Jesus' Team
Jesus’ Team at Pimlico. Photo Maryland Jockey Club.

Grupo Seven C Stable’s Jesus’ Team arrived at Pimlico Sunday afternoon, becoming the first contender for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes (G1) to step foot on the historic grounds known as Old Hilltop.

The son of Tapiture, who most recently finished third in the Sept. 5 Jim Dandy (G2) at Saratoga, arrived by van from Monmouth Park.

“He enjoyed the trip. He has in the last three months many trips. Now, it is easy for him,” said trainer Jose D’Angelo, who drove the truck towing the van carrying his stable star.

Jesus’ Team took the lead in upper stretch in the 1 1/8-mile Jim Dandy before coming up 1 ½ lengths short of victorious Mystic Guide. The Kentucky-bred colt previously finished second behind Preakness contender Pneumatic in the Pegasus at Monmouth and fourth behind Kentucky Derby winner and likely Preakness favorite Authentic in the Haskell (G1) at Monmouth.

D’Angelo, a former leading trainer in Venezuela now based in South Florida, is looking forward to participating in his first U.S. Triple Crown event.

“It’s very exciting. I’m very nervous, too,” D’Angelo said. “I have only one-year training in USA. It’s the best race of my life. It’s a great chance to show the abilities of the horse. I think we’re going to have a great race in the Preakness.

D’Angelo said Jesus’ Team is scheduled to jog over the Pimlico track Tuesday morning and gallop every other morning up to race day.