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Lukas’ Preakness horses to arrive in Baltimore Tuesday afternoon

Posted on 14 May 2013 by WNST Staff

DERBY WINNER ORB BRED TO GO THE DISTANCE FOR PREAKNESS

KRIGGER TO CHASE HISTORY ON GOLDENCENTS; GOVENOR CHARLIE READY TO GO

 

BALTIMORE, 5-14-13 – Much has been said and written about the grueling demands the Kentucky Derby places on a horse so early in his 3-year-old season. Trainer Shug McGaughey understands how stern the rigors of a 1 ¼-mile race can be on a young horse, but he has no doubt Orb was physically up to the challenge during his Kentucky Derby victory on May 4.

“I always thought that if the horse wants to run that far, it’s not going to be demanding on him. If you’re trying to make a horse do something that maybe he doesn’t want to do, then it might take more out of him than it would naturally,” McGaughey said Tuesday morning at Pimlico Race Course. “I think Orb is the kind of horse that naturally wants to go a distance of ground. In the Derby, with the pace, he got to run his race and we didn’t take him out of any game plan.”

Orb, who is likely to be heavily favored to win Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, gave his Hall of Fame trainer all he could handle in the shedrow of the Pimlico Stakes Barn Tuesday morning.

“He had a lot of energy. I walked him a few turns and had to give him up,” McGaughey said with a smile. “So far, so good. I worried a little bit yesterday coming down here: ‘Am I going too early?’ But I’m glad we got in here while it’s still good and quiet and got settled in. He had a good night and a nice morning. Everything is good.”

Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable’s homebred colt breezed a half-mile at Belmont Park Monday morning in 47.18 seconds under his motionless exercise rider, Jenn Patterson, before shipping to Pimlico in a van that arrived shortly after 3 p.m.

“She was so worried (Monday) that she had gone too fast. I had to assure her that the way he did it he didn’t (go too fast),” McGaughey said. “I asked her this morning, ‘Still think he went too fast?’ She just laughed.”

McGaughey continued to marvel at the progress Orb has shown after each race this year.

“It shows the development he’s going through. He’s showing us in his daily routine since the Derby that he’s still moving forward,” he said. “What he’s going to show in the afternoon, who knows? But right now, I’m really, really pleased with what I see.”

McGaughey walked the racetrack Tuesday morning with Patterson, who also rode a pony over the track to familiarize herself with the racing surface. The 62-year-old trainer hasn’t been a participant in the Preakness Stakes since Easy Goer’s defeat by a nose to Sunday Silence in 1989.

“As soon as I got here, it all came back to me – where I needed to be, where I was going,” he said. “I feel like I’m back on familiar ground, and I’m tickled to death to be here.”

Shug McGaughey will be available at 8 a.m. Wednesday during a press conference to be held adjacent to the Preakness Stakes Barn.

 

GOLDENCENTS – Kevin Krigger has never won a Triple Crown race, but he admits it’s been something on his riding bucket list since arriving in the U.S. from his native St. Croix more than a decade ago. On Saturday, he could become the first African-American rider to win the Preakness since and Willie Simms victory in 1898. George “Spider” Anderson is the only other African-American jockey to win, doing so in 1889.

“Basically that’s just part of the history,” said the soft-spoken Krigger, who will be the first African-American jockey to ride in the Preakness since Wayne Barnett finished eighth aboard Sparrowvon in 1985. “The media actually is paying more attention to it than I am because I really don’t have time to worry about that. I’m focused here on getting Goldencents in the Preakness winner’s circle.”

Krigger could have been back home riding at Betfair Hollywood Park, but trainer Doug O’Neill asked him to stay with the Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner and be aboard for all of his subsequent training for the Preakness.

Goldencents finished 17th as the third betting choice in the Derby, which was contested over a sloppy, sealed track.

“It was one of those races where it kind of threw up a mystery sign in all of our heads and we just had to go back to the drawing board,” said Krigger, who has been aboard for all seven of Goldencents’ races. “We didn’t get the outcome we were looking for, but the greatest thing about it is that the horse came back healthy and we’re here getting ready for the Preakness.”

Krigger said he eased up on the son of Into Mischief once he realized he was out of contention in the Derby, so he hasn’t lost any confidence in him. O’Neill admitted he was impressed by the fact that Krigger did the right thing by his colt.

“Kevin’s such a positive guy and such a positive rider,” O’Neill said Tuesday morning after Krigger took Goldencents out for his regular morning gallop around Pimlico. “He’s been great with the horse, and we’re pretty lucky to have a guy to make that kind of commitment. It just shows how dedicated he is and how passionate he is. He’s a real team player.”

Krigger said it wasn’t a difficult decision to make the commitment to Goldencents.

“I have a lot of faith in him,” he said. “I’ve been on this horse every time, and these guys stuck with me. They kept me on this horse this far, and I would have felt bad if I was in California after they asked me to stay here and I refused. As easily as I could have ridden other horses back there, they could have had someone else on him. I’m on him because they have faith in my riding ability and we get along good – not just me and the horse, but me and the entire team. They’re a great team to work with.”

Meanwhile, Krigger has become something of a local hero in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where his family still lives. In fact, he brought his grandmother here to have knee surgery.

“I found out about two days before the Derby that I had a Facebook page,” said the 29-year-old Preakness rookie. “I guess it was put together by my sister and my cousin, and my mother informed me that the Virgin Islands media are trying to get hold of me to do interviews. She also informed me that a lot of kids are leaving comments as far as I inspired them to follow their dreams. I don’t really keep up with social media, but that made me appreciate my ‘Like’ page for the first time.”

Only two of the last eight Derby winners have also captured the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown: Big Brown in 2008 and the O’Neill-trained I’ll Have Another last year. (I’ll Have Another never got his Triple Crown chance when he came up injured the day before the Belmont Stakes).

“I feel we have a good chance to win again; if we get a good trip, I think we can win,” said O’Neill, who also paid his respects to Derby winner Orb. “Shug’s (McGaughey) a Hall of Fame trainer. (Orb) is a Triple Crown threat for sure.”

 

GOVENOR CHARLIE – Mike Pegram’s colt remains on course for a start in the Preakness, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said Tuesday.

“He came out of his work really, really well,” said Baffert, who has won the 1 3/16-mile classic five times. “We are prepared to go.”

Govenor Charlie worked six furlongs in 1:10 4/5 Monday morning at Churchill Downs. Baffert is at home in California this week and has been receiving reports from Kentucky on the colt from his longtime assistant, Jimmy Barnes.

The Sunland Derby (G3) winner did not compete in the Kentucky Derby because a minor foot bruise caused him to miss some training time in April. Govenor Charlie has had three solid works and has demonstrated that he has recovered from the foot issue.

Although Baffert noted that he has until Wednesday morning to change his mind about shipping the Midnight Lute colt to Maryland, he said, “Unless he shows me something, it’s pretty likely he’ll be on that plane.”

Jockey Martin Garcia, who has ridden Govenor Charlie in his three career races, will be aboard in the Preakness.

Baffert is scheduled to travel to Baltimore on Thursday.

Govenor Charlie will be Baffert’s 14th Preakness starter. He has won with Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), Point Given (2001), War Emblem (2002) and Lookin At Lucky (2010). The Hall of Fame trainer saddled Bodemeister for a second-place finish behind I’ll Have Another last year.

 

DEPARTING – Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s Departing returned to the track early Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs for the first time since working a half-mile in 50 2/5 seconds on Sunday morning.

With trainer Al Stall Jr. leading the Illinois Derby (G3) winner to the track with regular morning partner Trina Pasckvale aboard, Departing stood near the six-furlong gap for 10 minutes before galloping a mile.

“We may come out a little later in the morning,” Stall said. “He may stand in the little gate (in the mile chute) and then gallop a mile and a half.”

 

ITSMYLUCKYDAY – Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa’s Itsmyluckyday is scheduled to arrive at Pimlico Tuesday afternoon.

The Gulfstream Park Derby and Holy Bull (G3) winner jogged at Monmouth Park Tuesday morning before being loaded onto a van.

“Everything is good,” said trainer Eddie Plesa Jr., who will arrive in Baltimore on Wednesday afternoon.

 

MYLUTE – GoldMark Farm and Whisper Hill Farm’s fifth-place Kentucky Derby runner Mylute walked the shedrow at Barn 29 at Churchill Downs a day after working a half-mile in 49 3/5 seconds.

“He came out of the work good and will jog in the morning,” trainer Tom Amoss said.

 

OXBOW/TITLETOWN FIVE/WILL TAKE CHARGE – Trainer D. Wayne Lukas’ Pimlico contingent that included three candidates for Saturday’s Preakness left the Churchill Downs barn area early Tuesday morning by van for Baltimore. The van is expected to arrive at Pimlico before 5 p.m.

