Marylander Stuart Janney III dropped in on trainer Shug McGaughey at
the Preakness 2013 Stakes Barn Thursday morning at Pimlico Race Course,
closely monitoring the morning activities of his Kentucky Derby (G1)
Photo: Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club
a huge sense of pride. I’ve been out here most mornings before the
Preakness for most of my life, so it’s great to bring this horse here,”
the Butler, Md. resident and chairman of Bessemer Trust Company said.
“I’m proud of him.”
Janney and the Phipps Stable bred and campaign Orb, who captured the Derby by 2 ½ lengths with a 17th-to-first
performance. The Janney family and the Phipps family have had a
longstanding history in horse ownership and association with McGaughey.
been doing this for the last 20 years together. Some they own entirely.
Some I own entirely. I think we’d all say that we’re very glad we were
together at the Kentucky Derby and lucky enough to win it with a horse
that we happened to own together,” Janney said. “I said after the race,
‘Shug was very clever to do that so that he didn’t have one owner that
was ecstatic and another owner who was less than ecstatic.’ ”
Orb produced the first Kentucky Derby success for Janney, Phipps and McGaughey.
was maybe a feeling of relief that it’s actually happening. I thought
we went to Churchill with the best horse. You never know. There are a
lot of reasons that the best horse doesn’t always win. Rain was one of
them,” Janney said. “But I did feel a huge sense of relief when he
crossed the finish line and a great feeling of elation.”
who has been installed as the even-money favorite for Saturday’s 138
Preakness Stakes (G1), jogged at Pimlico Thursday morning before
galloping a mile under exercise rider Jenn Patterson.
I just wanted to see how he was moving and how he got over the
racetrack,” McGaughey said. “I’m very pleased with what I saw.”
The Hall of Fame trainer said he didn’t lose any sleep over Orb drawing the No. 1 post position at Wednesday’s draw.
doesn’t bother me. The ‘1’ is different here than it is at Churchill.
The race starts at the three-sixteenths pole here and it’s a straight
shot,” McGaughey said. “We’ll be fine. If I got to pick it out, that
wouldn’t have been what I picked, but I’m not worried about it.”
the nine-horse field of the Preakness, McGaughey expressed full
confidence in jockey Joel Rosario, who rode Orb to victory against 18
rivals at Churchill Downs.
think he’ll get a good spot in the race with the speed outside of him. I
think Joel will get him where he wants him to be and we’ll take it from
there. That’s all you can do,” McGaughey said. “The same thing in the
Derby, I thought he had him in a good place. Before he asked him to run,
I began to think, ‘Are you too far back?’ But when he pushed the
button, I knew we were going to be a factor. I didn’t know if he would
win, but I knew he’d be a factor. I think we’ll see the same thing
McGaughey continues to adhere to the “if it happens, it happens” attitude he maintained during Derby week.
think if he goes over and runs his race, I’m quietly confident that
he’ll be tough to beat,” McGaughey said. “It’s just like I was at the
Derby. I was quietly confident all week that he was going to run his
race and if that was good enough, it would be good enough. I feel the
same this time.”
McGaughey will be available at 8 a.m. Friday during a press conference
to be held adjacent to the Preakness Stakes Barn. Jockey Joel Rosario
will follow McGaughey at 8:15 a.m., while Rosie Napravnik will meet with
the press at 8:30 a.m.
– Trainer Tom Amoss and the gray colt went in different directions
Wednesday in their respective journeys from Churchill Downs to Pimlico
headed south to his home state to attend the graduation of his
daughter, Ashley, from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, while
the fifth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby was flown from
Louisville, Ky., to Baltimore for the Preakness.
college graduation season and the Triple Crown often produce personal
and professional conflicts. For Amoss and Mylute, the schedule of events
has worked out nicely. Amoss will be able to handle all of his
commitments and still be at Pimlico in plenty of time to saddle the colt
for the 138th Preakness, which has a post time of 6:20 p.m. Saturday.
280th LSU commencement will be held Thursday afternoon and Ashley’s
diploma ceremony at the Manship School of Mass Communication is on
Friday afternoon. The Amoss family will celebrate the graduation Friday
evening and Amoss, his wife, Colleen, Ashley and younger daughter,
Hayley, will fly from New Orleans to Baltimore-Washington International
Airport Saturday morning.
the Preakness is something I’m very proud of in terms of my
professional life, nothing makes me prouder on a personal level than my
daughter graduating from college,” he said. “That comes first.’’
