Less than 10 days until the 136th running of the Preakness Stakes and the number of runners are still about as clear as the Bay Bridge on Memorial Day weekend. While the names of 20 horses being mentioned for the 2nd jewel of the Triple Crown, the field is limited to 14 starters. If you read between the lines in some of the below comments from each horses camp, I see no danger of any horse being unable to get in the race. In fact, there could be as little as 7 runners.
By my count there are only seven (7) “confirmed” to run…
Animal Kingdom was given the “thumbs up” as he eat up his feed following the Derby. His trainer Graham Motion mentioned he is doing well and would be stabled and trained up to the Preakness at the Fair Hill complex. The Derby winner wouldn’t be vanned to Pimlico until Thursday of Preakness Week at the earliest, but more likely on Friday. John Velazquez will no doubt be in the irons again.
Dialed In was the 5-1 Derby favorite may have finished eighth but has 6.1 million reasons to run in the Preakness as he’s eligible for a $5.5 million bonus if he wins due to winning the Holy Bull Stakes and Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. An incentive put in place this year by MDI who owns Gulfstream and Pimlico. This years Preakness winners share will be $600k. History shows the Derby favorite has often come back to win the Preakness. Julian Leparoux retains the mount.
Dance City worked 5 furlongs in 1:01 over a sloppy Churchill Downs track n Sunday. Trainer Todd Pletcher said, ““We felt like his Arkansas Derby was a very good race and we wanted to watch the (Kentucky) Derby to see how well the horses that beat us ran. Obviously Nehro ran exceptionally well. Unfortunately Archarcharch was injured but we saw what we wanted to see. His effort in the Arkansas Derby was quite good and that the Preakness fit him well.”. Dance City will breeze again on Sunday at Churchill Downs and will be on the flight of horses from Kentucky headed to Baltimore on Wednesday, May 18. Ramon Dominguez gets the mount.
Flashpoint is”definitely headed to the Preakness” according to Peachtree Stable’s John Fort, adding, “He’s training up a storm, better than ever.”. The lightly raced colt won the Hutcheson (G2), is now trained by Wesley Ward and has been in training at Keeneland. He turned in his second straight bullet workout of :59 seconds for five furlongs on Friday morning. Cornelio Velasquez has been named to ride.
King Congie breezed 5 furlongs in 1:01.14 over a fast, main track at Belmont Park. It was the 6th fastest of 17 at the distance Monday morning. “He worked very well this morning,” trainer Tom Albertrani said. “Hopefully, all goes well from now until then. Albertrani said the colt will work again at Belmont before the Preakness and is likely to ship from New York to Baltimore THE DAY BEFORE THE RACE.”. Robby Albarado will be in the irons.
Sway Away worked 6 furlongs in 1:11.60 over a fast, dirt track at Churchill Downs on Saturday. Trained by Jeff Bonde, the fourth-place Arkansas Derby (G1) finisher was scheduled to return to the track Tuesday morning and ship next Wednesday (May 18th) with the rest of the Churchill Downs-housed Preakness hopefuls to Baltimore. Garrett Gomez will ride.
Norman Asbjornson whose sire Real Quiet won the 1998 Preakness is being considered for the Preakness, according to his Maryland-based trainer Chris Grove. He worked a mile in 1:40 at Pimlico last Friday and plans on working again this Friday. Local jock Julian Pimentel gets the mount.
Those who have indicated intentions on running, but have not jumped in with both feet…
Mucho Macho Man 3rd in the Derby was flown to New York on Sunday with trainer Kathy Ritvo’s other horses. Mucho Macho Man will be stabled and trained at Belmont. “He’s doing very well.” Ritvo said. “He’s been eating good and acting real good. We’ll just see how it goes the next couple of days. He will probably go back to the track on Wednesday,” she said. “I want to give him a couple of days and just check and make sure that everything is good (before committing to the Preakness)”.
Shackleford who wound up fourth beaten less than four lengths in the Derby is trained by Dale Romans who stated on Sunday, “If he (Shackleford) is doing good, we will go (to Baltimore).”.
Santiva is “doing well” after his sixth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby according to Brendan Walsh, assistant to trainer Eddie Kenneally. “He will go back to the track in a day or two,” said Walsh, who serves as Santiva’s exercise rider. “There’s been no decision yet (on the colt’s next race). We will talk about it later in the week.”;
Astrology worked 6 furlongs in 1:12.40 on Saturday at Churchill Downs. “We liked the work,” said Barbara Banke of Stonestreet Stables. “We’ll see how he comes out of the work before making a decision on the Preakness. He looks good.”; Mike Smith gets the mount.