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Derby winner Orb arrives at Pimlico for Preakness

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Derby winner Orb arrives at Pimlico for Preakness

Posted on 13 May 2013 by WNST Staff

DERBY WINNER ORB ARRIVES AT PIMLICO FOR PREAKNESS

BALTIMORE, 05-13-13 – Kentucky Derby winner Orb arrived at Pimlico Race Course Monday, stepping off the van that transported him from Belmont Park shortly after 3 p.m. to continue his preparation for Saturday’s 138th running of the Preakness Stakes (G1).

Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable’s homebred 3-year-old colt hungrily grazed on grass for 40 minutes before being bedded down in Stall 40, the stall annually reserved for the Kentucky Derby (G1) winner.

Trainer Shug McGaughey arrived at Pimlico approximately an hour after the van and was pleased with his colt’s condition, as well as honored that his Derby winner was occupying the same stall that housed so many thoroughbred greats through the years.

“You can’t believe how proud I am,” the Hall of Fame trainer said while addressing the media. “I’m thrilled to be standing here right now. I couldn’t be a happier guy. I’m excited to be here today.”

Orb won his fifth straight race at Churchill Downs on May 4 while providing his trainer with his first Kentucky Derby success in a very distinguished career. McGaughey, who will be seeking his first Preakness victory with Orb, hasn’t competed in the Preakness since 1989, when Kentucky Derby runner-up Easy Goer lost the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown to Kentucky Derby winner Sunday Silence by a nose.

“Obviously, I’m here with the Derby winner, so I’m probably a lot more at ease than when I came in that time,” said McGaughey, who saddled Easy Goer for a victory over Sunday Silence in the Belmont Stakes (G1). “We’re excited where we are. We’re glad to be here.”

Orb was the second Preakness hopeful to arrive at Pimlico, joining Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Goldencents, the 17th-place Derby finisher who shipped in early last week.

“When I came in ’89, we came in here on Tuesday. This year, I made up my mind I wanted to work him a day out from there and get him down here to try to get him used to his surroundings,” McGaughey said. “I want to school him in the paddock and not do too much at one time, so I figured we’d get him in here today.”

Orb will likely be heavily favored in the Preakness.

“Not that I’m not going to be watching the other horses – watching their workouts, how they do, and how they ship in here – but my main concern is Orb and trying to get him from Monday afternoon to Saturday afternoon the best way that I possibly can,” McGaughey said.

Before stepping onto the Pimlico-bound van, Orb was sent to the track at Belmont for a final workout for the Preakness. The son of Malibu Moon, who breezed a half-mile under exercise rider Jenn Patterson, was timed in 47.18, the fifth-fastest of 96 recorded at the distance Monday morning.

“His work this morning was nothing short of magnificent,”  McGaughey said. “I couldn’t be happier with where we are.”

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Orb “magnificent”, Vyjack out of Preakness

Posted on 13 May 2013 by WNST Staff

DERBY HERO ORB ‘MAGNIFICENT’ IN WORKOUT FOR PREACHINESS

GOVENOR CHARLIE, MYLUTE, LUKAS DUO BREEZE IN KENTUCKY

 

BALTIMORE, 05-13-13 – Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Orb made a strong impression at Belmont Park Monday morning during a four-furlong tune-up for Saturday’s 138th Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course.

“I thought it was nothing short of magnificent,” trainer Shug McGaughey said after Orb made his sharp workout under exercise rider Jenn Patterson look effortless.

The son of Malibu Moon was timed in 47.18 seconds for the half-mile after breezing the first quarter of a mile in 24.47 seconds. Orb galloped out five furlongs in 59.54 seconds.

“He broke off very relaxed and finished up unbelievably, just on his own. I was shocked when I looked down at my watch and saw he worked from the eighth-pole to the wire in 11-and-change,” said McGaughey, who revealed that the work sent chills up his back. “He was covering the ground as good as a horse could cover it. He galloped out fine, dropped his head and walked home.”

Leading up to his commanding 2 ½-length Kentucky Derby victory on May 4, Orb produced a strong half-mile workout in company at Churchill Downs that also received rave reviews.

“All in all, I was just as impressed with this work as I was with the one in Louisville. It was a cool morning here and the track had a little bounce to it, because it had a little moisture in it from the rains over the weekend, and it was in terrific shape,” said McGaughey, whose colt turned in the fifth-fastest clocking of 96 recorded at the four-furlong distance. “But the way he went and the way he finished, well in hand, and came back, it was very, very visually impressive to me, and I couldn’t be happier with what I saw.”

Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable’s home-bred colt was loaded on a van shortly after 10 a.m. and was scheduled to arrive at Pimlico in mid-afternoon. Orb will occupy Stall 40 in the Preakness Stakes Barn, the stall that is traditionally reserved for the Kentucky Derby hero.

 

GOVENOR CHARLIE – Mike Pegram’s homebred colt showed that he has recovered from the minor problems that kept him out of the Kentucky Derby with a sharp six-furlong work in 1:10 4/5 Monday morning at Churchill Downs.

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert was satisfied with the performance and said a final decision on whether to run in the Preakness will be made Tuesday. Govenor Charlie, winner of the Sunland Derby (G3) on March 24, is booked on a flight from Louisville, Ky. to Maryland on Wednesday.

“He worked good enough to run,” Baffert said. “I think today we’re caught up for the little time that we lost.”

Govenor Charlie was found to have a bruise in a hind foot in April, was examined at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital and subsequently missed two workouts. Baffert then decided he was not ready for the Derby.

The work Monday was his third since returning from the break in training and was the fastest of four at the distance. Working in company with Fed Biz, who was ridden by Rosie Napravnik, Govenor Charlie turned in split times of :11 4/5, :23 4/5, :35 and :58 1/5 under Ricardo Santana Jr. He galloped out seven furlongs in 1:24 4/5.

“That’s him,” Baffert said. “When he starts working like that, it means he’s doing really well.”

However, Baffert said he wouldn’t commit the son of Midnight Lute to the Preakness until Tuesday.

“I have to see how he comes out of it,” Baffert said. “He went very, very well. That’s a call that I have to make.”

 

MYLUTE – GoldMark Farm and Whisper Hill Farm’s Mylute, the fifth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, worked a half-mile in 49 3/5 seconds over a fast surface at Churchill Downs shortly after the track opened for training at 6 a.m.

Working on his own and with jockey Rosie Napravnik up, Mylute jogged once around and then galloped once around with a pony before producing fractions of :12 4/5, :24 4/5 and galloping out five furlongs in 1:04 2/5. The half-mile time was the 20thfastest of 40 recorded at the distance for the morning.

“It was a good breeze and the track was in excellent shape,” trainer Tom Amoss said. “This was similar to what he did before the Kentucky Derby but just a bit faster, and I hope that is a product of him being ready to roll.”
OXBOW/TITLETOWN FIVE/WILL TAKE CHARGE – Five-time Preakness-winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas sent Oxbow and Will Take Charge, his sixth- and eighth-place Kentucky Derby finishers, respectively, to the track for four-furlong workouts Monday morning at Churchill Downs.

After the renovation break, Oxbow, ridden by jockey Gary Stevens, came out to work a half-mile in 49 4/5 seconds, the 22ndfastest of 40 for the morning at the distance. The son of Awesome Again posted fractions of :12 3/5, :24 3/5 and :37 3/5  before galloping out five furlongs in 1:03 3/5.

Earlier, Will Take Charge, who is scheduled to be ridden by Mike Smith, worked a half-mile in 48 2/5 seconds under exercise rider Rudy Quevedo. Will Take Charge posted fractions of :12 3/5, :24 1/5 and :36 for the work that ranked sixth fastest of 40 at the distance.

Titletown Five, who will be ridden in the Preakness by Julien Leparoux, was the first Lukas horse on the track Monday and he open-galloped 1 ¼ miles with a blowout down the stretch that was not recorded by clockers. Quevedo was aboard.

“We varied them a bit, but it was pretty much what I wanted,” said Lukas of Oxbow and Will Take Charge. “Coming off a tough race in the mud (in the Derby), the tendency sometimes is to do too much.”

Stevens, a two-time Preakness winner, liked Oxbow’s work.

“Time was not a factor and this was more about his mind and keeping him relaxed for the trip (to Maryland) tomorrow,” said Stevens, who tasted Preakness success with Silver Charm (1997) and Point Given (2001). “The main thing is to keep him happy. I think I am sitting on the right horse with the right style.”

Stevens envisions a different pace scenario from the Derby, in which Palace Malice led the field through the mud in fractions of :22.57, :45.33 and 1:09.80.