Todd Quast, the general manager and trainer at GoldMark Farm, which
co-owns the colt with Whisper Hill Farm, works closely with Amoss and is
at Pimlico with Amoss’ staff.
ships horses all around,” Quast said. “This is obviously a bigger race
than most that you ship off to, but his crew is very comfortable with
Quast said there never was a question about how Amoss would handle the schedule this week.
is first,” he said. “His daughter is graduating from LSU. He graduated
from LSU. His wife graduated from LSU. I think he would have been
disowned if he wouldn’t have gone.
“And this horse is so relaxed, so easy going, that it was really a non-issue. I told him, ‘Go. We’re fine.’ ”
said that Mylute, runner-up to Revolutionary in the Louisiana Derby
(G2), was calm throughout the trip from Kentucky and has settled in at
Pimlico, the seventh track he will race over in his 11-month career.
handled it; didn’t turn a hair,” Quast said. “There were horses that
came off a little hotter, a little sweatier. If he did, it would be a
big thing because he is so laid back. He is the consummate professional
horse. His demeanor off the track is what you would want. He eats,
sleeps and nothing bothers him. It’s a perfect type of situation.”
Mylute went to the track with exercise rider Maurice Sanchez at 6 a.m. Thursday to jog a mile and gallop 1 ¼ miles.
looked around and said, ‘All right, I’m home.’ ” Quast said. “He
handled it very, very well. He’s very seasoned and very relaxed wherever
he goes. He handled it super, had good energy, came off the track good
and cooled out good.”
Rated second in the morning line at 5-1, Mylute, who drew the No. 5 post position, will be ridden by Rosie Napravnik.
– Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s Illinois Derby (G3) winner
Departing got his first taste of the Pimlico racing surface Thursday
morning by galloping 1 ½ miles under exercise rider Trina Pasckvale.
were a lot of tents out there in the infield for him to look at and
that kept his mind occupied a bit. He has been tough on Trina the past
few days,” trainer Al Stall Jr. said.
Departing had flown to Pimlico from Churchill Downs on Wednesday, marking the gelding’s first plane trip.
had vanned him to Houston and to Chicago,” Stall said. “He got a little
stirred up on the plane, but not in a bad way. He dropped his head when
he got here and he was fine. I am glad we shipped yesterday and not
Thursday or Friday.”
Departing, who will break from the No. 4 post position under Brian Hernandez Jr. in Saturday’s 138th Preakness, has won four of five starts with the only blemish coming in a third-place finish in the Louisiana Derby (G2).
did not have a lot of trouble in the Louisiana Derby,” Stall said. “It
is like going from the college game to the pros, except for RG III or
Andrew Luck. Everything is a little faster and the holes were moving a
little faster than he was.
the Illinois Derby, he took Brian where he needed to go. I think the
extra ground (a sixteenth of a mile farther than the 1 1/8-mile Illinois
Derby) will help him. There is plenty of gas in the tank.”
Stall said that Departing would go to the track at 6:30 on Friday.
only have the one horse to train and the one that runs (Tread in the
Miss Preakness on Friday) is going to walk,” Stall said.
GOLDENCENTS -- W.C.
Racing, Dave Kenney and RAP Racing’s Goldencents made his daily trip to
the track Thursday morning shortly after 8:30 for yet another smooth
mile gallop under regular rider Kevin Krigger.
looked great, just comfortable stretching, in control but with good
energy,” said trainer Doug O’Neill, who will try to become the first
trainer to win back-to-back editions of the Preakness since Bob Baffert
in 2001 (Point Given) and 2002 (War Emblem). Kevin’s just done a
brilliant job with this horse and I really like what we’re seeing. They
communicate with you through their energy and the way they eat, and he’s
three-time stakes winner including the Santa Anita Derby (G1),
Goldencents drew post 2 and was rated as the 8-1 fourth choice in the
field of nine when positions were drawn Wednesday.
