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Borel confirmed to ride Ria Antonia in Preakness

Posted on 12 May 2014 by WNST Staff

CALIFORNIA CHROME HEADS TO PIMLICO FOR 139TH PREAKNESS; RIDE ON CURLIN, GENERAL A ROD ACCOMPANY DERBY WINNER; SOCIAL INCLUSION  BREEZES SHARP HALF-MILE AT PIMLICO; BAYERN WORKS AT CHURCHILL FOR ROSIE NAPRAVNIK

 

CALIFORNIA CHROME – Kentucky Derby (G1) winner California Chrome boarded a van at Churchill Downs at 10:17 a.m. Monday for the first leg of his journey to Pimlico Race Course to headline Saturday’s 139th Preakness Stakes (G1).

Accompanied by Preakness candidates Ride On Curlin and General a Rod, California Chrome rode by van from Louisville to Lexington, Ky., where he boarded a flight bound for Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Scheduled to arrive at BWI at1:45 p.m., the Derby winner and company are slated to receive a Baltimore City Police escort to Pimlico with an approximate arrival time of 3 p.m.

California Chrome completed the Churchill Downs portion of his training for the Preakness Stakes by galloping 1 ¼ miles with Willie Delgado aboard.

“Everything is perfect. I couldn’t ask for anything more,” said Alan Sherman, assistant trainer to his father Art Sherman, of the colt’s stay in Louisville following his victory in the Run for the Roses. “He lost a little weight after the race but put it all back on quickly.”

Victor Espinoza, winner of the 2002 Preakness on War Emblem, has the return mount.

 

BAYERN – Trainer Bob Baffert’s hope for a sixth Preakness victory, Bayern, worked five furlongs over a fast track at Churchill Downs early Monday morning in 1:02 3/5 in company.

Owned by Kaleem Shah, Bayern and jockey Rosie Napravnik stepped onto the track shortly after 6 o’clock. Starting about a length back on the outside of 5-year-old multiple graded-stakes winner Drill with Jorge Alvarez up, Bayern produced fractions of :13 3/5, :26 2/5, :38 4/5 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:15 1/5.

The five-furlong move was the ninth fastest of 17 at the distance.

“I love that horse,” Napravnik said of Bayern. “He always relaxes for me and does what you ask.”

Napravnik rode Bayern for the first time in a race in the Derby Trial (G3), finishing first but disqualified to second for interference in the stretch. She also has been aboard for three workouts at Churchill Downs and is ready to tackle Kentucky Derby (G1) winner California Chrome in the Preakness.

“California Chrome is very impressive,” said Napravnik, who finished third in last year’s Preakness on Mylute. “But he (Bayern) definitely will be a challenge for him.”

 

DYNAMIC IMPACT – John Oxley’s Dynamic Impact walked the shedrow at Barn 36 at Churchill Downs, a day after working five furlongs in 1:01 3/5 in preparation for the Preakness.

“He came out of the work fine and will go back to the track Tuesday,” said Norman Casse, assistant to his father Mark Casse.

Miguel Mena will have the mount Saturday in his first Preakness.

 

GENERAL A ROD – Gulfstream Park Derby winner General a Rod galloped Monday morning before departing Churchill Downs via van to Lexington for a flight to Baltimore.

“He’s doing good; everything’s fine,” said trainer Mike Maker, who is slated to arrive Monday evening.

Maker, who is scheduled to saddle his first Preakness starter Saturday, said there were two primary factors that led the connections to run back in two weeks after an 11th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby.

“He came out of his race good and it’s the Preakness,” Maker said. “It’s the second leg of the Triple Crown. If you’ve got a good horse, you want to be in it.”

General a Rod started from post 8 in the Kentucky Derby but was unable to utilize his normal tactical speed and get position. Once he was shuffled back to 16th through the first turn, he was never able to mount a serious threat to California Chrome.

“The distance wasn’t a concern,” Maker said. “He’s run at a mile and an eighth (Florida Derby, G1), too.”

General a Rod’s last win came at a mile, but he was second in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream and a close-up third in the Florida Derby.

General A Rod will run in the silks of Jim Shircliff, the largest investor in Skychai Racing, as he did in the Derby.

 

KID CRUZ – Federico Tesio winner Kid Cruz galloped and was schooled at the gate for the second day in a row at Belmont Park in preparation for a van ride to Pimlico Race Course that would arrive between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Monday, according to trainer Linda Rice.

