Preakness (G1) Winner Rombauer on Comeback Trail at Gulfstream Park
Preakness Winner in Training with Saffie Joseph Jr.
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – When last seen on the racetrack, John and Diane Fradkin’s Rombauer followed up his sharp score in the 2021 Preakness Stakes (G1) with an even third-place finish in the Belmont Stakes (G1) three weeks later.
Sidelined for approximately two years, the now 5-year-old son of Twirling Candy has surfaced at Gulfstream Park, where he breezed three furlongs Sunday morning.
Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. now trains the returning Rombauer, a homebred who was formerly trained by Michael McCarthy on the West Coast.
“He was given time off for an issue he had,” Joseph said. “I train horses for [the Fradkins], and they decided to send him to me.”
Joseph has trained two younger half-siblings to Rombauer for the Fradkins – Republique, a daughter of Strong Mandate who won three of six starts last year, including back-to-back wins at Gulfstream to kick off her career; and Alexander Helios, a 3-year-old son of Cairo Prince who finished third in a Gulfstream Park maiden special weight race June 25 after going 0-fo-4 on the in Southern California Coast last year.
Joseph was pleased with Rombauer’s first official workout since being sidelined.
“He had a couple works at the farm and this was his first work over the surface,” Joseph said. “He went nice and easy. So far so good.”
Rombauer debuted with a victory on turf at Del Mar before finishing second on dirt in the American Pharoah (G1) two starts later at Santa Anita. After concluding his juvenile campaign with a fifth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Keeneland, he launched his 3-year-old campaign with a victory in the El Camino Real Derby, a ‘Win & In’ Preakness qualifier, at Golden Gate Fields. He went on to finish third behind Essential Quality in the Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland before bypassing the Kentucky Derby (G1) and going directly to the Preakness at Pimlico. Rombauer rated off the early pace before rallying in the stretch to win going away by 3 ½ lengths under Flavien Prat. He raced evenly to finish third behind Essential Quality in the Belmont before going to the sideline.
“He’s a proven horse. He was the Preakness winner. He’s a classic winner. Michael McCarthy did a great job with him,” Joseph said. “Hopefully, he stays happy and healthy and comes back to what made him what he was.”
Joseph said Rombauer could return to the races in August, under ideal circumstances.