Eve, as reported by the Daily Racing Form. The injury occurred following Rombauer’s last race, where he finished third behind Essential Quality and Hot Rod Charlie in the Belmont Stakes on June 5. It was revealed that Rombauer had been dealing with ankle issues since then.

Owner John Fradkin and trainer Mike McCarthy made the difficult choice to take Rombauer out of competition, resting him before bringing him back for a few workouts later in the year. However, after his recent works, it became evident that Rombauer’s ankle injuries had worsened, leading to the decision to retire him.

Uncertain Future in the Breeding Market

Prior to his retirement, there were plans to enter Rombauer in races such as the Dubai World Cup and the Pacific Classic in 2022. However, with his racing career cut short, Rombauer now faces an uncertain future in the breeding market. Finding a spot on a breeding farm this late in the commercial season may prove challenging.

A Remarkable Journey for Rombauer’s Owners

The retirement of Rombauer marks the end of an extraordinary racing career that captured the hearts of many. Owners John and Diane Fradkin, small-time breeders, had contemplated selling Rombauer several times but circumstances, including the COVID-19 pandemic, prevented it from happening. As a result, they experienced a thrilling journey as breeders.

Rombauer’s success on the track includes a victory in his 2-year-old debut at Del Mar and a second-place finish in the Grade 1 American Pharoah at Santa Anita. He also participated in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, where he placed sixth in his juvenile campaign.

A Strategic Path to Success

To avoid tough competition from notable trainers like Bob Baffert, who had multiple Kentucky Derby prospects, Rombauer’s owner and trainer strategically planned his racing path. This decision led Rombauer to Golden Gate Fields, where he secured a spot in the Preakness Stakes after winning the Listed El Camino Real Derby.

Prior to the Preakness Stakes, there was a difference in opinion between Fradkin and McCarthy regarding Rombauer’s Derby trail. McCarthy wanted to enter Rombauer in the Derby, but Fradkin believed that the large field size would be too challenging for the colt. As a result, Rombauer entered the Preakness Stakes as a relative underdog with odds of 11/1.

A Surprising Victory in the Preakness Stakes

Leading up to the Preakness Stakes, McCarthy made a significant change to Rombauer’s running style, transforming him from a closer to a stalker. This strategic adjustment was on full display during the race when Rombauer fought his way to the front, overtaking Midnight Bourbon and Medina Spirit to secure a 3 ½-length victory.

Rombauer’s triumph in the Preakness Stakes was a shock to many and served as a testament to the potential of underdog contenders in the world of horse racing. It also highlighted the accomplishments of small-scale breeders like the Fradkins, often overlooked in the sport.

Retirement with a Distinguished Record

As Rombauer bids farewell to the racing scene, he leaves behind an impressive record. Over the course of his career, he accumulated over $1 million in earnings and achieved a 3-1-2 record in his eight starts. Notably, his three victories came on different surfaces, including turf, Tapeta, and dirt.

Rombauer’s retirement marks the end of a remarkable journey filled with unexpected success and heartfelt moments for his owners. Although his time on the racetrack has come to a close, Rombauer’s legacy will surely live on in the world of horse racing.


1. Can Rombauer’s ankle injuries be treated?

Unfortunately, Rombauer’s ankle injuries have reached a point where further treatment is not advisable, thus leading to his retirement from racing.

2. Was Rombauer ever sold by his owners?

Rombauer’s owners, John and Diane Fradkin, considered selling him on multiple occasions but circumstances, including the COVID-19 pandemic, prevented them from doing so.

3. Are there any plans for Rombauer’s future in breeding?

Rombauer’s future in the breeding market is uncertain due to the late stage of the commercial season. Finding a suitable breeding farm may prove to be challenging.

4. How did Rombauer’s victory in the Preakness Stakes impact the racing community?

Rombauer’s unexpected triumph in the Preakness Stakes served as a reminder of the potential of underdog contenders in horse racing. It also highlighted the accomplishments of small-scale breeders in a sport often dominated by larger operations.

5. What will be Rombauer’s enduring legacy in the world of horse racing?

Rombauer’s legacy will be remembered as a horse that defied the odds and captured the imagination of racing enthusiasts. His victory in the Preakness Stakes stands as a testament to the unpredictable nature of the sport and the joy it brings to fans worldwide.

Picture of Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, cons the all tetur adiscing elit