Owned by Vina Del Mar Thoroughbreds and Black Swan Stable, Kid Cruz will be one of seven non-Kentucky Derby starters in Saturday’s expected field of 10 for the 139th Preakness. At least four of the competitors have shown an affinity for early speed while Kid Cruz is a well documented closer.

“It certainly can’t hurt,” Rice said. “In his two previous races (Tesio and Private Terms), there’s been no pace at all and he’s managed to close into it. These are much faster horses, though. Hopefully he can catch them.”

Kid Cruz was especially impressive in winning the nine-furlong Private Terms at Laurel in his first stakes start on March 8. Sitting dead last in a field of 10 in the backstretch, the son of Lemon Drop Kid passed the entire field under jockey Julian Pimentel and won by four lengths. The margin was 3 ½ lengths in the Tesio at Pimlico on April 19.

Rice will attempt to become the first female trainer to win the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown and is already set to make history as part of the race’s first edition to include a female trainer, jockey (Rosie Napravnik) and horse (Ria Antonia). Unaware of that scenario, Rice said she’s more focused on the race itself.

Rice paused for a few seconds, then laughed. “I’m still rooting for Kid Cruz,” she said.

Pimentel, who rode in both stakes wins, will be aboard the former claimer for the third time on Saturday.

 

PABLO DEL MONTE – Trainer Wesley Ward returned to his original plan to ship Pablo Del Monte from Kentucky to Baltimore on Wednesday’s charter flight.

Ward said Sunday that he would ship the colt on Monday because the flight would originate from the Lexington, Ky. airport, which is just a couple miles from his barn at Keeneland. He reversed himself on Monday, though, and notified Tex Sutton officials that his homebred colt would not leave until Wednesday.

“I got thinking about it,” Ward said, “and my horse is just thriving right now at Keeneland. With the direct flight on WednesdayI just thought, ‘let me leave him right where he’s at.’ I generally like to ship in right on top of the races when I go to England and France and thought I would stick with the original plan and train him right there at Keeneland, where he has trained his whole life, then ship a couple of days out and run.”

Jockey Jeffrey Sanchez will ride the colt in the Preakness Stakes. Sanchez was aboard for Pablo Del Monte’s six-furlong breeze in 1:12 1/5 Saturday at Keeneland.

 

RIA ANTONIA – After a 7 o’clock phone call Monday morning with Ron Paolucci (Loooch Racing Stable), trainer Tom Amoss confirmed that Ria Antonia would run in Saturday’s Preakness and that Calvin Borel would ride.

“She had a nice work yesterday (:47 3/5 for a half-mile with Borel up) and looks good today,” Amoss said. “We have a healthy, sound horse and we are ready to roll the dice.”

Ria Antonia finished sixth in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 2 and joined the Amoss barn three days later.

“The idea (to run in the Preakness) was Ron’s,” said Amoss, who has trained a string of horses for Loooch for two years. “She passed all the tests with us physically, mentally and how she trained.

“I got to see her before the Oaks and she prepared well and worked well before the race. I don’t know what happened in the Oaks, but I like the way she looks now.”

Ria Antonia is set to become the first filly to run in the Preakness since Rachel Alexandra won the race in 2009 under Borel. A total of 53 fillies have previously run in the Preakness.

“We wanted to get a rider that had the opportunity to work her and feel good about it,” Amoss said. “I know Calvin’s confidence is strong after the work.”

Borel has ridden in the Preakness two other times; 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, who finished second to Curlin, and 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, who finished eighth behind Lookin At Lucky.

Amoss knows it will be a challenge to knock off Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome on Saturday.

“We are looking forward to running,” said Amoss, whose Mylute finished third in last year’s Preakness behind Oxbow. “I see it as California Chrome versus the rest. If he runs his race, he’ll win. If it is not his day, it opens a number of possibilities and opportunities for the other runners, including us.”

Ria Antonia is scheduled to return to the track to jog Tuesday morning then gallop Wednesday morning before getting on an early afternoon flight to Baltimore from Louisville International Airport.

With the announcement Monday that Ria Antonia will be entered, the Preakness will make history Saturday with a filly, a female trainer and a female jockey all competing in the race for the first time. Trainer Linda Rice will make her Preakness debut with Kid Cruz and Bayern’s jockey, Rosie Napravnik, is set for her second ride in Maryland’s signature race.