“I do not think the pace will be the same,” Stevens said. “You may want to forgive some of the horses for their races in the Derby. I thought Goldencents would be with us on the lead and he was outside of us and getting all the kickback. At the five-eighths pole, I could see that Kevin (Krigger on Goldencents) was not comfortable and he could not go inside, because that is where I was, and he had two horses on his outside.

“I think you can throw that race out and I respect all of the opposition.”

Lukas said his Pimlico contingent would start loading at the barn at 3 a.m. Tuesday and expects to be at Old Hilltop around 4 p.m. The Hall of Fame conditioner will be on the van with his horses.

“I go with them whether we fly or go by van,” Lukas said. “I just like to be with them.”

 

DEPARTING – Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s Departing walked the shedrow at Barn 45 at Churchill Downs Monday morning, a day after working a half-mile in 50 2/5 seconds.

Trainer Al Stall Jr. said the Illinois Derby (G3) winner came out of the work fine and is scheduled to return to the track Tuesday morning to gallop a mile. Brian Hernandez Jr., who has been aboard Departing in all five of his starts, has the Preakness mount.
GOLDENCENTS – Trainer Doug O’Neill stood on the deck outside the press box at Pimlico around 8:45 on a brisk Monday morning to get an overhead view of his Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner going through a spirited mile gallop under jockey Kevin Krigger.

“I thought he went really well,” said O’Neill, who won last year’s Preakness with Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another. “Kevin was kind enough to come over here after Churchill and get to know him even better – even though he knows him so well. Coming down the lane, Goldencents was so comfortable and he was reaching out great. I just loved what I saw today.”

O’Neill had originally planned to give the son of Into Mischief a workout at Pimlico after his poor performance in the Kentucky Derby (an eased-up 17th), but on Sunday he decided to use the same training regimen he had with I’ll Have Another and gallop into the race.

“I think he trains as hard as a lot of horses work,” said the 44-year-old Michigan native, who had the only Preakness contender on the grounds as of Monday morning. “He puts in a good effort every day, so in my mind there’s just no need – unless we have some weather issues or something like that. The goal was: if he could gallop comfortably every day, that’s what we would do, and so far, so good.”

O’Neill, who sent 12 horses to Pimlico, including Goldencents, shortly after the Derby, said he doesn’t expect part-owner Rick Pitino to be present for the Preakness, but his son, Richard, is planning to attend. Pitino, who coached Louisville to the NCAA basketball title in March, owns five percent of Goldencents with W.C. Racing and Dave Kenney.

Goldencents was the third choice in the wagering in Kentucky off his impressive victory in the Santa Anita Derby, but he was really not a factor after the first half-mile or so at Churchill Downs.

“When we got to the three-eighths pole the race changed for him completely,” said Krigger, who came directly to Pimlico with the colt after the Derby. “He went from just sitting comfortably to just not giving me the effort that he usually puts out. When we got to the five-sixteenths pole he just started regressing more for whatever reason it was, and I just decided, instead of harassing him and causing him to struggle on the sloppy track, to protect him and wrap up on him and brought him home.”

Last year, I’ll Have Another was the target; this year O’Neill comes to Baltimore as the hunter, seeking to stop Orb’s quest to add the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.

“It was a great feeling last year being the hunted, but a hunter’s not bad,” said the Southern California-based conditioner, whose Triple Crown bid with I’ll Have Another was thwarted by an injury that forced him to scratch the day before the Belmont Stakes (G1).  “Just being here is a real honor, and I give great thanks to the horse and the owners. This (the Preakness) is just an experience you want to be part of.”

Goldencents has already earned $1.2 million with four victories from seven starts, and O’Neill is drawing a line through the Derby.

“I think it was kind of a demanding track, and it just wasn’t to our liking,” he said. “I think we’re going to see a much better result Saturday.”

 

ITSMYLUCKYDAY – Itsmyluckyday came out of his half-mile workout at Monmouth Park Sunday afternoon “100 percent,” reported trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. Monday morning.

“He was acting like nothing happened,” said Plesa of Itsmyluckyday’s behavior when he checked on his Gulfstream Park Derby and Holy Bull (G3) winner Monday.

The son of Lawyer Ron worked between Sunday’s third and fourth races at Monmouth, breezing four furlongs in 47 1/5 seconds.

Itsmyluckyday is scheduled to van to Pimlico at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

 

VYJACK – Trainer Rudy Rodriguez informed Maryland Jockey Club officials Monday morning that Vyjack, the 18th-place Derby finisher, will not be entered in the Preakness Stakes.

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Normandy Invasion will not run in Preakness

Posted on 12 May 2013 by WNST Staff

DEPARTING ON THE MARK IN WORKOUT FOR PREAKNESS STAKES

NORMANDY INVASION TO PASS; ORB SCHOOLS, GALLOPS

 

BALTIMORE, 05-12-13 –With trainer Al Stall Jr. and jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. watching from the grandstand, Illinois Derby (G3) winner Departing worked a half-mile in 50 2/5 seconds over a fast track at Churchill Downs on Sunday morning in preparation for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes (G1).

With former jockey Larry Melancon up, Departing worked on his own while producing fractions of :13 1/5, :25 2/5, :38 1/5 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:03 4/5.

“I wanted him to go a little slower the first part than the second part and he hit right on what we were looking for,” Stall said. “He did enough to get the day off tomorrow. He is a gelding and doesn’t carry a lot of weight. He had galloped two miles on Thursday and a spirited mile and half Friday.”

Owned by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider, Departing is scheduled to walk Monday and then train Tuesday and Wednesday morning before shipping to Pimlico Race Course on Wednesday afternoon. Stall said he has a 2 p.m. flight Wednesday and would be in Baltimore in time for the Preakness draw that afternoon.

Departing will be the second Preakness starter for Stall, whose Terrain finished seventh in 2009 behind eventual Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra. Like Terrain, Departing did not run in the Kentucky Derby prior to the Preakness.

“After the Louisiana Derby, the Kentucky Derby was off the table with the point system,” Stall said. “It worked out well for us. The Illinois Derby billed itself as a prep for the Preakness and hopefully we can make it successful for the Illinois Derby.”

Waiting at Pimlico when Departing arrives will be Kentucky Derby winner Orb, who shared a paddock at Claiborne Farm in his early days with Departing. Orb is owned by Stuart Janney III and the Phipps Stable.

“Those families have been down the road before,” Stall said of the Hancocks of Claiborne Farm and the Phippses. “Seeking the Gold and Forty Niner ran against each other in big races like the Derby, Haskell and Travers (in 1988), and I am sure they are all going to try to run their ‘A’ race.”

As many as eight horses that ran in the Derby remain under consideration for the Preakness, headed by Orb.

“Orb will be even money or less,” Stall said of the Derby victor who earned the roses over a sloppy, sealed track. “There have been horses that have rebounded from Derbys, like Louis Quatorze (16th in the 1996 Derby), that won or ran well in the Preakness.

“Goldencents trained well here and then ran a 32 Beyer (Speed Figure) in the Derby. Horses can come back to themselves and run 70 to 80 points higher.”

Stall is eager to get to Baltimore.

“It is exciting and there is maybe more buildup to this than with Blame in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic,” said Stall, who saddled Blame for a thrilling victory over previously undefeated Zenyatta in the 2010 Classic at Churchill. “My wife is from Baltimore and we are looking forward to a good time there and enjoying the race.”
ORB – Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable’s Orb visited the Belmont Park paddock before galloping 1 ½ miles over a sloppy track Sunday morning.

Trainer Shug McGaughey also continued to stay busy with a flood of media requests that come with saddling the winner of the Kentucky Derby.

“I think it’s a big responsibility to accommodate what’s out there and try to portray what the win means to all of us – myself and my family, the Janneys and Phippses and their families and all the people at the barn,” the Hall of Fame trainer said. “I’d like to get it out there to people that racing can be a fun and rewarding sport.”

Orb, who captured the Derby by 2 ½ lengths a week ago, is scheduled to breeze at Belmont Park Monday morning, as long as the track at Belmont dries out.

“I think it will be fine. The sun’s out, there’s no humidity and the wind’s picking up. I think it’ll be fine,” said McGaughey, who is planning to ship Orb to Pimlico Monday following the scheduled breeze.
ITSMYLUCKYDAY – Itsmyluckyday is scheduled to work out between races at Monmouth Park Sunday afternoon in preparation for a start in the Preakness.

“The racetrack was closed this morning. I’m going to work him between the third and fourth races here at Monmouth,” trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. said. “Elvis Trujillo is going to work him.”

Itsmyluckyday was ridden by Trujillo in the Kentucky Derby, in which he finished 15th, but Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez has the mount for the Preakness. Trujillo had previously ridden the Florida-bred colt to victory in the Gulfstream Park Derby and Holy Bull (G3) before a second-place finish behind Orb in the Florida Derby (G1).

