Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Rombauer , unraced since a distant third-place finish in the June 5 Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1), has been sent to a California farm for rest this summer, trainer Michael McCarthy said.
The John and Diane Fradkin-owned 3-year-old son of Twirling Candy worked three times at Santa Anita Park following the Belmont while his connections considered—and ultimately bypassed—running him in the July 10 Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes (G1T) at Belmont Park and July 17 TVG.com Haskell Stakes (G1) at Monmouth Park.
“I thought he had trained well out of the Belmont, gave him a couple of easy weeks right out of the Belmont,” McCarthy said. “I started to get serious with him, and I felt that he just wasn’t training with the same vigor that he showed before the Triple Crown.
“It wasn’t necessary to try to push it, plenty of races in the fall of the year, end of the year, and beginning of the year that we want to be ready for. I felt now was as good as any to go ahead and back off.”
Rombauer becomes the second of the three individual winners of this year’s Triple Crown to have an idle period from racing. Zedan Racing Stables’ Medina Spirit , the first-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), has not started since running third in the May 15 Preakness at Pimlico Race Course. The Bob Baffert trainee has recorded just one three-furlong breeze since the Belmont, coming in mid-June.
The Belmont winner, Godolphin’s Essential Quality , is expected to race this summer at Saratoga Race Course. Trainer Brad Cox has him aimed toward both the July 31 Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) and Aug. 28 Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1).
Rombauer’s freshening, first reported by Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman July 18, has taken him to Peacefield Farm in Temecula, Calif., about an hour north of McCarthy’s current base at Del Mar.
“When he’s acting like he’s ready to come back, any time in the interim, 60 to 90 days, we’ll bring him back,” McCarthy said.
Bred in Kentucky by the Fradkins, Rombauer is the first graded stakes winner of four foals to race out of the Cowboy Cal mare Cashmere . The dam also has an unraced 2-year-old Strong Mandate filly named Republique breezing at Gulfstream Park and a yearling colt by Cairo Prince named Alexander Helios.
A winner of turf, dirt, and synthetic, Rombauer is 3-for-8 with earnings of over $1 million. A first-out maiden winner on grass last year at Del Mar, he won the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields over the Tapeta synthetic surface in February. He also has graded stakes placings on dirt in last fall’s American Pharoah Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita and this spring’s Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland.