Tuscan Gold, Catching Freedom eyeing Preakness start

Trainer Chad Brown, who has won the Preakness Stakes (G1) twice in his career, will go for No. 3 May 18.

Brown said Thursday that he will enter lightly raced Tuscan Gold in the second leg of the Triple Crown. Brown had entered the son of Medaglia d’Oro in the Peter Pan (G3), which will be run at Aqueduct on Saturday.

Tuscan Gold is owned by William H. Lawrence, Walmac Farm and Stonestreet Stable, LLC. 

The Preakness will be the fourth start for Tuscan Gold. When last seen, he finished third in the Louisiana Derby (G3) at Fair Grounds on March 23. Tuscan Gold broke his maiden by 6 ¼ lengths in his second start at Gulfstream Park Jan. 31.

“At the end of the day, the reward is so much greater if he were to run well in the Preakness going for a much bigger prize,” Brown said.

Brown said that Tyler Gaffalione, who has ridden Tuscan Gold in his last two starts, will have the mount in the Preakness. Brown also said that he plans to work Tuscan Gold at Belmont this weekend but was not sure if it would be Saturday or Sunday.

Shipping plans to Baltimore have yet to be made, Brown said.

Brown won his first Preakness in 2017 with Cloud Computing and got to the winner’s circle for a second time with Early Voting in 2022. Lawrence owned Cloud Computing along with Seth Klarman’s Klaravich Stables.

Last year, Brown’s Blazing Sevens finished second in the Preakness, beaten a head by National Treasure.

Kentucky Derby  (G1) fourth-place finisher Catching Freedom is under consideration for the 149th Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course on May 18, said Jason Loutsch, the co-owner and racing manager for Albaugh Family Stables.

The Louisiana Derby (G2) winner rallied from 15th to finish fourth under Flavien Prat in the Kentucky Derby, coming in two lengths behind the three-horse photo from which Mystik Dan emerged the winner.

Loutsch said Thursday by phone that the ultimate decision will be made by Churchill Downs-based trainer Brad Cox, but that Catching Freedom likely will run in either the 1 3/16-mile Preakness or Churchill Downs’ $400,000 Matt Winn Stakes (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on June 9.

“We never really ruled it out,” Loutsch said of the Preakness. “We were just going to give the horse some time to come back. We weren’t going to commit until we found out how the horse is doing. We’ll know something by Saturday. Obviously, you’d love to run in Triple Crown races, but at the same time the horse is always first.

“We’ll make a decision by the weekend. He’s doing well now. I’m not opposed to taking a shot in the Preakness, but I’ve got to listen to Brad and the horse and take my heart out of it,” he added. “Of course I want to run, but at the end of the day it’s all about the horse. He ran a bang-up race, ran hard in the Derby. We’ll just see how he comes back out of it. If we don’t run in the Preakness, we’ll go to the Matt Winn.”