Dialed In Runs For Jackpot
Dialed In gallops ahead of Preakness jackpot
Robert LaPenta's DIALED IN (Mineshaft), who will be running for the biggest payday in North American racing history in the May 21 Preakness S. (G1), galloped 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Carlos Correa before the renovation break at Churchill Downs Thursday morning.
'He looked good out there,' said trainer Nick Zito, who drove down to the track kitchen near the half-mile pole to watch the morning activity.
A closing eighth as the 5-1 favorite in the Kentucky Derby (G1), Dialed In is eligible for the new Preakness 5.5 bonus program. Because he captured the Holy Bull (G3) and the Florida Derby (G1) this season at Gulfstream Park, he would rake in a grand total of $6.1 million should he add the Preakness to his resume.
Dialed In would earn the $600,000 winner's share of the $1 million Preakness purse, owner LaPenta would collect $5 million, and Zito would receive $500,000 as the winning trainer. Dialed In's $6.1 million windfall would eclipse the $5,884,000 Smarty Jones earned for winning the Kentucky Derby in 2004. Smarty Jones captured the $5 million Oaklawn Centennial Bonus, for winning the Rebel, the Arkansas Derby (G2) and the Kentucky Derby during Oaklawn's 100th anniversary season.
Several other Preakness candidates were out and about beneath the Twin Spires Thursday.
The Steve Asmussen-trained ASTROLOGY (A.P. Indy) galloped a mile early Thursday morning at Churchill Downs, and stablemate NEHRO (Mineshaft), runner-up to Animal Kingdom (Leroidesanimaux [Brz]) in Kentucky Derby 137, visited the Churchill starting gate under exercise rider Carlos Rosas.
While Astrology is confirmed for the Preakness, Nehro is more likely to await the June 11 Belmont S. (G1).
Mike Smith, who rode Astrology for the first time in his runner-up effort in the April 23 Jerome (G2), has the Preakness mount.
Santiva, shown preparing for his sixth-place run in the Kentucky Derby, remains on the fence for the Preakness
SANTIVA (Giant's Causeway), sixth in the Run for the Roses, galloped 1 1/2 miles before the renovation break under Brendan Walsh, assistant to trainer Eddie Kenneally.
A decision on the Preakness has not been made for Santiva.
'We don't need to make a decision today,' Kenneally said of Santiva, who returned to the track on Wednesday. 'I want to see how he trains, and we'll decide in a few days.'
Also galloping 1 1/2 miles before the renovation break were DANCE CITY (City Zip) and SWAY AWAY (Afleet Alex), the respective third and fourth in the Arkansas Derby (G1).
Trained by Jeff Bonde, Sway Away is scheduled to work Saturday or Sunday.
After the renovation break, Derby fourth SHACKLEFORD (Forestry) and MIDNIGHT INTERLUDE (War Chant), the 16th-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, each galloped 1 1/2 miles.
Midnight Interlude is trained by Bob Baffert, whose well-regarded The Factor (War Front) jogged a mile on his first day back to the track after working five furlongs in 1:00 on Tuesday.
'He was pulling my guts out,' assistant trainer and exercise rider Peter Hutton said. 'He came out of that work great. He will work again Monday and Bob will be here Sunday night.'
According to Baffert, The Factor is not expected to contest the Preakness.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas is in a holding pattern regarding SARATOGA RED (Eddington), fourth in the Rebel S. (G2) earlier this season.
'I'd consider it if we could get in,' Lukas said of Saratoga Red, who has $17,000 in graded stakes earnings and $41,330 overall. 'I called over there yesterday and there are like 17 horses on the list and I don't think he'll get in.'
Down the road at Keeneland is FLASHPOINT (Pomeroy). Fourth in his two-turn debut in the Florida Derby, he will be flown from Kentucky to Baltimore on Wednesday.
'He had a beautiful gallop today here at Keeneland and we're looking forward to a nice breeze on Saturday,' trainer Wesley Ward said.