 

GOLDENCENTS – Trainer Doug O’Neill has decided not to work the Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner between the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. Assistant trainer Jack Sisterson, who has been overseeing the care of O’Neill’s 14 horses at Pimlico, said that a plan for a breeze Monday morning had been scrapped and the colt will gallop up to the Preakness.

“It was never certain that he was going to work. It was kind of tentative,” Sisterson said. “We never worked I’ll Have Another, so we’re going to stay on that schedule.”

O’Neill sent 2012 Derby winner I’ll Have Another to Pimlico two days after his victory at Churchill Downs. The colt flourished in the low-key atmosphere at Pimlico, turned in vigorous gallops and won the Preakness. Goldencents disappointed as the third choice in the Derby wagering, finishing 17th on the sloppy, sealed racetrack. O’Neill followed suit, though, and shipped Goldencents to Pimlico, where he resumed his morning-gallop schedule last Friday under his regular jockey, Kevin Krigger.

”He’s getting enough out of his training where he doesn’t need to work,” Sisterson said. “He’s doing very well.”

Krigger put Goldencents through the same routine Sunday, jogging down the stretch and around the first turn before sending him off to gallop a lap of the track.

“The one thing we’re starting to notice is he’s getting better each day,” Sisterson said. “He hasn’t put a foot wrong since we got here. He seems to be really getting over the track well and striding out. We’re very happy with him.”

O’Neill is scheduled to travel from California to Baltimore on Sunday and be at the barn at Pimlico Monday morning.

In 2012, O’Neill’s stable pony, the retired stakes winner Lava Man, received a lot of attention as he led the Derby winner to and from the track each morning. Lava Man isn’t part of the Preakness scene this year because of his relationship – or lack of it – with Goldencents.

“They’ve got the similarities where they are eager to train. Putting them both together, they wind each other up,” said Sisterson, who has been ponying Goldencents aboard Sapphire. “This is more of a relaxed pony.  It’s not to say that Lava Man and Goldencents don’t get along, but we want to have him as relaxed as possible in the morning to the point where he’s getting the most out of his training, instead of being wound up going to the track.”

A member of O’Neill’s staff said it is like putting two Type-A personalities together on a project.

“They kind of butt heads at times,” Sisterson said. “You get that with people. They enjoy training, they want to get on with it and they’re eager to make it happen. That’s both Goldencents and Lava Man.”

 

GOVENOR CHARLIE – Mike Pegram’s Govenor Charlie had an easy two-mile gallop under exercise rider Jorge Alvarez at Churchill Downs Sunday morning. The Bob Baffert trainee, who schooled in the Churchill paddock during Sunday’s first race, is scheduled to work Monday.

 

MYLUTE – GoldMark Farm and Whisper Hill Farm’s Mylute galloped 1 ½ miles at Churchill Downs under exercise rider Maurice Sanchez. The fifth-place Kentucky Derby finisher is scheduled to work Monday morning.

“It will be an easy half, nothing fancy,” trainer Tom Amoss said.

Jockey Rosie Napravnik is scheduled to be aboard for the work slated for 6 a.m.

 

NORMANDY INVASION – Trainer Chad Brown reported Sunday afternoon that Rick Porter’s Normandy Invasion will not run in the Preakness Stakes.

“Mr. Porter and I decided to pass on the Preakness with Normandy Invasion and focus on the summer campaign with him,” Brown said.

Normandy Invasion turned in a strong performance in the Kentucky Derby, taking the lead in the stretch before finishing fourth, 3 1/2 lengths behind Orb. Brown ruled out the Preakness on the morning after the Derby but decided on Monday to consider the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown for a few days.

 

OXBOW/TITLETOWN FIVE/WILL TAKE CHARGE – Oxbow and Will Take Charge, the sixth- and eighth-place finishers, respectively, in the Kentucky Derby jogged two miles at Churchill Downs and Titletown Five, fourth in the Derby Trial (G3) in his most recent start, galloped 1 ½ miles Sunday morning.

“Oxbow and Will Take Charge will work in the morning and Titletown Five will breeze through the stretch,” trainer D. Wayne Lukas said.

The Lukas Pimlico contingent that figures to be eight strong is scheduled to leave Louisville by van at 3 a.m. Tuesday.

 

VYJACK – Pick Six Racing’s Gotham (G3) winner remains a Preakness candidate. Aqueduct-based trainer Rudy Rodriguez said a decision on whether to run the gelding may not be made until Wednesday when entries are taken. Jockey Garrett Gomez had trouble controlling Vyjack early in the Derby. He was up on the pace in the early stages of the race but gave way and finished 18th.

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Trainer McGaughey continues to be happy with Orb’s work ahead of Preakness

Posted on 10 May 2013 by WNST Staff

DERBY WINNER ORB CONTINUES TO LOOK GOOD FOR PREAKNESS STAKES

Itsmyluckyday Scheduled for Work; Goldencents Gallops at Pimlico 

 BALTIMORE, 05-10-13—Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Orb galloped 1 ¼ miles under exercise rider Jenn Patterson at Belmont Park Friday morning, looking the picture of a happy, healthy horse ready to take on the challenge of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 18.

“I was pleased with everything I’ve been seeing,” trainer Shug McGaughey said.

The Hall of Fame trainer has had trouble taking his eyes off the 3-year-old colt that provided him with his first Kentucky Derby success at Churchill Downs on May 4.

“He’s filled out so much physically. I look at him and I can’t believe what I’m seeing from last November to now,” McGaughey said. “Mentally, everything’s come together. He was a bit difficult at the gate all of his 2-year-old year and that’s all behind him. I couldn’t be more pleased with his development.”

Orb, who closed from 17th to post a dominating 2 ½-length victory in the Derby, has won five races in a row, starting with his maiden victory at Aqueduct last November. In his two most recent starts in the Kentucky Derby and the Florida Derby (G1), in particular, Orb was well in command as he crossed the finish line, leading observers to conclude that in each instance he had reserved some energy for his next race.

“I think it’s because he’s getting it done quicker than we think he is. In the Florida Derby, Johnny (Velazquez) said he got there quicker than he thought he would and he had to throttle him down. I think it was the same in the Kentucky Derby. He got to those horses quicker than he (Joel Rosario) thought he would.”

Orb is regarded as a closer, but his running style doesn’t leave him at the mercy of the early pace.

“He comes from back, but they don’t take him back. It depends on the color of the race. If it’s a fast pace, he’ll be off of it, but if it’s slow, I think he’ll actually be laying up close like he was in the Florida Derby – within four, five, six lengths,” McGaughey said. “And he’s got enough of a punch that you don’t take him out of the game plan when you do lay up close.”

Itsmyluckyday, who finished second to Orb in the Florida Derby before faltering to 15th in the Kentucky Derby, galloped at Monmouth Park Friday morning. Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr., who arrived from his South Florida home base to Monmouth Thursday afternoon, supervised the morning exercise.

“He looked as good to me as he did in Kentucky (before the Derby),” Plesa said. “His gallop today was very, very well into the bit. He’s just feeling very good.”

Forecasts for weekend rains in New Jersey caused Plesa to call an audible while mapping out Itsmyluckyday’s work schedule.

“I’m hoping to work him the next couple days. We’re expecting rain up here. I was initially going to work him Sunday, but I’ve moved it up to Saturday,” Plesa said. “We’ll see what it looks like tomorrow. I can work him as late as Monday. If something happens and it’s still raining on Monday, which it could be, I don’t have to work him, but my preference would be to work him.”

Plesa said Itsmyluckyday is tentatively scheduled to ship to Pimlico on Tuesday.

Goldencents also turned in an enthusiastic gallop Friday morning at Pimlico Race Course under his jockey, Kevin Krigger. It was the first piece of serious exercise for the colt since he finished 17th in the Kentucky Derby last Saturday. He returned to the track Thursday and jogged.

Krigger is spending the two weeks between the Derby and the Preakness with trainer Doug O’Neill’s outfit at Pimlico. He is the exercise rider for all 14 of the O’Neill horses stabled at the Baltimore track and has picked up a pair of mounts on the Saturday racing program at Pimlico, but his priority is Goldencents, the Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner.

Goldencents jogged for a half-mile and appeared to be very alert and interested when Krigger asked him to pick up the pace and gallop about six furlongs.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been able to gallop him and I got what I was looking for out of him – a pretty good relaxed gallop,” Krigger said. “He stayed relaxed and that’s basically what I’m focusing on, letting him achieve the workouts that he needs, not be rank doing it and be comfortable and relaxed. I got that out of him this morning.”

Assistant trainer Jack Sisterson liked what he saw from the Into Mischief colt during the 20 minutes he was on the track Friday.

