Updated on 05/11/2012 11:27AM

2012 Preakness: Dullahan skipping race, Belmont Stakes next

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Barbara D. Livingston
Dullahan and jockey Kent Desormeaux return after finishing third in the Kentucky Derby. Dullahan will start next in the Belmont Stakes.

 ELMONT, N.Y. - Dullahan, the third-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, will pass the Preakness Stakes and point to the Belmont Stakes on June 9, his owner, Jerry Crawford, announced Friday morning.

Though trainer Dale Romans has told Crawford and the press that Dullahan came out of the Derby in excellent condition, Crawford believes it is the prudent thing to wait the five weeks to run the multiple Grade 1 winner back.

“Dale Romans loves the way Dullahan came out of the Kentucky Derby and believes we could win the Preakness,” Crawford said. “But we believe we have a 3-year-old Horse of the Year candidate and that his future is best served by not asking him to race for the third time in just five weeks in the Preakness.”

Dullahan won the Grade 1 Blue Grass on April 14 before finishing third in the Derby.

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Romans has been at Belmont Park this week and was notified by Crawford’s decision via text message late Thursday night.

While Romans said he would have liked to have run Dullahan in the Preakness, he added “we’ll do what we can to get him ready for the Belmont.”

Romans did not indicate when he would ship Dullahan to New York, though last year he shipped Shackleford here in time to get a work over the track.

While Romans will not have Dullahan to run in the Preakness, he will start Cozzetti, the fourth-place finisher behind Bodemeister in the Arkansas Derby. Jose Lezcano will ride Cozzetti.

“He hasn’t shown in his races what he’s shown me training yet; one of these days he’s going to wake up and run big,” Romans said. “His Arkansas Derby was a good race; with a little different scenario he probably should have been second. I just think he’s a good horse, sitting on a big race.”

Meanwhile, Kent Desormeaux, who had ridden Dullahan in the Derby, will now ride Tiger Walk in the Preakness, according to trainer Ignacio Correas. Desormeaux has won the Preakness twice, aboard Real Quiet (1998) and Big Brown (2008).

“I think Kent really fits the horse, maybe he can work some of his magic,” Correas said.