Thursday Preakness Report



Trainer Todd Pletcher's Super Saver returned to the track yesterday morning for the first time since winning Saturday's Kentucky Derby and jogged a mile once around Churchill Downs.

"His energy, attitude and appetite are all good," said assistant trainer Mike McCarthy. "He might gallop [today]. It depends on what Todd wants to do."

Pletcher, back home in New York, will return to Louisville later this week to begin preparing Super Saver for the May 15 Preakness.

Despite Super Saver's convincing, 2 ½-length score in the Derby, he's not scaring anyone away from Pimlico, and a full field of 14 appears likely for the $1-million middle jewel of the Triple Crown.

Yesterday, trainer Dale Romans confirmed that Paddy O'Prado, third in the Derby, is Baltimore bound. Romans also has reserved a spot for First Dude, third in the Blue Grass, on Wednesday's Tex Sutton charter flight bringing the Kentucky-based horses to Maryland.

Still no word from Bob Baffert about whether Lookin At Lucky, sixth as the Derby favorite, or Conveyance, 15th after setting the pace, will run.

Trainer Nick Zito issued a statement yesterday concerning his possible Preakness participation:

"After talking to [owner] Mr. LaPenta, we concurred that Ice Box's race [a fast-closing second in the Derby] was tremendous, but we also knew it was a tough race. We feel we are better suited to wait and pass the Preakness and possibly go to the [June 5] Belmont. Also, with Jackson Bend, we have more evaluation to do and will make a decision on Monday."


Hurricane Ike, a newcomer to the Triple Crown trail coming off a 2¾-length score going a mile in the April 24 Derby Trial at Churchill Downs, worked five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 yesterday at Churchill in preparation for the May 15 Preakness. Robby Albarado will have the mount.

With Calvin Borel, rider of Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, up for the drill, the John Sadler-trained colt went the first half-mile in :48 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:15.

Super Saver, after walking the shedrow for three days following his Derby victory, is expected to return to the track this morning. Borel, who predicted a sweep of the Triple Crown after winning the roses, visited the colt yesterday and said, "He looks awesome. He is peaking at the right time."

Super Saver is to ship to Pimlico next Wednesday. Trainer Todd Pletcher has not decided whether Super Saver will work before the Preakness.

The only other Derby runner confirmed to start in the second jewel of the Triple Crown is seventh-place finisher Dublin. His trainer, five-time Preakness winner D. Wayne Lukas, said he also might run Northern Giant, who finished second in the Lane's End and third in the Risen Star earlier this spring.

Other Derby horses eyeing the Preakness are Paddy O'Prado, Noble's Promise, Jackson Bend, and Bob Baffert's duo of Lookin At Lucky and Conveyance.

Make Music for Me has not been ruled out completely. A Little Warm and Bushwhacked, who did not run in the Derby, have missed three days of training after spiking fevers.

by Ed Fountaine


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