“He’s one horse that gets a lot out of his training,” Sisterson said. “We wanted to see how he would come out of the Kentucky Derby and he’s bounced out of it with high energy. He moved over the track well and Kevin was really happy with him this morning.”

Goldencents trained well at Churchill Downs but turned in a disappointing performance in the Derby, which was run over a sloppy, sealed surface. He was near the pace early, but on the run up the backstretch Krigger realized that Goldencents would not be a contender in the final quarter mile and didn’t ride him hard to the wire.

“It’s not the first race that he’s not run to expectations, but it was the Derby and a race that we all wanted to win,” Krigger said. “At the same time it was a race that we enjoyed participating in. We didn’t get the turnout that we were looking for but he came out of the Derby happy and he came out of the Derby sound and his energy level is up. It’s like he didn’t even run last week. We’re just keeping our focus. I don’t think any of us has lost any confidence. We looked back at the race and if he had gotten beaten in the stretch we would probably feel more disappointed than we do. It’s as simple as he didn’t run his race at all. We’re just drawing a line through that race and staying focused and keeping our confidence. As you can see, he’s doing the same thing. We’re all on the same page.”

Goldencents is scheduled to gallop again on Saturday and Sunday. O’Neill is flying in from California on Sunday to watch the colt breeze on Monday morning.

Krigger said that O’Neill will see a horse that has adapted well to the track.

“He looks great, is traveling great,” Krigger said. “From my first day galloping him, I’m pretty confident that we’re going to be pretty competitive in the Preakness.”

Krigger is looking to become the third African-American rider to win the Preakness and the first since 1898 when Willie Simms won aboard Sly Fox. George “Spider” Anderson captured the 1889 Preakness with Buddhist. Six African-American riders have previously ridden in the Preakness. The last was Wayne Barrett, who finished eighth in 1985 with Sparrowvon.

Illinois Derby (G3) winner Departing galloped “a spirited” 1 ½ miles in the words of trainer Al Stall Jr. on Friday morning at Churchill Downs.  Owned by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider, Departing is scheduled to work Sunday morning at 8:30, walk Monday and then train the next two mornings before shipping to Pimlico on Wednesday.

GoldMark Farm and Whisper Hill Farm’s Mylute galloped 1 ½ miles at Churchill Friday morning. A decision on the Preakness status of the fifth-place Kentucky Derby finisher will be made in the morning.

“He trained well this morning and showed good energy. I was satisfied with what I saw and passed that on to the owners,” trainer Tom Amoss said. “After he trains in the morning, I’ll call the owners at 7 and we will make a decision on the race.”

All three of trainer D. Wayne Lukas’ Preakness hopefuls, Oxbow, Will Take Charge and Titletown Five, galloped early Friday morning at Churchill. Lukas plans to van nine horses to Pimlico on Tuesday with a 3 a.m. departure from Churchill Downs.

The Hall of Fame trainer saddled Oxbow and Will Take Charge for sixth- and eighth-place finishes, respectively, in the Kentucky Derby. Lukas was particularly impressed with Will Take Charge’s effort during a troubled journey.

“You look at the aerial view of the race, and Will Take Charge may have been running the best of all,” Lukas said. “He was moving with Orb and then he got checked twice when Verrazano ducked in and out in front of him.”

Normandy Invasion galloped at Belmont Park Friday morning for trainer Chad Brown. The Tapit colt owned by Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farms, remains a candidate for the Preakness. Brown said on Sunday morning that the fourth-place finisher in the Derby – who led in the stretch – would not run back in two weeks in the Preakness. However, Brown reconsidered that stance on Monday and decided to wait until this weekend before deciding whether Normandy Invasion would be entered in the Preakness.

Govenor Charlie, Vyjack and Street Spice remained Preakness candidates Friday.

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Derby winner Orb to ship to Baltimore Monday

Posted on 09 May 2013 by WNST Staff

DERBY WINNER ORB PLEASES TRAINER; SCHEDULED TO SHIP TO PIMLICO MONDAY

 

Goldencents Jogs over Pimlico track; Hernandez Set for First Preakness Ride

 

BALTIMORE, 05-09-13—Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable’s Orb pleased trainer Shug McGaughey during his morning visit to the sloppy track at Belmont Park Thursday. The Kentucky Derby (G1) winner also gave exercise rider Jenn Patterson all the right signs in his preparation for the 138th Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico on May 18.

 

“He jogged three-eighths to a half-mile and galloped a mile. I thought everything was good,” said McGaughey, whose colt had jogged a mile on a sloppy track Wednesday in his first visit to the track since his 2 ½-length victory at Churchill Downs last Saturday. “The track was still sloppy. Jenn said he was kind of bucking and playing and jumping the water puddles on the backstretch. I was pleased with what I saw. His energy level is right where you’d want it to be on Thursday after Saturday.”

 

McGaughey outlined the challenge he faces while preparing Orb for a return to the races in just two weeks.

 

“The first thing we’ve got to do and what we’ve been doing is getting him over his last race – try to get him back on his feet the best we can, get him fresh and happy again,” the Hall of Fame trainer said. “Next week, we’ll get him ready to run again and that’ll hopefully be through the breeze on Monday. We just want to put him back in the game. We don’t need anything fast, just something that puts his mind back on what he’s doing. Then, we’ll get him to Pimlico and get him acclimated. There’s not much else we can do.”

 

McGaughey, who said it was likely that Orb would ship to Pimlico on Monday following his breeze that morning, expressed confidence that his Derby winner was up to the challenge of running back in two weeks.

 

“Day in and day out, with your better horses, you don’t want to run them back in two weeks, because they give you a lot when they run. You’ve got to train them a little bit to get them to run again,” McGaughey said. “There’s no compromise here. You’ve got to do it. You’ve just got to hope you haven’t drained your horse over the winter with prep races and his training, so he can bounce out of a big race like he had on Derby Day. But I think we’ll be fine.”

 

Goldencents, the only Preakness candidate on the Pimlico grounds thus far, is also set for the two-week turnaround following his 17th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby. The son of Into Mischief returned to the track for the first time since the Derby Thursday morning when he jogged once around the Pimlico oval under jockey Kevin Krigger.

 

The Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner was shipped from Kentucky Monday afternoon and arrived at Pimlico early Tuesday morning. The Doug O’Neill-trained colt walked the shedrow Tuesday and Wednesday morning and was given his first bit of exercise for the Preakness by Krigger at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

 

Assistant trainer Jack Sisterson said that Goldencents will jog and gallop Friday morning and will have a timed workout on Monday.

 

“Basically, this morning was just to have him stretch his legs, get warmed up for tomorrow,” Krigger said. “It was more to feel how good he felt and he felt perfect today. Everything was good. He was smooth, graceful on the track, and relaxed. That’s all the factors you’re looking for.”

 

O’Neill sent 2012 Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another to Pimlico the Monday after the race to prepare for the Preakness, which the colt won. Though Goldencents did not match I’ll Have Another’s result in the Derby, finishing 17th after contesting the early pace, O’Neill is using a similar program to get him to the Preakness.

 

“It was successful last year, so why change it?” Sisterson said.

 

Goldencents, a three-time stakes winner, got his first look at the Pimlico track during the easy jog.

 

“This is one of the first steps training-wise leading up to the Preakness,” Sisterson said. “We just jogged him and we were very happy. There was no sign of stiffness or tightness. His energy level was high. He’s a very happy horse.”

 

Krigger has ridden Goldencents in all seven of his career starts and said the Derby, run on a sloppy, sealed track at Churchill Downs, was an uncharacteristic performance.

 

“The key to him is to have him run his race,” Krigger said. “If you look at the Kentucky Derby, at least to me, that wasn’t the race we expected to see out of him at all. We had a lot of factors in the race that could have been the reason. We’re here trying to regroup, gather him back up and get back on the winning trail.”

 

Sisterson and other members of the O’Neill staff have been enjoying their second visit to Baltimore for the Preakness. The Maryland Jockey Club arranged for them to attend a Baltimore Orioles game against the Kansas City Royals Thursday night.

 

“We said last year that we’d love to get back,” Sisterson said. “We didn’t expect it to be the year after.”

 

As of Thursday, as many as eight Derby starters could make the same quick turnaround at Pimlico. The Al Stall Jr.-trained Departing, who captured the Illinois Derby (G3) at Hawthorne in his last start, will have the luxury of four weeks between starts.

 

Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr., who is looking forward to his first Preakness appearance, recalled his first ride aboard Departing at Fair Grounds last December. Seven weeks after capping off his 27th birthday with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) on Fort Larned, Hernandez was on a roll at Fair Grounds with four victories from eight mounts.

 

“I had just won on Bind and Al was bragging on this first-time starter in the next race,” Hernandez said. “That was Departing. I had never been on him and he ran huge. He was my fifth winner and the most impressive.”

