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.
Photo: Maryland Jockey Club, Jerry Dzierwinski
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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
McGaughey continued to marvel at the progress Orb has shown after each race this year.
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.”
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.
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.”
McGaughey will be available at 8 a.m. Wednesday during a press
conference to be held adjacent to the Preakness Stakes Barn.
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.
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.”
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.”
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).
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.
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.”
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
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.
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.
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
– 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.
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.
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
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.
– 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.