Though it is a first for the Preakness, it will be the third time that at a Triple Crown race has had a filly, a female trainer and a female jockey. The 1984 Kentucky Derby was the first with Patricia Cooksey riding So Vague to an 11th place finish, one spot ahead of Biloxi Indian, trained by Diane Carpenter. There were two fillies in the 110th Derby, the D. Wayne Lukas-trained entry of Life’s Magic and Althea that was favored at 5-2. Life’s Magic finished eighth and Althea was 19th in the 20-horse field.

The Belmont Stakes triple came in 1996 when Hall of Fame jockey Julie Krone rode South Salem, who was eased; Cynthia Reese saddled the ninth-place finisher In Contention; and My Flag finished third.

 

RIDE ON CURLIN – Daniel Dougherty’s Ride On Curlin galloped an easy 1 1/8 miles shortly after the track opened at Churchill Downs with Bryan Beccia aboard.

Seventh in the Kentucky Derby (G1), Ride On Curlin left Churchill Downs by van shortly after 10 a.m. for the trip to Lexington and a flight to Baltimore along with Derby winner California Chrome and Preakness hopeful General a Rod.

Trainer Billy Gowan was pleased with the Kentucky-based preparation for the Preakness for Ride On Curlin, who will be riddenSaturday by Joel Rosario.

“Everything has been perfect; just like we drew it up,” Gowan said. “When he gets there, he may school in the paddock one day but won’t go to the gate. He’ll gallop tomorrow and maybe work a bit Wednesday.”                      

RING WEEKEND – St. Elias Stable and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Ring Weekend jogged five-eighths of a mile and galloped a mile under Alice Clapham Monday morning at Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md.

It was the gelded son of Tapit’s first trip to the racetrack following his six-furlong workout in 1:13 1/5 on Saturday. He jogged a half-mile behind trainer Graham Motion’s barn at Fair Hill Sunday morning.

Ring Weekend, who captured the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and finished second in the Calder Derby, is scheduled to ship to Pimlico after training hours Thursday morning and before the noon deadline set for Preakness entrants.

“If I had my preference, I wouldn’t be there until Saturday, but I understand that we need to be there Thursday, and that’s fair enough,” Motion said.

Motion confirmed that Alan Garcia is set to ride Ring Weekend Saturday.

 

SOCIAL INCLUSION – Rontos Racing Stable Corp’s Social Inclusion breezed a half-mile in 47 seconds at Pimlico Race Course Monday morning in preparation for a scheduled start in Saturday’s Preakness.

“This morning when we came to the track I told the owner I wanted 46-and-change,” said trainer Manny Azpurua, who watched the move from the porch of the Pimlico press box with Ron Sanchez of Rontos Racing. “So, I’m happy. The jockey didn’t move on him. It was just what I was looking for.”

Jockey Luis Contreras, who has ridden the Azpurua-trained colt in all three of his career races, traveled from Woodbine Race Course in suburban Toronto to Pimlico for the work.

“He did it very easy. Manny told me to give him a good work with a good finish. He did it easy and so strong,” Contreras said. “He’s such a good horse. When you watch him, he looks like he’s running on air.”

The son of Pioneerof the Nile cut out fractions of :12 1/5, :23 2/5 and :35 3/5 on his way to the recorded official clocking, before galloping out five furlongs in :59 3/5 and six furlongs in 1:13 3/5.

Contreras, who rode Social Inclusion to a pair of dominating victories at Gulfstream during the winter before finishing third in the Wood Memorial (G1) at Aqueduct on April 5, expressed his gratitude that Gulfstream Park-based Azpurua and Sanchez have opted to stick with him for the Preakness.

“When they told me they wanted me to ride him in the Preakness, I was so happy, because sometimes when you leave to go to ride at another track, you can lose mounts,” said the defending two-time Woodbine champion, who rode at Gulfstream during the winter before returning to Canada in April. “You know I’ve been riding for 10 years and this horse makes me so excited; he makes me feel so comfortable and so confident. When I sit on him, I feel the power.”

After a 7-1/2-length debut victory and a track record-breaking allowance win at Gulfstream, Social Inclusion suffered his first loss in the Wood, in which he broke a step slowly from his outside post position and was forced to race wide around the first turn before setting the pace into deep stretch and tiring to finish third. The loss, while disappointing, has provided Contreras with added confidence going into the Preakness.