 

Fast forward nearly five months later and Departing, owned by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider, has emerged as one of the top contenders to Kentucky Derby winner Orb in the Preakness.

 

Hernandez has been aboard Departing for all five of his starts, all victories save for a third-place finish in the Louisiana Derby (G2).

 

Following the Louisiana Derby, the Kentucky Derby was ruled out and Departing was pointed to the Illinois Derby (G3), a race he won by 3 ¼ lengths despite breaking from the No. 13 post position.

 

“After the Louisiana Derby, they made the plan to go to the Illinois Derby and then the Preakness,” Hernandez said. “I can’t be disappointed in missing the Derby. We have a chance to upset Orb and the Preakness is not a bad race to run in.”

 

“After this meet was over, I used to ride at Delaware Park and I have ridden some at Laurel but never at Pimlico,” Hernandez said. “I am going to go over a day early and ride a horse for Al (Tread in the Miss Preakness Stakes).”

 

Departing continued his Preakness preparations Thursday morning at Churchill Downs, galloping two miles over a fast track under Trina Pasckvale.

 

“We changed it up a little bit this morning, but we had the luxury to do that,” Stall said of a break in the regular routine of galloping 1 ½ miles.

 

With a 60-percent chance of rain in the forecast for Friday, Stall said he plans to give Departing his final work for the Preakness at Churchill on Sunday morning.

 

GoldMark Farm and Whisper Hill Farm’s Mylute jogged in the mile chute and then galloped 1 ½ miles at Churchill Downs for trainer Tom Amoss.

 

Amoss said a decision on the fifth-place Kentucky Derby finisher’s status for the Preakness would be made after training Saturday. If Mylute is a go for Baltimore, he would represent a second Preakness starter for Amoss, who saddled Hot Wells for a fourth-place finish behind Real Quiet in 1998.

 

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas sent all three of his Preakness candidates to the track at Churchill Thursday morning. Oxbow and Will Take Charge, the sixth- and eighth-place Derby finishers, respectively, galloped 1 ½ miles. Titletown Five jogged twice around the track.

 

Bob Baffert-trained Govenor Charlie also jogged at Churchill.

 

On the morning after his arrival at Monmouth Park from Churchill Downs, Itsmyluckyday went to the track for a two-mile jog Thursday morning.

 

“It was kind of a nasty morning and since we just arrived yesterday from Churchill we just jogged him,” said Frankie Perez, assistant to trainer Eddie Plesa Jr., who was enroute from South Florida to New Jersey. ”From a scale from one to 10, he was a 10.”

 

The Gulfstream Park Derby and Holy Bull (G3) winner, who finished a disappointing 15th in the Kentucky Derby, will be ridden for the first time by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez in the Preakness.

 

Normandy Invasion jogged in the rain at Belmont Park for a second day Thursday. Trainer Chad Brown said that the fourth-place finisher in the Derby is 50-50 for the Preakness. He expects to make a decision over the weekend after he has had a chance to watch the Tapit colt gallop.

 

Vyjack remains a candidate for the Preakness, but trainer Rudy Rodriguez said Thursday that no decision has been made on whether Pick Six Racing’s gelding will be entered. Due to the wet weather in New York this week, Rodriguez has not been able to do very much with the gelding since he returned from Kentucky after finishing 18th in the Derby.

 

“We’ve been babying him,” Rodriguez said. “I would like to gallop him and see what’s going on.”

 

Rodriguez said that after he has the opportunity to watch Vyjack gallop a couple days, he will talk about the Preakness with owner David Wilkenfeld.

 

“I’m just going to wait and make my decision and then tell the owner what is going on,” he said. “So far, everything is good. I have to talk with the owner first and see what he wants to do.”

Trainer Greg Geier said Thursday that he will make a decision on running James Tafel’s Street Spice in the Preakness after he breezes the colt Saturday morning in Chicago. Tafel bred and owned 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, who is the sire of Street Spice. Geier trains eight horses for Tafel.

 

NEARLY 500 HORSES NOMINATED TO PREAKNESS WEEKEND STAKES

While the Preakness is rightfully the centerpiece of the Pimlico spring meeting, sixteen other stakes (six graded) for thoroughbreds will provide a weekend full of excitement for racing fans. A total of 499 horses were nominated to those added-money races.

The $500,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) and $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3) headline the Friday, May 17 card that features six other stakes races. Thirty-one three-year-old fillies were nominated to the Black-Eyed Susan, including Sagamore Farms Walkwithapurpose, who won a pair of stakes races at Laurel Park this winter. Thirty runners were nominated to the Pimlico Special, including Maryland-bred Richard’s Kid, who has earned $2.3 million and won three Grade 1 races.

Thirty-five fillies were nominated to the $100,000 Miss Preakness Stakes. Thirty-two horses were nominated to the $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint, including 15-time stakes winner Ben’s Cat. Thirty-five female turf specialists were nominated to the $100,000 The Very One Stakes, while twenty-six were nominated to the $100,000 Skipat Stakes. Thirty-six three-year-old fillies were nominated to the $100,000 Hilltop Stakes and another sixteen to the $40,000 Kattegat’s Pride Starter Handicap for Maryland-breds.

The Pimlico racing office will draw the May 17 card on Sunday afternoon.

The Saturday, May 18 Preakness undercard features eight added money races, including four graded. Thirty-six top grass specialists were entered in the $300,000 Dixie Stakes (G2). Thirty-two fillies and mares were nominated to the $150,000 Gallorette Handicap (G3). The $150,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap (G3) features forty-one nominations. Twenty-five fillies and mares were nominated to the $150,000 Allaire duPont Distaff (G3). Thirty-three three-year-old sprinters were nominated to the $100,000 Chick Lang. Forty-four turf specialists were nominated to the $100,000 James Murphy. Twenty-eight two-year olds were nominated to the $75,000 Rollicking Stakes. There were nineteen Maryland-breds on the list for the $40,000 Deputed Testamony Starter Handicap.

The Pimlico racing office will draw the May 18 card on Wednesday, May 15.

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Preakness Contender List Holding at 12; Thursday Selections at Pimlico

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Preakness Contender List Holding at 12; Thursday Selections at Pimlico

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Gary Quill

Less than 12 hours after the blanket of roses was removed from Kentucky Derby winner Orb, representatives from the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) were busy at Churchill Downs recruiting Derby runners for the second leg of the Triple Crown.

One of the first to commit to running in the Preakness and shipped in to Old Hilltop was Goldencents, 17th in the Derby. The 3-year-old son of Into Mischief, trained by Doug O’Neill is following the exact schedule as the 2012 Derby and Preakness winner, I’ll Have Another.

Goldencents arrived at Pimlico in the wee hours of Tuesday morning (1:30am) with assistant trainer Jack Sisterson and much of the same crew who handled I’ll Have Another while in Baltimore. The only diversion is the jockey. Last year Mario Gutierrez was the jockey, but this year Kevin Krigger got the call, as he is the only jockey who has ever ridden Goldencents in his seven career starts.

In an unusual move, Krigger came to Pimlico 10 days in advance of the Preakness to prepare, gallop and workout Goldencents. At the same time, Krigger is sacrificing mounts on the west coast in return for dedication to Team O’Neill. It’s a gamble the St. Croix native has no qualms taking.

Preakness Funnie with Crab

As of this writing (Wednesday, May 8th) the list of Preakness contenders stand at 12, they are:

 Goldencents (Krigger/O’Neill; 17th in KY Derby) – confirmed; arrived on May 7th

 Orb (Rosario/McGaughey; 1st in KY Derby) – confirmed; will ship on May 14th

 Departing (Hernandez/Stall; 1st in Illinois Derby) – confirmed; will ship on May 15th

 Oxbow (Stevens/Lukas; 6th in KY Derby) – confirmed

 Will Take Charge (M. Smith/Lukas; 8th in KY Derby) – confirmed

 Itsmyluckyday (J. Velazquez/Plesa; 15th KY Derby) – confirmed

 Titletown Five (Leparoux/Lukas; 4th in Derby Trial) – confirmed

 Vyjack (TBA/Rodriguez;18th in KY Derby) – probable

 Governor Charlie (TBA/Baffert; 1st in Sunland Derby) – possible; decision after workout on Sunday or Monday

 Normandy Invasion (TBA/Brown; 4th in KY Derby) – possible; decision over the weekend

 Mylute (Napravnik/Amoss; 5th in KY Derby) – possible; decision will be made Saturday

 Street Spice (Sanchez/Geier; 5th in Illinois Derby) – possible; decision after weekend workout

Recapping Pimlico Day 20 selections from “Chalky” Sunday 10-race card posted had 6 winners (4 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $4.40 (2nd race), $8.00 (3rd), $3.80 (4th), $10.20 (5th), $4.00 (8th) and $2.60 (9th).