‘2’ has won the Preakness numerous times, so we’re hoping to add to
that,” said O’Neill, who won with his first starter last year when I’ll
Have Another overtook the Baffert-trained Bodemeister in the Middle
Jewel of the Triple Crown. I’ll Have Another never saw his Triple Crown
hopes come to fruition when a leg injury forced him to be scratched the
day before the Belmont Stakes.
year, O’Neill has the chance to play spoiler to Kentucky Derby winner
Orb, who has won five in a row after a stirring score in the Kentucky
“Orb obviously looks like the horse to beat,” the 44-year-old O’Neill
said. “He’s not like a one-race hit. All year long he’s been super
impressive. Hall of Fame trainer, future Hall of Fame jockey, and he’s
looked great here at Pimlico. But we’ve seen Goldencents do some
brilliant things in the afternoon. If he does, I think he can beat him.”
than Orb, Goldencents has the best credentials of the opposition in the
Preakness. He won a stakes race at age 2 (Grade 3 Delta Jackpot) and
has won the Sham (G3) and Santa Anita Derby as a sophomore. His dismal
17th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby may be attributed to the sloppy, sealed track.
A fast track is expected Saturday at Pimlico, with which O’Neill became familiar last year.
think of this track as being more of a speed-favoring track than
Churchill,” he said. “As long as the horse is doing well and gets a hold
of the track, I think he’s got a big chance to knock Orb off. I would
assume with the tighter turns (Goldencents) would be forwardly placed. I
think all of us would like a dry track, just so there’s no excuses.”
And while there’s less on the line this year for O’Neill, the Preakness still ranks high on his to-do list.
year off the Derby win, you come in dreaming of the Triple Crown,” he
said. “This year we’re dreaming of the double crown. I know it doesn’t
get a lot of play, but to have a horse that’s worthy of being in a
Preakness race is an honor and a privilege. I think we’re extremely
lucky to have two.”
According to National Racing Museum and Hall of Fame historian Allan Carter, no horse who has finished as far back as 17th in the Kentucky Derby has won the Preakness. Louis Quatorze, who was 16th in the 1996 Derby, had the greatest turnaround in history when he won the Preakness that year for trainer Nick Zito.
– Mike Pegram’s Sunland Derby (G3) winner Govenor Charlie had a routine
first morning at Pimlico since shipping from Kentucky Wednesday and
went to the track shortly after 6 o’clock Thursday for some exercise.
“He handled the track fine. He galloped a mile to let him get over the
track,” said Jimmy Barnes, trainer Bob Baffert’s longtime assistant. “He
went over it fine and seemed to like it.”
who is scheduled to travel from California to Baltimore on Thursday,
waited until he was sure the colt was fully recovered from a minor hoof
injury before committing to the Preakness. Govenor Charlie was examined
at the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., in mid-April
after the injury was discovered. He was able to return to training, but
Baffert decided that he was not ready for the Kentucky Derby on May 4.
“It was minor, but I wanted to make sure that there was nothing else
involved,” Baffert said. “That’s why I sent him to the clinic and they
did the scan on him. I wanted to make sure that we weren’t missing
Charlie has had three timed works since the visit to Rood and Riddle,
including a snappy six-furlong breeze in 1:10 4/5 Monday morning at
running because after his last work he’s back to 100 percent,” Baffert
said. “I just lost that little time with him, five days of training and
an important work. I had to get him right and now he’s 100 percent. The
way he worked the other day, it looked like he’s doing well. He’s back
to his old self.”
By Tuesday morning, Baffert was willing to say that the colt would go on to the Preakness.
main thing is that he came out of the work really well,” Baffert said.
“It looks like he’s sitting on a big race. He had to be 100 percent and
he had to be training really well. He handled the work really well and
didn’t get tired. We’ll find out if he’s good enough.”
– Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. is set to saddle Itsmyluckyday for a start in
Saturday’s Preakness Stakes with full confidence that the Gulfstream
Park Derby and Holy Bull (G3) winner will fire his best race.
given me every sign that he’s ready for the war; he’s ready for the
race; he’s ready for the battle,” said Plesa, after sending
Itsmyluckyday for a gallop around Pimlico’s racetrack Thursday morning.
“Let’s just get it on.”
veteran South Florida-based trainer also knows what his colt will be up
against when he clashes with Kentucky Derby winner Orb in the
the best 3-year-old in the country, no question about it. He could be
Horse of the Year. We could be sitting here in a very short period of
time and they could be talking about him as Horse of the Year,” Plesa
said. “Orb has been sensational since he turned 3, and he’s absolutely
the horse to beat for all of us. He deserves the accolades he’s
Itsmyluckyday, who finished second behind Orb in the Florida Derby (G1) on March 30, finished 15th in the Kentucky Derby, which was contested over a sloppy, sealed racetrack.
me it is a throw-out, no doubt about it. I just want him to be able to
show what he’s capable of doing and what he did at Gulfstream wasn’t a
byproduct of a bias for a surface, and I don’t think it was,” Plesa
said. “We believe he is capable of running those numbers at any
racetrack. I thought the Derby was going to be the place, and it wasn’t.
