Preakness notes: Arrivals and defections

by | May 17, 2016 | Breaking, Maryland, MD Racing, Racing, Top Stories, Triple Crown Trail

Preakness 2015. Photo by Laurie Asseo

by Frank Vespe

As we move towards Wednesday — the day that entries for Preakness Saturday at Pimlico will be drawn — the Middle Jewel field came into yet sharper relief.

The contenders:

  • Kentucky Derby champion Nyquist galloped around Old Hilltop early this morning, leaving trainer Doug O’Neill and his team with big smiles.
  • Kentucky Derby runner-up Exaggerator also is on the grounds, and he galloped 1 1/2 miles around the Pimlico strip.  Trainer Keith Desormeaux likewise was pleased with his charge.
  • The quarantine at Parx Racing was lifted today, which means that Abiding Star will join the Preakness fray for trainer Ned Allard.  The Private Terms Stakes winner breezed a moderate half-mile in 50 seconds Tuesday at Parx.
  • Federico Tesio Stakes winner Awesome Speed breezed a half-mile in 47 2/5 seconds Tuesday at his Colts Neck (NJ) base and is slated to ship to Pimlico Thursday morning, trainer Alan Goldberg said.
  • Cherry Wine, who did not draw into the Kentucky Derby from the also-eligible list, galloped 1 1/2 miles over a sloppy Churchill Downs strip Tuesday and is scheduled to arrive at Pimlico Tuesday evening.
  • Lani spent about 45 minutes on the track at Belmont Park Tuesday morning, walking, galloping, and cantering.  He is scheduled to breeze Wedneday morning and depart for Pimlico on Thursday morning.
  • Laoban, also unable to draw into the Kentucky Derby from the also-eligible list, arrived at Pimlico Tuesday afternoon.
  • Mark Casse trainee Fellowship arrived at Pimlico early Tuesday morning and will have his first visit to the racing strip Wednesday.
  • Grade 3 Lexington Stakes winner Collected, slated to be trainer Bob Baffert’s 18th Preakness starter, arrived at Pimlico Wednesday afternoon.
  • Impressive Keeneland allowance winner Stradivari galloped 1 3/8 miles at Belmont Park for trainer Todd Pletcher Tuesday.  He’ll makes his stakes debut Saturday in the Grade 1 Preakness.
  • Uncle Lino arrived at Pimlico Tuesday afternoon.  The California Chrome Stakes winner is 70-year-old trainer Gary Sherlock’s first Preakness starter.
  • Trainer Steve Asmussen announced Tuesday that Kentucky Derby show horse Gun Runner will not compete in the Preakness.
  • Dazzling Gem will run in the Sir Barton Stakes rather than the Preakness, trainer Brad Cox said Tuesday.  “The mile and a sixteenth is better for him,” Cox said for opting for the Sir Barton over the 1 3/16-mile Preakness, “and the competition.”

Video courtesy of the Maryland Jockey Club: