Kentucky Derby (G1) winner California Chrome continued his preparation for a scheduled start in Saturday’s 139th
running of the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course by
galloping 1 ¾ miles over a “good” racetrack early Sunday morning at
“He loves it out there,” exercise rider Willie Delgado said. “Whatever
he does, I just let him do. He is a rock star and I am just a groupie.
He is the Kentucky Derby winner; he can do whatever he wants.”
What California Chrome wanted to do in the first part of the activity was pick up the pace when a trio of horses galloped past.
just him,” said Delgado, who rode and trained in Maryland before
venturing to the West Coast last fall. “He is so competitive that he
wants to go.”
who began getting on California Chrome last fall, is eager to see what
California Chrome will do in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.
“I think he’ll love Pimlico,” Delgado said. “It is a lot like Los Alamitos with sharp turns and a long stretch.”
As far as any letdown from the Derby victory is concerned, Delgado doesn’t see it.
am amazed at how quick he bounced back from the race,” Delgado said. “I
have never been around one that bounced back that quickly. He goes out
and does a mile and three-quarters like it’s nothing.”
Sherman, assistant to his father Art Sherman, said California Chrome
would go to the track at 6 Monday morning to jog or gallop before making
the journey to Baltimore.
Chrome is one of five Preakness candidates scheduled to arrive at
Pimlico Monday. The Derby winner is set to share a plane in Lexington,
Ky. with Pablo Del Monte, Ride On Curlin and General a Rod, while Kid
Cruz is scheduled to arrive from Belmont Park.
BAYERN – Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has decided to take the blinkers off speedy Bayern for Saturday’s 139th Preakness Stakes.
son of Offlee Wild has pressed the pace in all four of his career
starts. He broke his maiden on Jan. 4 wearing blinkers but didn’t have
them on for an allowance victory by 15 lengths on Feb. 13 or his
third-place finish in the Arkansas Derby (G1) on April 12. The blinkers
were back on for the Derby Trial (G3) on April 26, when he finished
first but was disqualified and placed second.
appears to be plenty of speed in the Preakness: Kentucky Derby winner
California Chrome, Pablo Del Monte, Ring Weekend, Social Inclusion and
Dynamic Impact have all been prominently placed in their recent races.
After the Derby Trial DQ, Baffert said that the colt had to be able to
stalk the pace, hence the decision to make the equipment change.
”If we’re going to get him to track horses, track the speed, he needs them off,” Baffert said Sunday.
purchased by Kaleem Shah at a 2-year-old in training sale for $320,000
last year, galloped 1 ½ miles after the morning renovation break at
Churchill Downs with exercise rider Jorge Alvarez aboard. The Baffert
trainee, who later schooled in the paddock with the horses in
Churchill’s first race, is scheduled to have his final work for the
Preakness Monday morning and ship to Baltimore on Wednesday.
DYNAMIC IMPACT – John Oxley’s Illinois Derby (G3) winner Dynamic Impact worked five furlongs in company in 1:01 3/5 with jockey Miguel Mena aboard.
Impact started a couple lengths behind his workmate and finished even
at the wire with fractions of :13, :37.3/5 and a six-furlong gallop out
time of 1:15 2/5. The move was the 18th fastest of 41 for five furlongs.
am glad we got the work in,” said Norman Casse, assistant trainer to
father Mark Casse, of the move that had been postponed a day. “He
started off a little slow, but finished strong and moved well over the
Impact had worked five furlongs in company in 1:00 1/5 on May 3 in his
first breeze since winning the Illinois Derby on April 19.
Impact is scheduled to fly to Baltimore on Wednesday and Mena, who will
be riding in his first Preakness, is headed to Pimlico on Friday to
ride Tepin for Casse in the $100,000 Miss Preakness Stakes at six
furlongs. Mena has ridden Tepin in all four of her starts, including a
victory in her most recent outing in the Delta Downs Princess (G3) in
GENERAL A ROD – Skychai Racing LLC and Starlight Racing’s General a Rod
galloped at Churchill Downs Sunday morning and is scheduled to arrived
at Baltimore-Washington International Airport Monday at approximately
been a fan of the horse since I saw him run on Jan. 1 at Gulfstream (a
head victory in the Gulfstream Park Derby),” said Starlight managing
partner Jack Wolf, whose group joined Skychai in purchasing the colt
from J. Armando Rodriguez days before his troubled 11th-place
finish in the Kentucky Derby. “We didn’t see the real General a Rod
that day. I think he’s got a lot of good races in front of him.”
by Mike Maker, General a Rod had never finished out of the money in
five starts before encountering traffic in the Derby under jockey Joel
Rosario. Eclipse Award-winning jockey Javier Castellano has been named
to ride him in the Preakness with Rosario having already committed to
Ride On Curlin.
gave the horse a very good ride in the Fountain of Youth,” Wolf said.
“I think it was an easy choice for Mike when he came open. I think he’ll
do a good job for us and the horse.”
a Rod, a $72,000 yearling purchase, has already earned $282,000 and is
set to be Maker’s first Preakness starter. He was third in the Florida
Derby (G1), losing by only 1 ½ lengths to well regarded Constitution in
his final Derby prep.