“His first two races he did it easy. In his last race, he got beat, but he was fighting right to the end. He tried to fight back and lost second by a nose,” he said. “It’s great to feel the power underneath you and know that if something happens in the race, he’s still going to give you 110 percent. He showed me he could fight.”

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Ria Antonia added to list of Preakness candidates

Posted on 06 May 2014 by WNST Staff

RIA ANTONIA ADDED TO LIST OF CANDIDATES FOR 139THPREAKNESS STAKES

Kentucky Derby Winner California Chrome Returns to Track Wednesday; Kid Cruz Set for Weekend Work; Social Inclusion on Schedule for ThursdayMorning Arrival

BALTIMORE , 05-06-14Ria Antonia, the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner, was added to the list of candidates for the 139th running of the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1) Tuesday morning.

 

If the daughter of Rockport Harbor is shipped to Pimlico Race Course to run in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown on May 17, she will be saddled for the first time by trainer Tom Amoss.  Ron Paolucci’s Loooch Racing Stable and Christopher T. Dunn have transferred their 3-year-old filly from Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert to Amoss following her distant sixth-place finish behind Untapable in the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs last Friday.

 

“She trained this morning with us for the first time,” said Amoss at his Churchill barn Tuesday morning. “She is going to have a light breeze Monday or Tuesday after which Mr. Paolucci and I will discuss the Preakness.”

 

Should Ria Antonia take on the boys, including Kentucky Derby (G1) champion California Chrome, she would attempt to become the sixth filly to capture the Preakness Stakes, joining Rachel Alexandra (2009), Nellie Morse (1924), Rhine Maiden (1915), Whimsical (1906) and Flocarline (1903).

 

Following Ria Antonia’s victory in the Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita last November, when she finished second by a nose but was placed first through the disqualification of She’s a Tiger, Paolucci announced his intention to point his filly to the 2014 Kentucky Derby.

 

After finishing fourth in her 2014 debut in the Rachel Alexandra (G3) at Fair Grounds on Feb. 22, when she was beaten by more than 14 lengths by Untapable, Ria Antonia was transferred from trainer Jeremiah Englehart to Baffert. She debuted for Baffert with a second-place finish behind Fashion Plate in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) on April 5. In the Kentucky Oaks, she loomed boldly while making a wide run on the turn into the homestretch before weakening through the stretch, finishing 15 ¼ lengths behind the victorious Untapable.

 

While Ria Antonia returned to the racetrack for the first time since her Oaks run Tuesday morning, Kentucky Derby (G1) winner California Chrome walked for 30 minutes at Barn 20 at Churchill Downs with exercise rider Willie Delgado on the shank.

 

Owned by breeders Steven Coburn and Perry Martin, California Chrome is scheduled to return to the trackWednesday morning around 7 o’clock for a jog.

 

Alan Sherman, son of trainer Art Sherman, is overseeing California Chrome’s Preakness preparations in Louisville before the colt heads to Baltimore next Monday or Wednesday.

 

“They are doing maintenance on the plane and it is a question of when it will be ready,” said Alan Sherman, whose shirt was sporting a new tear compliments of the Derby winner’s teeth.

 

The Shermans maintain a stable of 16-17 horses at Los Alamitos, but for Alan, being with one horse is no vacation.

 

“The last time I had only one horse was when we brought Ultra Blend here for the Breeders’ Cup in 2011,” Alan Sherman said of the filly that finished fourth to Royal Delta in the Ladies’ Classic (G1). “I was here about a week and a half. This is a little more stressful, but a good kind of stress. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

 

And the celebration of the colt’s 1 ¾-length victory has not dimmed, either.

 

“I keep my California Chrome hat on and everywhere we go people are congratulating us,” Delgado said. “Every time I watch a replay of the race, I still get goose bumps. It has not set in yet what he did. It’s unbelievable.”

 

In other Preakness news:

 

Rontos Racing Stable Corp.’s Social Inclusion has recovered sufficiently from the bruise in his right front foot that had kept him out of a Gulfstream Park stakes Saturday to board a Pimlico-bound van Wednesday morning.

 

“We’re leaving tomorrow morning around 10 and get there early Thursday morning,” said Rontos Racing’s Ron Sanchez. “He’ll jog tomorrow before he leaves.”

 

Social Inclusion won his first two races by a combined 17 ½ lengths at Gulfstream Park before finishing third in the Wood Memorial (G1) at Aqueduct on April 5.

