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Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Preakness Field Begins Shaping Up

5/6/2018

Few Derby Runners Will Participate

Bob Baffert said Sunday morning that Justified was all but shouting to him that he was ready to go on to the Preakness Stakes.
 
As he often does the morning after a winning a major race, Baffert brought Justify out his barn to show off the chestnut to the media and fans. Justify had so much energy that Baffert had trouble holding him.
 
“He’s pretty wild,” Baffert said. “He came out of it really well. He’s full of himself. He came back and he wasn’t really that tired and ate up last night. Today he’s been a handful.”
 
Justify’s demeanor prompted Baffert to change plans and return home to California on Sunday.
 
“I was going to stay here a couple of days, but he looks phenomenal today,” Baffert said.
 
Though he has won nearly every one of the major dirt races in America and has trained standouts like American Pharoah, Silver Charm and Arrogate, Baffert said he was impressed by what Justify accomplished in the Derby.
 
“It was a pretty awesome performance,” he said. “We were hoping that he had that in him. At the three-eighths pole I was thinking, ‘Man, he better be a really good horse if he’s going to just keep going.’ Those great ones, they do that.”
 
Twenty minutes after the Derby, Chad Brown said it was unlikely Good Magic would go on to Pimlico, but by Sunday morning he had reconsidered. Brown won the 2017 Preakness with Cloud Computing.          
 
“I’ve got an idea, but I’ve got to wait until I talk to the owners,” Brown said, noting that a decision was likely by Monday. “I’ll get their thoughts on it and let them weigh in on it. I’ll tell them what I see and see what they want to do. I think for me to rule it out this morning would be foolish. I don’t want to get into a situation where I commit to one way or another and I change my mind. I want to give myself a little room to really observe the horse. The horse will tell us.”
 
D. Wayne Lukas said he expects to enter Bravazo, who was sixth in the Derby, and Sporting Chance, who was fourth in the Pat Day Mile on Saturday. Lukas picked up the first of his six Preakness wins with Codex in 1980.
 
Also considered as probables for the Preakness are Arkansas Derby runner-up Quip and Federico Tesio winner Diamond King. Quip had enough points to qualify for the Kentucky Derby, but his owners opted to give him a little more time to recover from the Arkansas Derby.WinStar has an ownership interest in both Justify and Quip, and the farm’s CEO Elliott Walden said the plan for Quip had not been formalized.
 
“I hesitate to say right now. We’ll see how the week plays out,” Walden said. “My first inclination is to go ahead and run him, but we need to talk to our partners and see. But we’d set the horse up to run in the Preakness and he worked very well on Thursday. If Justify is supposed to win the Triple Crown, he’ll beat Quip. I just think you try to manage your horses the best you can and that it’s the right thing for Quip. Not making a final decision today. The horse is doing really well, and we’ll see.”
 
Trainer Todd Pletcher’s four Derby runners were led by Audible’s third-place finish, a head behind Good Magic.  He said all four will move on to New York on Monday and did not indicate that a Preakness entry was likely.
 
"Everybody came well back. Everybody's happy and sound today,” Pletcher said. "I thought Audible ran great. I love the way he finished and am proud of his effort. Everybody ships back to Belmont. We'll regroup there and not make any decisions for a week or so."


Edited Maryland Jockey Club release

Photo by Skip Dickstein

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