Concealed Identity is the local hopeful. “He came out of the Tesio very, very good,” trainer Eddie Gaudet said. “If it isn’t too crowded of a field and I get in we might go. I don’t want to cave his head in. I don’t mind if there are a few tough ones in the Preakness but I don’t want to kill his confidence. I don’t know what he can’t handle but he just drew off on them Saturday and every day he just gets better.”. When asked if a full field of 14 were confirmed at entry time, would he enter the colt, Gaudet answered, “Definitely not!”
Casper’s Touch worked five furlongs in a bullet :59.60 seconds Sunday at Churchill Downs. He finished less than a length behind Shackleford in an allowance race at Gulfstream Park prior to the Fountain Of Youth.
Mr. Commons is trained by John Shirreffs, who is considering multiple possibilities including the Preakness, but the MJC racing office has been notified that Mr. Commons is a serious candidate for the Preakness. His most recent workout came last Friday at Santa Anita going 7furlongs in 1:26.20.
Harlan’s Hello and Isn’t He Perfect New York-based trainer Doodnauth Shivmangal contacted Maryland Jockey Club Monday afternoon about running two colts he trains in the Preakness. Kharag Stables owns Isn’t He Perfect, who was sixth in the Gotham (G3) and then fifth in the Wood Memorial (G1) and the Jerome (G2) this year. Shivmangal Racing owns Harlan’s Hello, who was sixth in the Bay Shore (G3) in April and finished seventh in a grass allowance at Belmont Park on May 1.
Those being mentioned but are longshots to be entered…
Nehro trainer Steve Asmussen said the Preakness chances were “possible but not probable”. The Preakness would be his 4th race in 8 weeks. Odds are he’ll sit this one out and train for the Belmont.
Midnight Interlude trained by Bob Baffert, indicated on Sunday that a decision on the Preakness participation would be made next weekend.
Ruler On Ice Trainer Kelly Breen said that the runner-up to Concealed Identity in the Tesio at Pimlico on Derby day remains under consideration for the Preakness and would talk to the owners about the Preakness this week. “I would like to see how he came out of the Tesio and see him train before deciding our interest in the Preakness and whether we are worthy,” Breen said.
Recapping Day 22 (Sunday, May 8th) at the Pimlico Spring Meet…
Best Bet Eldarion (#9 5th race; on turf M/L 7-2; P/T 3-1) got a lot of love at the betting windows and was track handicapper Frank Carulli’s top pick for the race, but failed to be a threat, finishing mid-pack in a full field of 12.
Best Bet pick scorecard from 22 selections at the Pimlico Meet: 7 WIN – 3 PLACE – 6 SHOW.
Longshot Seeking The Point (#5 2nd race M/L 8-1; P/T 9-1) could not get out of 2nd gear and undoubtedly earned the dubious Past Performance comment “Evenly” for his 4th place effort..
Longshot pick scorecard from 22 selections at the Pimlico Meet: 4 WIN – 5 PLACE – 1 SHOW.
Here’s how the WDYL (Who Do Ya Like?) Plays panned out…
1st race ($2 DD): 1, 5 w/ 5, 7 ($8)… Came 6-2
3rd race on turf: #8 – Duke Of Devon (3-1)…PLACED $3.20 $2.60
7th race on turf: #2 – Broadway Dreamer (5-2)… OTB
9th race ($2 DD): 1, 3 w/ 3, 5 ($8)… WINNER: 3-3 paid $28.00
For the Pimlico Spring Meet, Day 23 (Thursday, May 12th) …
Soup Of The Day: Turkey Vegetable
Best Bet: Ken’s Kitten (#4 5th race on the turf; M/L 3-1) makes his second career, but first for trainer Thomas Voss who has a small barn but wins at 25% clip. He was green in his career debut on synthetic for trainer Michael Maker at Turfway Park, finishing 5th when bet to 7-2. Switches to turf and this runner is a 4 year old son of Kitten’s Joy who is a terrific turf sire.
Longshot: Bullet Catcher (#2 7th race M/L 6-1) is a 2 year old making his racing debut for an outfit who does quite well with first-timers. Jockey/trainer combo is lethal one. Workouts are nothing special but owner has an eye for talented runners, so he’s worth a shot at any price.
Other “Who Do Ya Like” (WDYL) Plays…
1st race ($2 DD): 3, 4 w/ 1, 7 ($8)
3rd race on turf: #8 – Our Second Slew (5-1) 1st turf try should be good one
4th race: #2 – Patrol Leader (7-2) stretching out to score
6th race: #7 – Mariposa Rosa (9-5) catches all the speed late
8th race on turf: #9 – Snuck On You (10-1) has best figure on grass
8th race ($1 DD): 3, 5, 9 w/ 3, 5, 9 ($9)
Enjoy a great day of thoroughbred horse racing. Share the fun with a friend