 

Trainer Graham Motion will closely monitor the training of Ring Weekend this week before deciding the Tampa Bay Derby winner’s status for the Preakness.

 

“I think it’s going to depend on what kind of week he has and how he breezes on Saturday,” Motion saidTuesday morning.

 

Ring Weekend galloped 1 ½ miles Tuesday morning at Fair Hill Training Center, Motion’s home base in Elkton, Md.

 

The son of Tapit had been pointing for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill, only to be declared out of the first jewel of the Triple Crown on April 27 due to a fever.

 

“He had the fever for only two days, but it did cost him three or four days of training,” Motion said. “Obviously, everything would have to go very well in order to do it (run in the Preakness). He can’t afford to have a bump in the road.”

Motion reported that Alan Garcia would be the choice to ride Ring Weekend, the Tampa Bay Derby winner, should he run.

 

Kid Cruz, the decisive winner of the Federico Tesio Stakes on April 19 at Pimlico, will have an easy breeze this weekend at Belmont Park – his final timed worked before the Preakness.

 

Trainer Linda Rice said Tuesday that she has not decided who will ride the Lemon Drop Kid colt in the Preakness or when he will be shipped from New York to Baltimore. Maryland-based jockey Julian Pimentel was aboard for Kid Cruz’s victories in the Private Terms at Laurel Race Course March 8 and the Tesio.

 

Kid Cruz, owned by Vina Del Mar Thoroughbreds and Black Swan Stable, took the 1 1/8-mile Private Terms by four lengths and the 1-1/16-mile Tesio by 3 ½ lengths.

 

“He made a last-to-first move in the first one and then had a nice closing kick in the second one,” Rice said. “It doesn’t look like he’s going to have any trouble with the distance of the Preakness and I believe that the Belmont would suit him just fine as well.”

 

Kid Cruz was named after New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz.

 

Kaleem Shah’s Bayern came out of a Monday work of :58.20 for five furlongs at Churchill Downs in good order, according Baffert’s assistant trainer Jim Barnes.

 

Bayern, who was disqualified from a victory in the Derby Trial (G3) on April 26 at Churchill Downs for interference in the stretch, walked the shedrow Tuesday morning.

 

John Oxley’s Illinois Derby (G3) winner Dynamic Impact galloped 1 ½ miles Tuesday morning over a fast track before the renovation break at Churchill Downs with exercise rider Marco Cano aboard for trainer Mark Casse.

 

Dynamic Impact will bring a two-race win streak to Pimlico, having broken his maiden at Oaklawn Park prior to his Illinois Derby victory.

 

“We have to give credit to David Adams and the crew that had him at Oaklawn this winter,” assistant trainer Norman Casse said. “We had him here last summer and fall. He was highly regarded, but just not winning. He got to Oaklawn, he had matured and something just clicked.”

 

Daniel Dougherty’s Ride On Curlin walked the shedrow for 30 minutes with trainer Billy Gowan handling the first half of the activity and groom Bridget Lambert the remainder as Gowan accompanied another horse to the track at Churchill Downs.

 

Gowan’s phone was plenty busy Monday when the news broke he was replacing Calvin Borel as the jockey on Ride On Curlin following the colt’s seventh-place finish in the Kentucky Derby.

“I had a lot of agents call,” said Gowan, who chose Joel Rosario to pilot Ride On Curlin in the Preakness. “I thought he would be the best choice. He never has ridden for me and I don’t even know him, but he is the top rider in the country right now.”

 

Ride On Curlin is scheduled to return to the track Wednesday morning with an easy mile gallop slated as the day’s activity.

 

Susan Magnier, Derrick Smith, Michael Tabor and trainer Wesley Ward’s Pablo Del Monte, who was scratched from the Kentucky Derby to wait for the Preakness, is scheduled to fly to Baltimore on Wednesday May 14.

 

About Pimlico Race Course

Historic Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness® Stakes, the middle jewel in horse racing’s famed Triple Crown, first opened its doors on October 25, 1870, and is the second oldest racetrack in the United States. Pimlico has played host to racing icons and Baltimoreans have seen the likes of legendary horses such as Man o’ War, Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Affirmed and Cigar thunder down the stretch in thrilling and memorable competition. For more information on Pimlico, visit www.pimlico.com.

Pimlico Race Course is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida and is one of North America’s top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world’s largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; Xpressbet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horse racing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America’s premier supplier of virtual online horse racing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.

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