– The two-time Maryland stakes winner galloped 1 ½ miles and did some
gate schooling at Belmont Park Sunday morning, Trainer Linda Rice, who
is slated to saddle her first Preakness starter Saturday, reported that
the son of Lemon Drop Kid was scheduled to school in the paddock before
the fourth race on Sunday.
sharp and he’s ready for a race,” said Rice, who plans to van the
Federico Tesio and Private Terms winner to Pimlico after training at
Belmont on Monday. “It’s a very prestigious race, and it’s very
exciting to have a horse go to the Preakness that deserves mention.
Frankly, I’m really not interested in going to a race unless I think we
have a legitimate chance.”
took an unlikely and circuitous route to the Preakness, having
originally been purchased by Black Swan Stable for $80,000 at the 2012
Keeneland September Sale and sent to trainer by Bill Mott. After a
dismal outing in his debut on grass, he was claimed out of a maiden
victory at Aqueduct for $50,000 by Vina Del Mar Thoroughbreds with Black
Swan later buying back a share of the colt.
has since won two of three starts on dirt for Rice, including the
ungraded stakes at Laurel and Pimlico. The Preakness will be the first
graded-stakes start for the confirmed late runner.
were not able to consider the Kentucky Derby because he didn’t have any
points to get into it,” Rice said. “I had entered in the Wood Memorial
(Aqueduct) with hopes of running, but we weren’t able to run that day.
We ran him in the Tesio (Pimlico) instead in hopes of making the
Preakness. It’s going to be a big step up in competition from his two
previous wins, but at this point I’m excited about giving it a try.”
PABLO DEL MONTE - Trainer Wesley Ward reported that Pablo Del Monte walked Sunday, a typical morning after his Saturday breeze at Keeneland.
Giant’s Causeway colt, bred by Ward and co-owned with Mrs. John
Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor, worked six furlongs in company
in 1:12 1/5 Saturday morning. He will ship from Lexington, Ky. to
Baltimore on a charter flight Monday.
joked that Pablo Del Monte was doing so well Sunday that he had to
bring in reinforcements to help out because the colt had so much energy.
Assistant trainer Blake Heap will handle the horse at Pimlico until Ward arrives later in the week.
Ward has had two previous Preakness starters: Pleasant Prince, 11th in 2010, and Flashpoint, 14th in 2011.
RIA ANTONIA – Christopher Dunn and Loooch Racing Stable’s Ria Antonia worked a half-mile on her own in 47 3/5 seconds over a track labeled as “good” early Sunday morning at Churchill Downs.
Calvin Borel up for trainer Tom Amoss, Ria Antonia covered the first
quarter-mile in :24 1/5 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:00. The move
was the fourth fastest of 52 at the distance for the morning.
has been extremely positive with her and whatever the plan is, we are
excited about her,” said Amoss of Ria Antonia, who was transferred into
his barn last Monday following a sixth-place finish in the Kentucky Oaks
(G1). “All of her preparation with me has been very good.”
Amoss said a decision regarding the Preakness would come Monday.
am going to talk with Ron (Paolucci of Loooch Racing) this morning and
then again Monday morning after she’s had a day,” Amoss said. “I am sure
a decision will be made tomorrow.”
RIDE ON CURLIN – Daniel Dougherty’s Ride On Curlin galloped an easy 1 1/8 miles after the morning renovation break at Churchill Downs with exercise rider Bryan Beccia up.
Billy Gowan said Ride On Curlin would go to the track at 6 o’clock
Monday morning to train before being prepared for a 10 a.m. departure by
van to Lexington to join California Chrome on a flight bringing him to
Beccia’s departure will be quicker.
“As soon as I jump off him, I’m jumping in my car and heading to Baltimore,” Beccia said.
RING WEEKEND: Trainer Graham Motion reported Sunday morning that St. Elias Stable and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Ring Weekend came out of Saturday’s workout at Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md. in good order.
“He went out for a jog this morning and everything went well,” Motion said. “He jogged about a half-mile here behind my barn.”
Ring Weekend, the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner, breezed six furlongs in 1:13 1/5 Saturday.
SOCIAL INCLUSION – Rontos Racing Stable Corp’s Social Inclusion galloped 1 ½ miles at Pimlico Race Course Sunday morning, demonstrating good energy in his second pass of the grandstand.
looks good,” said trainer Manny Azpurua as the 3-year-old son of
Pioneerof the Nile walked off the track under exercise rider Domingo
Navarro. “He’s ready for tomorrow.”
Social Inclusion is scheduled to breeze at 8:30 a.m. Monday.
“How far, it all depends. But right now, I think he’ll go a half mile,” the 85-year-old South Florida-based trainer said.
Jockey Luis Contreras is scheduled to travel from Woodbine to Pimlico for Monday’s breeze.
Inclusion is slated to make his fourth lifetime start in the Preakness.
The Kentucky-bred colt kicked off his career with a pair of easy
victories at Gulfstream, including a track-record breaking allowance
score at 1 1/16 miles in his second start before finishing third in the
Wood Memorial (G1).