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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Departing Has Easy Breeze for Preakness


By Dick Downey

With his trainer/jockey tandem watching from the grandstand, Departing worked a half-mile in :50.40 (59/75) over a fast track at Churchill Downs on Sunday morning in his final piece of major work for the Preakness Stakes this Saturday.

With former jockey Larry Melancon up, Departing worked solo at about 8:30 and ran through splits of :13.20, :25.40 and:38.20. He galloped out five furlongs in 1:03.80.

“I wanted him to go a little slower the first part than the second part, and he hit right on what we were looking for,” trainer Al Stall, Jr. said after watching the work with Departing's jockey Brian Hernandez, Jr.. “He did enough to get the day off tomorrow. He is a gelding and doesn’t carry a lot of weight. He had galloped two miles on Thursday and a spirited mile and a half Friday.”

Departing will walk Monday and return to the track Tuesday and Wednesday before being flown to Baltimore on Wednesday on a 2:00 flight. The Preakness post position draw is scheduled after Departing's arrival, Stall said.

Stall's only other Preakness horse was Terrain, who finished seventh in the 2009 running won Rachel Alexandra.

Neither of Stall's horses Preakness horses competed in the Kentucky Derby. Departing won the Grade III Illinois Derby in his most recent race. Terrain, sent off at 25-1 in the Preakness, had finished fourth, beaten 3 3/4 lengths in the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass before the race in Baltimore.


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