As long as this racetrack is fast, he’ll have no excuses.”
struggled with the racetrack (at Churchill), there’s no question about
that. Did it take anything out of him? No more than a regular race. He’d
have been running back in two weeks anyway. If I thought it took
anything out of him, A) I wouldn’t have worked him and B), I don’t have
to come here.”
who turned in a sharp half-mile workout (47 1/5 seconds) at Monmouth
Park Sunday before shipping to Pimlico Tuesday, has shown all the signs
of being ready to revert back to the form he showed in Florida last
work Sunday -- he just worked so effortlessly – his energy level, the
way he looks – all the things that you would look for,” Plesa said.
“He’s just doing great. He’s ready to run. All we’re asking for is a
fast racetrack. I don’t want to use that as an excuse again I don’t want
excuses. I just want to be a realist.”
OXBOW/TITLETOWN FIVE/WILL TAKE CHARGE – D.
Wayne Lukas has been hovering around history since the start of the
millennium, and the Hall of Fame trainer is scheduled to have three
chances in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes to finally set the record for
most Triple Crown successes.
The former basketball coach, who traded his whistle for a saddle in the
1970s, has been tied with the legendary “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons for the
most wins in Triple Crown races (13) by any trainer in history since
Commendable won the 2000 Belmont Stakes.
On Saturday, Lukas has one of his best opportunities in recent years with a three-pronged attack in the nine-horse field.
“It would be nice to get over that, but the guy that holds it with me
is pretty special in this game,” Lukas said Thursday morning after
Oxbow, Titletown Five and Will Take Charge returned from morning gallops
at Pimlico. “I think we’ll get over it. I don’t know if it’ll be
Saturday, but there’s an excellent chance we’ll get that 14th one somewhere down the line. You know, though, the sooner the better.”
has had pretty good numbers in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown,
having saddled five winners from 37 starters – more than any trainer in
He’d like nothing more than to add a sixth Preakness, which would put the 77-year-old Wisconsin native one behind turn-of-the-19th-century
trainer Robert Walden. Lukas is tied for second with Bob Baffert
(Govenor Charlie) and Thomas Healey, whose last winner came during the
Preakness is special to me,” Lukas said, while admitting he’d be in
favor of Orb winning if he can’t get the prize for one of his three
ownership groups on Saturday. “As a trainer you think more or less of
achieving something for a certain client. You don’t run against the
other guy or even the other horse. You’re pretty much centered on your
Five, owned by some former Green Bay Packers including Paul Hornung and
Willie Davis, would be a long shot – already at 30-1 in the morning
line. Will Take Charge was rated at 12-1 and Oxbow, who was sixth in the
Derby, was made 15-1.
had a good morning,” Lukas said after dismounting his pony. “I like the
way the track’s playing. I think it’s very fair for everybody. I was
real comfortable with it. I like it when they go by and you can’t hear
said he was a bit miffed and was joking with track handicapper Frank
Carulli after Mylute was made the second choice behind Orb in the
personally don’t think Mylute should be the second choice in the race,
unless they bet on Rosie (Napravnik),” Lukas said. “I think Will Take
Charge and Oxbow are about equal and their odds are going to fall
somewhere between 5-1 and 8-1. The other horse is going to be a long
shot, probably one of the longest shots on the board.”
and Will Take Charge ran 1-2 in the Rebel (G2) in March at Oaklawn
Park. Will Take Charge was a troubled eighth in the Kentucky Derby
behind Oxbow’s pace-pressing sixth on the sloppy, sealed track. He
expects both to run well here.
Take Charge is 17 hands,” Lukas said. “He and Orb have a similar style.
They’re not stop-and-start horses, so he didn’t get to run his race in
Louisville. Oxbow is a gutsy little horse. I think they both had a
chance to be part of the equation in the Derby.”
Lukas readily admits the percentages are in his favor with a third of
the field being saddled by a guy who knows how to win this race.
“I feel comfortable with the field,” he said. “It only takes one horse to spoil your day.”