Preakness: Coffeewithchris in, Confidence Game out

The racing gods giveth, and the racing gods taketh away. Saturday brought one new shooter to the Preakness while knocking out a Derby runner.

The connections of Coffeewithchris alerted the Pimlico Race Course racing officials Saturday morning that the Maryland-bred son of Ride on Curlin is being pointed toward a start in the May 20 Preakness Stakes (G1).

The Maryland-based multiple-stakes winner had been entered for Saturday’s Long Branch at Monmouth but was scratched in favor of a run in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. John Salzman Sr., Fred Wasserloos, and Anthony Geruso’s Coffeewithchris most recently finished fifth in the Federico Tesio, a win-and-in Preakness prep at Laurel Park.

“Our plan was to run in the Preakness. We were hoping to win the Tesio. The biggest thing is coming up with the money sometimes. I’m a poor working guy. Thirty thousand is a lot of money,” trainer John Salzman Jr. said “I looked at the Long Branch. It wasn’t an easy spot. If it was an easy spot, I might have gone on to the Long Branch. I worked it out to come up with the funds to take a chance. I don’t get to take a chance very often.”

Jaime Rodriguez will ride Coffeewithchris, who captured the Miracle Wood and finished second in the Private Terms at Laurel Park.


Also Saturday, trainer Keith Desormeaux said that Oaklawn Park’s Rebel (G2) winner Confidence Game will not make the May 20 Preakness Stakes (G1). Confidence Game finished 10th in the Kentucky Derby (G1).

“He trained all right this morning. He’s just not 100 percent,” Desormeaux said. “He’s got something aggravating him in the right front shoulder area. We’re going to send him to Dr. (Larry) Bramlage (at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital) and let him do full diagnostics and let him advise us on how to proceed. He’s good, but he’s not Preakness perfect.”