HOW MANY FROM THE DERBY? As many as seven horses that ran in the Kentucky Derby remain under consideration for the Preakness, headed by Orb. Then there's Mylute (fifth, definite), Oxbow (sixth, definite), Will Take Charge (eighth, definite), Itsmyluckyday (fifteenth, definite), Goldencents (seventeenth, definite) and Vyjack (eighteenth, possible).
THE FAVORITE'S ODDS -- “Orb will be even money or less,” Departing's trainer, Al Stall, Jr. said at Churchill Downs today.
CAN THEY REBOUND? -- “There have been horses that have rebounded from Derbies like Louis Quatorze that won or ran well in the Preakness," Stall said. "Goldencents trained well here and then ran a 32 Beyer in the Derby. Horses can come back to themselves and run 70 to 80 points higher.”
LOCAL CONNECTION -- “It is exciting, and there is maybe more buildup to this than with Blame in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic,” Stall said. “My wife is from Baltimore, and we are looking forward to a good time there and enjoying the race.”
ORB -- See separate story at The Downey Profile here.
DEPARTING -- See separate story at The Downey Profile here.
GOLDENCENTS – Trainer Doug O’Neill has decided not to work the Santa Anita Derby winner between the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. Assistant trainer Jack Sisterson, who has been overseeing the care of O’Neill’s 14 horses at Pimlico, said that a plan for a breeze Monday morning had been scrapped, and the colt will gallop up to the Preakness.
“It was never certain that he was going to work. It was kind of tentative,” Sisterson said. “We never worked I’ll Have Another, so we’re going to stay on that schedule.”
O’Neill sent 2012 Derby winner I’ll Have Another to Pimlico two days after his victory at Churchill Downs. The colt flourished in the low-key atmosphere at Pimlico, turned in vigorous gallops and won the Preakness.
Goldencents disappointed as the third choice in the Derby wagering, finishing seventeenth on the sloppy, sealed racetrack. O’Neill followed suit, though, and shipped Goldencents to Pimlico, where he resumed his morning-gallop schedule last Friday under his regular jockey, Kevin Krigger.
”He’s getting enough out of his training where he doesn’t need to work,” Sisterson said. “He’s doing very well.”
Krigger put Goldencents through what is now a pattern on Sunday, jogging down the stretch and around the first turn before sending him off to gallop a lap of the track.
“The one thing we’re starting to notice is he’s getting better each day,” Sisterson said. “He hasn’t put a foot wrong since we got here. He seems to be really getting over the track well and striding out. We’re very happy with him.”
O’Neill is scheduled to travel from California to Baltimore on Sunday and be at the barn at Pimlico Monday morning.
In 2012, O’Neill’s stable pony, the retired stakes winner Lava Man, received a lot of attention as he led the Derby winner to and from the track each morning. Lava Man isn’t part of the Preakness scene now, though.
“They’ve got the similarities where they are eager to train. Putting them both together, they wind each other up,” said Sisterson, who has been ponying Goldencents aboard Sapphire. “This is more of a relaxed pony. It’s not to say that Lava Man and Goldencents don’t get along, but we want to have him as relaxed as possible in the morning to the point where he’s getting the most out of his training, instead of being wound up going to the track.”
A member of O’Neill’s staff said it is like putting two Type-A personalities together on a project.
“They kind of butt heads at times,” Sisterson said. “You get that with people. They enjoy training, they want to get on with it and they’re eager to make it happen.”
GOVENOR CHARLIE -- The Bob Baffert trainee had an easy two-mile gallop under exercise rider Jorge Alvarez after the break. He schooled in the paddock prior to Sunday’s first race and is scheduled to work Monday, after which Baffert will make a final decision about the Preakness.
ITSMYLUCKYDAY – Itsmyluckyday worked after the third race at Monmouth Park Sunday afternoon, timed in :47.20 (1/1).
“He went awesome, but that’s him,” Plesa said. “I couldn’t ask for a better work.”
Plesa plans to ship Itsmyluckyday to Pimlico on Tuesday.
“The racetrack was closed this morning. I’m going to work him between the third and fourth races here at Monmouth,” trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. said earlier. “Elvis Trujillo is going to work him.”
Itsmyluckyday was ridden by Trujillo in the Kentucky Derby, in which he finished fifteenth. John Velazquez has the mount for the Preakness. Trujillo had previously ridden Itsmyluckyday to victory in the Gulfstream Park Derby and Holy Bull before a second-place finish behind Orb in the Florida Derby.
MYLUTE -- Mylute galloped 1 1/2 mile before the renovation break under exercise rider Maurice Sanchez. The fifth-place Kentucky Derby finisher is scheduled to work Monday morning at 6 o’clock with jockey Rosie Napravnik up.
“It will be an easy half, nothing fancy,” trainer Tom Amoss said.
NORMANDY INVASION – Trainer Chad Brown reported Sunday afternoon that Normandy Invasion will not run in the Preakness Stakes.
“Mr. Porter and I decided to pass on the Preakness with Normandy Invasion and focus on the summer campaign with him,” Brown said.
Normandy Invasion turned in a strong performance in the Kentucky Derby, taking the lead in the stretch before finishing fourth, 3 1/2 lengths behind Orb. Brown ruled out the Preakness on the morning after the Derby but decided on Monday to consider the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown for a few days. The Travers Stakes is a major goal for the colt.
OXBOW, TITLETOWN FIVE, WILL TAKE CHARGE -- Oxbow and Will Take Charge, the sixth- and eighth-place finishers, respectively, in the Kentucky Derby, jogged two miles before the renovation break. Titletown Five, fourth in the Grade III Derby Trial in his most recent start, galloped 1 1/2 mile before the break. Rudy Quevedo was on Oxbow and Titletown Five, and Taylor Carty was on Will Take Charge.
“Oxbow and Will Take Charge will work in the morning, and Titletown Five will breeze through the stretch,” trainer D. Wayne Lukas said.
A Lukas Pimlico contingent that figures to be eight strong is scheduled to leave Louisville by van at 3:00 a.m. Tuesday.
VYJACK -- The Gotham winner remains a Preakness candidate, but a decision might not be made for a few days.. Aqueduct-based trainer Rudy Rodriguez said a decision on whether to run the gelding may not be made until Wednesday when entries are taken. Garrett Gomez had trouble controlling Vyjack early in the Derby. He was up on the pace in the early stages of the race but gave way and finished eighteenth.