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Preachintothedevil gets some class relief

Trainer Gary Contessa expects to saddle Preachintothedevil in the Mike Lee, which will mark the colt's first start in New York-bred company since he won the Champagneforashley overnight stakes at Aqueduct on New Year's Day.

Following the Champagneforashley the son of Pulpit was turned loose in open company and finished third in the February 5 Whirlaway Stakes behind eventual Resorts World New York Casino Wood Memorial winner Toby's Corner. In his next start, Preachintothedevil again ran into top talent from the Graham Motion barn, running sixth in the Grade 3 Spiral at Tampa Bay Downs, a race won by 2011 Kentucky Derby hero Animal Kingdom. Eighth in the Wood Memorial on April 9, he tried turf in his most recent outing, finishing fourth in the seven-furlong A Gift overnight stakes at Belmont on May 22.

"Finally, returning to New York-breds," Contessa said. "Mrs. Vogel [of Crossed Sabres Farms] wanted to see if he was capable and arguably this has been a very ordinary group of 3-year olds, so it was worth trying. There's probably a great 3-year-old out there somewhere, but other than Animal Kingdom, I don't think we've actually seen him yet. Preachintothedevil is a nice horse and I think he'll welcome the return to New York-breds."


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