and four maybes. That is how the Maryland Jockey Club racing office
characterized the status of the Preakness Stakes field Friday afternoon, 72
hours before the draw and eight days before the race.
is still the same,” MJC stakes coordinator Coley Blind said. “Status quo.”
Guide is more likely to stay home in New York, connections for the other maybes
– Swiss Skydiver, Happy Saver and Ny Traffic – are publicly on the fence or
work tomorrow,” Ny Traffic’s trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. said in a text Friday. “Probably
a decision Sunday or Monday.”
Traffic were to be entered, he would be the fourth horse to come out of the
Kentucky Derby and into the Oct. 3 Preakness, joining the winner Authentic,
third-place Mr. Big News and fifth-place Max Player. Still looking for his
first stakes victory, Ny Traffic finished eighth at Churchill Downs, his first time
out of the money in six starts as a 3-year-old.
[Related: Asmussen's Preakness colts have their jockeys]
he said the Preakness was one of three possibilities for his filly Swiss Skydiver,
trainer Kenny McPeek had yet to announce a choice by Friday afternoon. He said
last week that he was also considering two other Grade 1 races – the Spinster
(G1) for fillies and mares Oct. 4 and the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1)
for 3-year-old fillies Oct. 10 – both at Keeneland.
Todd Pletcher had yet to weigh in on undefeated Happy Saver. The winner of this
month’s Federico Tesio Stakes at Laurel Park had the fastest of nine breezes
over five furlongs Friday on the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga, clocked
at 1:01.09. Pletcher said last week that if the 3-for-3 colt by Super Saver did
not race in the Preakness, he could go in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.
racing office said this week that Dr Post, also trained by Pletcher, had
already been ruled out of the Preakness, although Pletcher had yet to confirm
was not yet ruled out of the Preakness, but trainer Mike Stidham said Wednesday
that the Jim Dandy (G2) winner was more likely to go to the Jockey Club Gold
Cup (G1) on Oct. 10 at Belmont Park.
Morning Qb, a Maryland-bred colt who finished second in the Tesio, had been
mentioned as a Preakness candidate but was ruled out Thursday. “Really looking
at the mile turf on the undercard,” said trainer Butch Reid, referring to the
James W. Murphy Stakes.
being bet down to nearly 8-5, Authentic is now the 9-5 favorite in the
Preakness futures at Circa Sports, Las Vegas. Blue Grass (G2) and Ellis Park
Derby winner Art Collector is about 3-1 (+305). Authentic’s stablemate Thousand
Words has shortened to nearly 7-1 (+710).
listed at Circa are Ny Traffic (13-1), Swiss Skydiver (13-1), Max Player
(15-1), Mr. Big News (15-1), Country Grammer (20-1), Pneumatic (20-1), Excession
(22-1), Happy Saver (35-1), Jesus’ Team (35-1), Liveyourbeastlife (35-1) and
Mystic Guide (30-1).
Preakness field is limited to 14, so if all the maybes and any latecomers were
to be added, then earnings would be used to determine who is in and who is out.
The last three in would be Jesus’ Team, Mystic Guide and Liveyourbeastlife.
Preakness will be drawn Monday at noon EDT.