Preakness hopefuls take to the track

by | May 14, 2016 | Breaking, Maryland, MD Racing, Racing, Triple Crown Trail

From a Maryland Jockey Club release

Cherry Wine finished his major preparations for the Preakness by working five furlongs on a fast Churchill Downs track in 1:01.60.

Working on his own and with regular exercise rider Faustino Aguilar aboard, Cherry Wine produced fractions of 24.80 seconds, 49.20, 1:01.60 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:14. The work was the 24th fastest of 38 at the distance.

“I thought he worked well,” trainer Dale Romans said. “He will ship to Pimlico on Wednesday.”

It was the second work for Cherry Wine since finishing third in the Blue Grass Stakes (GI) on April 9 at Keeneland. He had worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 at Churchill Downs on April 30.

“He is a light-framed horse and we space his works out,” Romans said. “Plus, we had a lot to do last Saturday (with horses in eight races including Brody’s Cause in the Kentucky Derby).”

A Preakness victory by Cherry Wine to go along with Shackleford’s 2011 triumph would have extra meaning for Romans.

“I trained the sire (Paddy O’Prado), the dam (C.S. Royce) and her mother (Sweeping Story),” Romans said. “It would be special.”

Cherry Wine will be jockey Corey Lanerie’s first Preakness mount.

Kentucky Derby runner-up Exaggerator had his final morning on the track at Churchill Downs Saturday, galloping 1 ¼ miles. Trained by Keith Desormeaux, Exaggerator is scheduled to leave Kentucky at 5 Sunday morning.

“He has been eating; his energy is good … all positive signs,” assistant trainer Julie Clark said.

Derby third-place finisher Gun Runner galloped 1 ¼ miles at Churchill while trainer Steve Asmussen and owners Winchell Thoroughbreds, Three Chimneys Farm and Besilu Stables decide his Preakness future.

“It hasn’t been ruled out,” said David Fiske, Racing Manager for Winchell Thoroughbreds. “He is ready to go, but we have not decided.”

Collected, the winner of the Grade 3 Lexington at Keeneland April 16, came out of his seven-furlong work (1:24.80) at Churchill Friday in good order, reported Jim Barnes, assistant to trainer Bob Baffert.  Collected also won the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita earlier this year.

Fellowship, fourth in the Pat Day Mile (G3) on the Derby undercard, galloped 1 ½ miles Saturday morning. The Jacks or Better Farm homebred and a contingent of Mark Casse-trained horses are scheduled to leave Churchill Downs Monday afternoon for an overnight excursion to Pimlico with a Tuesday morning arrival anticipated.