The BEST BET (19 8-2-2) Sir Cotton (R3 #5 3-1 PT; 2-1 M/L) received no early action at the betting windows (6-1) which is never a good sign for a 2-1 M/L. Come Post Time the foolish public thought they were getting a deal with those odds, and bet him down to 3-1, but he ran like a 6-1 or worse, racing along the rail towards the back, outrun beating just 1 rival in a six horse field.

The LONGSHOT PICK (19 4-1-2) Star Maneuver (R5 #7 13-1 PT; 20-1 M/L) was forwardly positioned early, turned for home in the four path while in contention to hit the board, but weakened in the final 1/16th to finish 4th.

The JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #129…  “Getting In

Selections for the Day 21 Pimlico Thursday, May 9th card will be on Page 2.

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Derby winner Orb works at Belmont in preparation for Preakness

Posted on 08 May 2013 by WNST Staff

DERBY WINNER ORB RETURNS TO RACETRACK TO PREP FOR PREAKNESS STAKES

 

Velazquez to Ride Itsmyluckyday; Smith Gains Mount on Will Take Charge; Leparoux Aboard Titletown Five

 

BALTIMORE, 05-08-13 – On a rainy Wednesday morning at Belmont Park, Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable’s Orb went to the racetrack for the first time since his Kentucky Derby victory last Saturday, jogging a mile under exercise rider Jenn Patterson in preparation for the Preakness Stakes on May 18.

 

“The weather was terrible, so instead of galloping, he just jogged,” trainer Shug McGaughey said. “It was a pretty miserable morning when he went out. But Jenn said he was feeling good and moving good. All signs are good.”

 

Although plans changed Wednesday due to the muddy track, McGaughey said Orb will gallop Thursday morning, rain or shine, and is likely to breeze on Monday before shipping to Pimlico Race Course on Tuesday.

 

After adding a Kentucky Derby victory to his Hall of Fame resume, McGaughey has been somewhat overwhelmed by the avalanche of congratulations and tributes to his consummate horsemanship.

 

“It’s hugely appreciated. I appreciated the reception we got in Louisville. What’s happened after the Derby is absolutely mind-boggling and very, very flattering for me,” McGaughey said. “The phone calls, the emails, the newspaper articles have just been absolutely wonderful. Nobody knows how much how I appreciate this reception.”

 

McGaughey has long been respected for his low-key, no-nonsense approach to training thoroughbreds.

 

“I try to conduct myself in the right way and try to run my stable in the best possible way. I try to surround myself with good people, who played a role in this,” he said. “I think that people have appreciated that. I had no idea that a horse race could bring that out.”

 

Itsmyluckyday, who arrived at Monmouth Park from Churchill Downs Wednesday morning, will have a new rider for the Preakness. Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez will replace Elvis Trujillo aboard the Gulfstream Park Derby and Holy Bull (G3) winner, who finished 15th in the Kentucky Derby.

 

“We had an opportunity to ride John Velazquez. No slight to Elvis Trujillo. Elvis did a fantastic job, no question. The Derby was what the Derby was. It was a racetrack that was unfavorable to our horse,” trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. said. “But with John being open, we just felt that we had to take advantage of having one of the very top riders in the country.”

 

The son of Lawyer Ron had returned to the racetrack Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs, where he jogged two miles.

 

Five-time Preakness-winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas has firmed up the jockey assignments for his three Preakness candidates. He reported Wednesday morning that Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith will replace Jon Court aboard Will Take Charge, while Julien Leparoux will have the mount aboard Titletown Five and Gary Stevens will retain the mount on Oxbow.

 

Smith, 47, has competed in the Preakness 14 times since 1984. He picked up his lone win on Prairie Bayou in 1993 and has two seconds on his resume: Mine That Bird in 2009 and Bodemeister in 2012. Leparoux has been blanked with five Preakness mounts, including 2008 second-place finisher Macho Again. Stevens has ridden two Preakness winners, Silver Charm (1997) and Point Given (2001), from 16 mounts.

 

Titletown Five, who finished fourth in the Derby Trial (G3), walked the shedrow at Churchill Downs Wednesday following his half-mile work of: 47 3/5 on Tuesday. The son of Tiznow is owned in partnership by Lukas, Pro Football Hall of Famers Paul Hornung and Willie Davis, plus Ed Martin, David Miller and Margaret Shade.

 

Lukas sent Calumet Farm’s Oxbow and Willis Horton’s Will Take Charge to the track for the first time Wednesday since their respective sixth- and eighth-place finishes in the Kentucky Derby.

 

“I was going to walk them another day, but I had them out on the lawn yesterday about 3 and they were so disruptive, I was afraid they were going to hurt themselves,” Lukas said. “I had to bring them out today.”

 

Oxbow and Will Take Charge both jogged twice around the Churchill track.

 

Trainer Doug O’Neill’s Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Goldencents walked the shedrow at his barn at Pimlico for 30 minutes Wednesday morning. He will return to the track at 8:30 Thursday morning for the first time since finishing 17th in the Kentucky Derby last Saturday.

 

Goldencents shipped from Kentucky Monday and was the first Preakness candidate to arrive at Pimlico.

 

“He’s great. He’s settled in really well,” said assistant trainer Jack Sisterson. “We’re happy with him.”

 

Eleven other horses from O’Neill’s stable traveled overnight from Kentucky and arrived at Pimlico at 4 a.m. Wednesday. Some of them will compete at Pimlico.

 

“It depends how they train over the track,” Sisterson said. “We expect to run a few, but we’re going to make sure that they’re all 100 percent before we make a decision. They all shipped in well.”

 

Jockey Kevin Krigger, who will be aboard Goldencents when he goes out to jog Thursday, has a mount on Sunday’s program at Pimlico.

 

GoldMark Farm and Whisper Hill Farm’s fifth-place Kentucky Derby finisher Mylute returned to the track for the first time since the Run for the Roses with an easy jog early Wednesday morning at Churchill.

 

“Everything was fine this morning,” trainer Tom Amoss said. “He will gallop the rest of the week and the partnership will get together Saturday after training and make a decision on the Preakness.”

 

Mike Pegram’s Governor Charlie came out of his work on Tuesday in fine shape and remains a prospect for the Preakness, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said Wednesday morning.

 

The Midnight Lute colt completed six furlongs on 1:11 2/5 at Churchill Downs. Following his routine, Baffert will fly in from California and watch the colt breeze before making the call on whether to enter the Preakness.

 

“He’s going to work Sunday or Monday and then I’ll decide,” Baffert said. “He worked really well. He’s going to have to convince me when he works again.”

Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s Departing galloped 1 ½ miles on a fast track early Wednesday at Churchill Downs. Trained by Al Stall Jr., the Illinois Derby (G3) winner is scheduled to work Saturday or Sunday depending on weather. Friday’s forecast in Louisville is for scattered thunderstorms with a 50 percent chance of rain and Saturday’s outlook is for a few showers and a 30 percent chance of rain.

 

Normandy Invasion, fourth in the Kentucky Derby, Vyjack, 18th in the Derby, and Street Spice remain candidates for the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.

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O’Neill horse Goldencents settling in after arriving at Pimlico for Preakness

Posted on 07 May 2013 by WNST Staff

GOLDENCENTS SETTLES IN AT PIMLICO TO PREPARE FOR PREAKNESS START

Lukas Adds a Third Candidate; Itsmyluckyday Confirmed for Middle Jewel

 

BALTIMORE, 05-07-13 – Santa Anita Derby winner Goldencents settled in at Pimlico Race Course Tuesday after arriving in the middle of the night from Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

In 2012, trainer Doug O’Neill sent Derby winner I’ll Have Another to Baltimore two days after the race, and the colt won the Preakness. Goldencents didn’t run well in the Derby Saturday, finishing 17th on the sloppy, sealed track, but O’Neill decided to follow the plan that worked so well last year and shipped the colt to Pimlico early to prepare for the Preakness.

Maryland Jockey Club officials approved O’Neill’s request to have his Derby horse and 10 other runners occupy Barn D, the same place I’ll Have Another stayed in 2012.

“The horse is doing fantastic,” said assistant trainer Jack Sisterson. “He ate up everything last night. We just walked him this morning and his energy level is high. He’s bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and we’re happy to see that in him.”

Goldencents flew from Louisville to New York on Monday afternoon and was sent by van to Baltimore. He arrived at 1:30 a.m.

“That was a little later than expected,” Sisterson said. “We got him bedded down straightaway and he got a good night’s rest.”

The horse walked the shedrow at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

“He was out for about 25 minutes to get familiar with the surroundings,” Sisterson said. “His ears were pricked and he was happy.”

