from a Maryland Jockey Club release
Zayat Stables’ Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah and Kaleem Shah’s third-place Derby finisher Dortmund walked the shedrow Wednesday morning in Barn 33 at Churchill Downs.
The Bob Baffert-trained Preakness candidates are scheduled to jog in the morning, said Jimmy Barnes, who is overseeing things for Baffert until the trainer returns to Louisville Sunday night.
Barnes has been with Baffert since the fall of 1998 and made his first trip to Pimlico in 2001 with Point Given, the third of Baffert’s five Preakness winners.
“I have been there for War Emblem and Lookin At Lucky,” Barnes said of the 2002 and 2010 Preakness winners. “And Dana (Barnes) was the exercise rider for Real Quiet in 1998.”
Arnold Zetcher’s Firing Line returned to the Churchill Downs track Wednesday morning for the first time since finishing a game second behind American Pharoah in the Derby. The son of Line of David jogged a mile alongside a pony shortly after 7 o’clock.
“He probably will jog again in the morning,” said Carlos Santamaria, assistant to trainer Simon Callaghan, who is back at his home base at Santa Anita.
Jose Castanon filled in for regular exercise rider Humberto Gomez, scheduled back from California later Wednesday. Castanon’s brother Jesus won the 2011 Preakness on Shackleford, who held off Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom by a half-length.
“That was my top win,” said Jesus Castanon, a winner of nearly 2,300 races. “Every year about this time I start to get a flashback and it is good and bad. Good that you got to enjoy it and bad that he is not running anymore.”
Shackleford, trained by Dale Romans, had finished fourth in the Derby after the setting the pace and grudgingly giving way inside the final eighth of a mile.
“I felt very confident going into the Preakness,” Castanon said. “I was going to let him do his thing and I knew that the other speed in the race would kill themselves off. Did I see Animal Kingdom coming? Yes, I knew he was coming at me.”
Also returning to the track at Churchill Downs for the first time since the Derby were John Oxley’s Danzig Moon and Zayat Stables’ Mr. Z.
Danzig Moon galloped a mile before the morning renovation break with exercise rider William Cano up.
Norman Casse, assistant to his father, trainer Mark Casse, said the Preakness remains a possibility for the fifth-place Derby finisher, “but we need to see how he trains.”
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas said no decision had been made on the Preakness status of Mr. Z, who finished 13th in the Derby. Mr. Z jogged a mile early Wednesday morning under exercise rider Edvin Vargas.