By Dick Downey
Updated 12:37 p.m. ET
Mylute is now official for the Preakess Stakes and will again have Rosie Napravnik in the irons. She will become only the third female rider to compete in the Preakness, which has been run 137 times.
Napravnik started her career at Pimlico when she was 17 years old and won her first race there in 2005. That year, she won 71 races from 514 mounts for earnings of $1,310,705. As of this post, she's had 8,113 career starts, producing 1,539 wins, a 19% win rate. Total purses earned by Napravnik amount to $49,729,741.
Mylute finished a close second to Revolutionary in the Grade II Louisiana Derby before running fifth in the Kentucky Derby. Trainer Tom Amoss said Mylute will probably breeze on Monday and is booked on a Wednesday charter from Louisville to Baltimore.
"He's doing the things we have seen him do after other races that tells us he's himself," Amoss told the Lexington Herald-Leader this morning.
Amoss conceded he might have an uphill battle ahead.
“If Orb runs his race back in the Preakness, he will be hard to beat,” the trainer said.
Departing galloped 1 ½ mile over a muddy track shortly after 6 o’clock with exercise rider Trina Pasckvale up. Trained by Al Stall Jr., the Grade III Illinois Derby winner is scheduled to work a half-mile Sunday morning after the renovation break with Larry Melancon slated to be aboard.
The Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner went to the sloppy, sealed Pimlico track at 8:30 a.m. Saturday for a second day of exercise following a 17th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby. His regular jockey, Kevin Krigger, was in the saddle.
Assistant trainer Jack Sisterson is managing Goldencents and 13 other horses from trainer Doug O’Neill’s stable at Pimlico. O’Neill is scheduled to travel from California to Baltimore on Sunday. Sisterson said that Krigger and Goldencents repeated Friday’s jog and gallop routine.
“We jogged to the seven-eighths and kind of broke off from there into a steady gallop from the three-quarter pole and galloped around to the wire,” Sisterson said. “Kevin kind of relaxed him and pulled him up down the backside. He looked fantastic and Kevin was very happy with him. His energy level was high. He was striding out. Everything we want to see in him.”
Goldencents is scheduled to work Monday morning.
Mike Pegram’s Govenor Charlie galloped 1 1/2 mile over a track that had been upgraded to “good” after the renovation break with Jorge Alvarez aboard. Trainer Bob Baffert plans to work the Grade III Sunland Derby winner on Monday and then make a decision about the Preakness.
Oxbow, Titletown Five, Will Take Charge
D. Wayne Lukas had his three candidates for Preakness 138 on the track early at Churchill Downs on Saturday morning.
Sixth-place Kentucky Derby finisher Oxbow was the first out of the group, galloping over a muddy track under exercise rider Rudy Quevedo. Will Take Charge, eighth in the Kentucky Derby, galloped under Taylor Carty in the second set along with Titletown Five, who was partnered by Quevedo.
Lukas said that Oxbow is scheduled to work Monday and added, “I may let the other two go through the stretch” before leaving by van for Baltimore very early Tuesday morning. Gary Stevens, who rode Oxbow in the Kentucky Derby and who has the Preakness mount, is expected to be aboard for the work.
The status of Vyack remains in limbo as Rudy Rodriguez again tries to explain why he was charged with a Banamine overage. Yesterday, he was hit with a fourth such charge. He's already served a 20-day suspension for two of them and is looking at two more now.
“We give the medicine at 10 a.m.,” Rodriguez told Jerry Bossert of the New York Daily News, explaining that several of his horses received doses that day. “We treat the same way. We got the tape. We tape everything now. They all got it at the same time. Everyone uses it."
Rodriguez said he's ordered split samples of everything collected in April.
“I’m going to pay for the whole month and see if they’re singling me out. I don’t know what it’s going to cost me. Even if I have to sell my house I’m going to sell it,” he said.
Vyjack was under video surveillance in his barn at Churchill Downs at Rodriguez' suggestion during a licensure hearing. He finished eighteenth. Rodriguez is already licensed in Maryland.
Itsmyluckyday didn't work at Monmouth Park Saturday due to wet track conditions. "When it gets wet here, it gets hard," trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr. told Jay Privman of DRF.com.
Plesa said he hopes to work Itsmyluckyday on Sunday or Monday. The colt is scheduled to be vanned from Monmouth Park to Pimlico on Tuesday. Plesa said Itsmyluckday, who finished fifteenth in the Kentucky Derby, has a good energy level.
At Belmont Park Saturday morning, Kentucky Derby winner Orb galloped 1 1/2 mile over a muddy, sealed track with the dogs up. Shug McGaughey said that Orb continues to do well.
At Orb's Twitter account Saturday morning, his surrogate said, "Here I am in my stall this morning at Belmont Park - I ate my breakfast in record time."
Also at Belmont, Normandy Invasion, fourth in the Kentucky Derby, galloped over that muddy track for trainer Chad Brown and reportedly looked well doing it. A decision is expected at any time from Brown and Fox Hill Farm's Rick Porter. Either way, Normandy Invasion is not going to breeeze in the next few days.
Brown is on record that the Grade I Travers Stakes is the ultimate objective for now.
“The only thing really to gain is if you win the Preakness,” Brown told David Grening of DRF.com yesterday. “Running in the Preakness and hitting the board is not going to do anything for me or Porter. We’ve had that discussion. If we go, I got to be very confident that we have an excellent chance to win the race. Anything short of that, we probably wouldn’t go.”
Street Spice, fifth in the Grade III Illinois Derby, will not run in the Preakness, trainer Greg Geier said late this morning.