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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Daily Preakness Update: Thursday

5/9/2013

ORB -- On Thursday at Belmont Park, Orb put in his first gallop since winning the Kentucky Derby.

Shug McGaughey and exercise rider Jenn Patterson said Orb gave all the right signs in his preparation for the 138th Preakness Stakes. Orb jogged a mile on a sloppy track on Wednesday, his first time on the track since the Derby.

“He jogged three-eighths to a half-mile and galloped a mile. I thought everything was good,” said McGaughey. “The track was still sloppy. Jenn said he was kind of bucking and playing and jumping the water puddles on the backstretch. I was pleased with what I saw. His energy level is right where you’d want it to be on Thursday after Saturday.”

McGaughey discussed what's coming next.

“The first thing we’ve got to do -- and what we’ve been doing -- is getting him over his last race. Try to get him back on his feet the best we can, get him fresh and happy again,” the trainer said. “Next week, we’ll get him ready to run again, and that’ll hopefully be through the breeze on Monday. We just want to put him back in the game. We don’t need anything fast, just something that puts his mind back on what he’s doing. Then, we’ll get him to Pimlico and get him acclimated. There’s not much else we can do.”

McGaughey, who said it was likely that Orb would ship to Pimlico on Monday following his breeze that morning, expressed confidence that his Derby winner was up to the challenge of running back in two weeks.

“Day in and day out, with your better horses, you don’t want to run them back in two weeks, because they give you a lot when they run. You’ve got to train them a little bit to get them to run again,” McGaughey said. “There’s no compromise here. You’ve got to do it. You’ve just got to hope you haven’t drained your horse over the winter with prep races and his training, so he can bounce out of a big race like he had on Derby Day. But I think we’ll be fine.”

DEPARTING -- See separate story about Departing and other Preakness prospects at The Downey Profile here.


GOLDENCENTS -- The only Preakness candidate on the Pimlico grounds thus far returned to the track for the first time since the Derby Thursday morning when he jogged once around the Pimlico oval under Kevin Krigger for the first time. They were out at 8:30.

The Santa Anita Derby winner was shipped from Kentucky Monday afternoon and arrived at Pimlico early Tuesday morning. The Doug O’Neill-trained colt walked the shedrow Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

Assistant trainer Jack Sisterson said that Goldencents will jog and gallop Friday morning and will have a timed workout on Monday.

“Basically, this morning was just to have him stretch his legs, get warmed up for tomorrow,” Krigger said. “It was more to feel how good he felt, and he felt perfect today. Everything was good. He was smooth, graceful on the track, and relaxed. That’s all the factors you’re looking for.”

O’Neill sent 2012 Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another to Pimlico the Monday after the race to prepare for the Preakness, which the colt won. Though Goldencents did not match I’ll Have Another’s result in the Derby, finishing 17th after contesting the early pace, O’Neill is using a similar program to get him to the Preakness.

“It was successful last year, so why change it?” Sisterson said.

“This is one of the first steps training-wise leading up to the Preakness,” Sisterson said. “We just jogged him and we were very happy. There was no sign of stiffness or tightness. His energy level was high. He’s a very happy horse.”

Krigger has ridden Goldencents in all seven of his career starts and said the Derby, run on a sloppy, sealed track at Churchill Downs, was an uncharacteristic performance.

“The key to him is to have him run his race,” Krigger said. “If you look at the Kentucky Derby, at least to me, that wasn’t the race we expected to see out of him at all. We had a lot of factors in the race that could have been the reason. We’re here trying to regroup, gather him back up and get back on the winning trail.”

Sisterson and other members of the O’Neill staff have been enjoying their second visit to Baltimore for the Preakness. The Maryland Jockey Club arranged for them to attend a Baltimore Orioles game against the Kansas City Royals Thursday night.

“We said last year that we’d love to get back,” Sisterson said. “We didn’t expect it to be the year after.”

 
ITSMYLUCKYDAY -- On the morning after his arrival at Monmouth Park from Churchill Downs, Itsmyluckyday went to the track for a two-mile jog.

“It was kind of a nasty morning, and since we just arrived yesterday from Churchill, we just jogged him,” said Frankie Perez, assistant to trainer Eddie Plesa Jr., who was enroute from South Florida to New Jersey. ”From a scale from one to 10, he was a 10.”

The Gulfstream Park Derby and Holy Bull winner, who finished a disappointing fifteenth in the Kentucky Derby, will be ridden for the first time by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez in the Preakness.

 
NORMANDY INVASION -- The Chad Brown trainee jogged in the rain at Belmont Park for a second day Thursday. Brown said that the fourth-place finisher in the Derby is 50-50 for the Preakness. He expects to make a decision over the weekend after he has had a chance to watch the Tapit colt gallop.


STREET SPICE -- Trainer Greg Geier said Thursday that he will make a decision on Street Spice after he breezes the colt Saturday morning in Chicago. Geier trains eight horses for Jim Tafel, breeder/owner of 2007 Derby winner Street Sense.

 
VYJACK -- He remains a candidate for the Preakness, but trainer Rudy Rodriguez said Thursday that no decision has been made on whether the gelding will be entered. Due to the wet weather in New York this week, Rodriguez has not been able to do very much with Vyjack since he returned from Kentucky after finishing eighteenth in the Derby.

“We’ve been babying him,” Rodriguez said. “I would like to gallop him and see what’s going on.”

Rodriguez said that after he has the opportunity to watch Vyjack gallop a couple days, he will talk about the Preakness with owner David Wilkenfeld.       

“I’m just going to wait and make my decision and then tell the owner what is going on,” he said. “So far, everything is good. I have to talk with the owner first and see what he wants to do.”

 

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