Goldencents is expected to return to the track for a jog on Thursday, resume galloping on Friday and have a timed workout Monday morning.

Sisterson said the O’Neill operation was comfortable at Pimlico.

“We love it here,” he said. “We’ve got great memories so we don’t plan to change that.”

Jockey Kevin Krigger is a member of Team O’Neill at Pimlico. The 29-year-old native of St. Croix, has ridden Goldencents in all seven of his starts and will be aboard in the Preakness. He will be the first African-American rider to compete in the Preakness since Wayne Barnett in 1985.

Krigger accepted an invitation to remain with the colt between the first two legs of the Triple Crown. He will exercise Goldencents and other O’Neill-trained runners in Maryland and ride them in the races at Pimlico.

“This horse is our bread and our butter, our best horse,” Krigger said. “The day I was leaving to go back to California on Monday, my agent phoned me and said ‘Doug would like you to stay and get on the horse.’ This is something I’ve always wanted to do, gallop him every day. It wasn’t a hard decision for me to make.”

Krigger said he understands that he could lose some business with trainers who regularly give him mounts in California and is willing to make that gamble.

“If we get it done, I don’t see where that should be a negative impact,” Krigger said. “I’m going to give him my best to get it done. If we get it done, just me staying here and winning it should erase the fact that I stayed.”

Krigger has ridden in a number of states during his career and laughed as he recalled how he failed to get an agent when he looking into riding on the Maryland circuit a few years ago.

“I tried coming here when I went to Golden Gate Fields,” Krigger said. “I contacted a few agents and they said, ‘Nah, don’t worry about it.” So I didn’t.”

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas confirmed Tuesday that Titletown Five will be entered for the Preakness, giving him three starters for the second time in his career. Kentucky Derby runners Oxbow (6th) and Will Take Charge (8th) are also scheduled to compete in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.

Lukas decided to add Titletown Five to the roster of Preakness candidates after the Tiznow colt worked a half-mile in :47 3/5 Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs. It was the fifth fastest of 35 recorded at the distance. Titletown Five has a record of 1-2-1 from seven starts. In his most recent outing, he was fourth in the Derby Trial (G3).

“We had flirted with the idea of going into the Kentucky Derby and late additions bumped us from that,” Lukas said. “He has been doing so well lately and today just highlighted that. It was a brilliant work and a great gallop out. I just thought that it was a good spot maybe to try him. He’s an exceptional horse He’s very talented with good tactical speed. He’ll make some noise there.”

Lukas saddled Editor’s Note (3rd), Victory Speech (5th) and Prince of Thieves (7th) for the 1996 Preakness. If all three go to the post on May 18, it will extend his Preakness record to 40 competitors, including winners Codex (1980), Tank’s Prospect (1985), Tabasco Cat (1994), Timber Country (1995) and Charismatic (1999).

“I feel comfortable starting this horse,” he said. “I own a piece of him with Paul Hornung and Willie Davis, the all-pro players. They’re excited about him and so am I.”

Lukas said he was securing a rider for Titletown Five.

Itsmyluckyday, who finished 15th in the Kentucky Derby, was confirmed Tuesday morning as a likely starter in the Preakness. Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. expressed confidence that the sloppy track at Churchill Downs was the reason for his Gulfstream Park Derby and Holy Bull (G3) winner’s subpar showing.

“For a horse to train that well and run that poorly and come out of the race so well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out,” he said.

Itsmyluckyday has shown his connections nothing but positive signals since the Derby.

“Everything’s going 100 percent,” Plesa said.” He went to the track today, and my assistant trainer (Frankie Perez) and exercise rider (Peter Shelton) gave him a 10-plus on a scale from 1-10.”

The son of Lawyer Ron jogged two miles at Churchill Downs.

“It’s a good thing we went around twice and not once because I might not have gotten him back to the barn, because he was feeling so good,” Shelton said.

Itsmyluckyday was scheduled to leave Churchill Downs at 4 p.m. and is expected to arrive at Monmouth Park at approximately 2 a.m. Wednesday. Plesa said his colt would likely arrive at Pimlico on Monday or Tuesday.

Meanwhile at Belmont Park, trainer Shug McGaughey was pleased with what he saw in Kentucky Derby winner Orb Tuesday morning.

“We walked him under tack. Right now we’re in good shape,” McGaughey said. “He looks the picture, looks bright, happy with himself.”

McGaughey said Orb would return to the racetrack Wednesday morning.

The Bob Baffert-trained Govenor Charlie worked six furlongs at Churchill Downs Tuesday morning. Working in company with Fed Biz, Govenor Charlie was clocked in 1:11 2/5 after posting fractions of :12, :23 4/5, :35 2/5 and :58 3/5 under Ricardo Santana Jr. Stakes winner Fed Biz, who was ridden by Rosie Napravnik, was also clocked in 1:11 2/5.

Also at Churchill, Illinois Derby (G3) winner Departing galloped 1 ½ miles Tuesday morning and is scheduled to tune up for the Preakness with a breeze on Saturday or Sunday. Mylute, fifth-place finisher in the Derby, walked the shedrow and could return to the racetrack on Wednesday morning.

Chad Brown-trained Normandy Invasion, the fourth-place Derby finisher, and  Rudy Rodriguez-trained Vyjack, who finished 18th in the Derby, remain Preakness possibles.

Street Spice, the fifth-place finisher in the Illinois Derby (G3), is under consideration for a run in the Preakness. Trainer Greg Geier said Tuesday that he will make the decision on whether to try the Preakness after he works the Street Sense colt this weekend.

The Kentucky-bred has a 2-0-1 record in six starts, all at Chicago-area tracks. At odds of 44-1, he finished 5 ½ lengths behind Preakness-bound Departing in the Illinois Derby on April 20 at Hawthorne.

“He had a lot of trouble in the Illinois Derby and got bumped around three or four times,” Geier said. “He was about eight-wide all the way around there.”

Bellarmine, an allowance winner on the Kentucky Derby undercard, has been withdrawn from Preakness consideration by trainer Ken McPeek.

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Your Monday Reality Check: Could a Triple Crown be in “Orb-it”?

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Your Monday Reality Check: Could a Triple Crown be in “Orb-it”?

Posted on 06 May 2013 by Glenn Clark

LOUISVILLE — After the horses cross the finish line every year at the Kentucky Derby, there are inevitably two instinctual reactions. (Unless you attend the race at Churchill Downs, because then there’s actually three-the first being to say “wait, which horse was that?”)

Immediately after NBC’s Larry Collmus identifies the victor (and how fantastic was Collmus’ “ORRRRRRBBBBBBB” exclamation as the #16 horse made his move down the stretch Saturday?), both hardcore and casual racing fans alike try to identify whether or not they won any money on the race and then start to wonder “could this be the one?”

They’re of course wondering that in terms of whether or not the horse is capable of winning the sport’s elusive Triple Crown, a feat not accomplished since 1978 (Affirmed) and so desperately desired to be seen for a first time by a generation of fans. Perhaps making the wait more excruciating has been the heartbreak that has come with so many close calls during the 35 year span. The wrenching has just finally begun to wear off from last year’s near miss, as the Doug O’Neill trained I’ll Have Another was scratched just 24 hours ahead of his date with destiny in the Belmont Stakes after suffering a torn tendon.

Last year’s Belmont Stakes had been a hope to provide joy to millions but instead appeared more like a memorial service for an older friend. There was the attempt at celebration of a horse’s career but the disappointment of the end of the run was much more prevalent. The horse and trainer had skyrocketed to superstardom in the weeks between their unexpected victory at Churchill Downs and that difficult Friday press conference near the barns in New York.

But with another Derby champion comes another hope to see history.

The Maryland Jockey Club and everyone involved with Pimlico was served well by owner J. Paul Reddam’s decision to partner with O’Neill in sending I’ll Have Another to Baltimore very quickly after the Derby last year. (O’Neill will be doing the same thing this year with Goldencents, who finished a disappointing 17th in the Derby.) O’Neill became the honorary mayor of Charm City, taking in practice with the Baltimore Ravens, throwing out the first pitch with the Baltimore Orioles and showing up on as many media outlets as the MJC could dream possible. The stardom was in place before the horse ever claimed the Black-Eyed Susans.

That’s of course because the advantage we have in Baltimore is knowing that as long as nothing terrible happens with the Derby winner, we’ll always have a shot a Triple Crown alive and well on the third Saturday of May. There have been years where we’ve been smart enough to know the chance was a longshot (most notably when Mine That Bird won the Derby at 50-1 odds and had to face off against the horse’s own jockey Calvin Borel and Kentucky Oaks winner Rachel Alexandra in 2009), but there’s always the possibility.

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