CASPER'S TOUCH (Touch Gold), third in the Lexington (G3) in his most recent start, will not be heading to Baltimore for the Preakness.
'I'm not sure what his next race will be,' said Philip Bauer, assistant to trainer Ken McPeek. 'Usually in the Preakness, you are picking on horses that are beat up from the Derby, but this year there are a lot of fresh faces
Ritvo confirms Macho's on track for Preakness
MUCHO MACHO MAN (Macho Uno) remains on course toward the May 21 Preakness S. (G1), trainer Kathy Ritvo said.
The third-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby (G1) jogged once around the training track at Belmont Park in the wrong direction then was turned around and galloped 1 1/2 miles.
Ritvo said the colt is doing very well, and that whispers that Mucho Macho Man would skip the second stop on the Triple Crown series were not correct.
'Put those rumors to rest,' she said. 'As long as he continues what he's doing, we're coming.'
Chuckling, Ritvo said,' Whoever it is, they're probably afraid of us, that's why they're saying it.'
Ritvo's plans for the colt are fluid. With wet weather in the forecast for the next several days, she said she hasn't decided when she will ship him from New York to Baltimore.
Still to be decided is whether Ritvo will work the colt between the Derby and the Preakness.
'We'll see how he keeps going,' she said. 'He probably wouldn't need to because he has a lot of miles under him, but I just want to see how he's going and just do what's right for him.'
Trainer Tom Albertrani won with his only previous Preakness starter, Bernardini in 2006, and is using a similar approach this time around with the West Point Thoroughbreds colt. Depending on the weather, King Congie will have his final breeze on Sunday or Monday at Belmont Park and will stay in New York until May 20.
Like he did five years ago, Albertrani is planning to fly in from New York for the post position draw, which will be held at 5 p.m. (EDT) Wednesday at Pimlico, and head home that evening.
At Hollywood Park, trainer John Shirreffs said that a final decision on the Preakness plans for MR. COMMONS (Artie Schiller) will be made after the colt works Friday morning.
Mr. Commons broke his maiden on the turf at Santa Anita on January 15, followed up with an allowance victory on dirt on February 26 and ran third in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 9.
'The Santa Anita Derby was his first real opportunity to experience a race from the inside,' Shirreffs said. 'He got a lot of dirt in his face and got a lot of education out of that race. He came out of the race very well and is training excellent since then.'
Shirreffs said that Mr. Commons is scheduled to fly from California to Louisville, Kentucky, on Tuesday and continue his cross-continent journey on a flight from Kentucky on Wednesday. Victor Espinoza has the mount for the Preakness.
At the Bowie training center in Maryland, Gotham (G3) runner-up NORMAN ASBJORNSON (Real Quiet) stood in the gate and galloped 1 1/2 miles. The Chris Grove trainee will have his final work for the Preakness at 8:30 a.m. Friday at Pimlico.
Veteran trainer Eddie Gaudet said the Maryland-bred CONCEALED IDENTITY (Smarty Jones), winner of the Federico Tesio last Saturday, galloped Thursday morning at his home base at Bowie.
'He's come off his race good and is acting good,' Gaudet said.
RULER ON ICE (Roman Ruler), second as the favorite in the Federico Tesio, returned to the track at Monmouth Park on Thursday morning. Trainer Kelly Breen said that this weekend, he plans to discuss the gelding's Preakness status with owners George and Lori Hall.
Trainer Doodnauth Shivmangal said Thursday that ISN'T HE PERFECT (Pleasantly Perfect) is still being considered for the Preakness, but that stablemate HARLAN'S HELLO (Harlan's Holiday) was no longer a candidate.
Harlan's Hello is entered in the 7TH race at Belmont Park on Friday, and Isn't He Perfect is entered in the Peter Pan (G2) Saturday. However, Shivmangal said that Isn't He Perfect might wait and run in the Preakness.
'We haven't decided what we're going to do, so he's in the (Peter Pan) and we've got to look at the field for (the Preakness) and see if we can get in or not.'
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