Undefeated Kentucky Derby Winner Justify Headed to Preakness

BALTIMORE – WinStar Farm, China Horse Club International, Head of Plains Partners and Starlight Racing’s Justify, an historic winner of the Kentucky Derby (G1), is bound for legendary Pimlico Race Course for the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, the 143rd Preakness Stakes (G1) Saturday, May 19.

Seeking Fifth Straight Win in Middle Jewel of Triple Crown

In a phone call to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert at 7:59 a.m. Sunday, Maryland Jockey Club President and General Manager Sal Sinatra formally invited the winning connections to take their next step on the Triple Crown trail in the $1.5 million Preakness.

“I spoke to Bob early this morning and extended him the traditional invitation to the Preakness, which he gladly accepted,” Sinatra said. “Bob is looking forward to returning to Baltimore where he has had great success, and we are thrilled to welcome him back. We’re excited to have the Kentucky Derby winner coming to the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, and we’re looking forward to a great race and an incredible week of events including InfieldFest and Black-Eyed Susan Day.”

Undefeated through four starts, including a victory in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) April 7 in his stakes debut, Justify became the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Kentucky Derby without having raced as a 2-year-old.


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Baffert will be seeking his record-tying seventh Preakness victory, having previously tasted success with Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), Point Given (2001), War Emblem (2002), Lookin At Lucky (2010) and Triple Crown champion American Pharoah (2015). Baffert’s four previous Derby winners – Silver Charm, Real Quiet, War Emblem and American Pharoah – have all won the Preakness.

Hall of Fame trainer Robert Wyndham “R.W.” Walden won the Preakness seven times between 1875 and 1888.

Jockey Mike Smith, Justify’s Hall of Fame rider, has one previous Preakness victory to his credit with Prairie Bayou in 1993. He has also been second twice including on the Baffert-trained Bodemeister in 2012.

A total of 15 stakes, eight graded, worth $3.7 million will be contested over Preakness weekend, beginning with Black-Eyed Susan Day Friday, May 18.


Horse Scheduled to Arrive on Old Hilltop During Preakness Week

Preakness Week at Pimlico offers several events including Sunrise at Old Hilltop, where fans can have breakfast trackside while watching horses go through their morning exercise Tuesday, May 15 through Friday, May 18; the traditional Alibi Breakfast on Thursday, May 17; and Budweiser InfieldFest, one of the country’s most eclectic outdoor music festivals.

Headlining this year’s InfieldFest on Preakness Day are Post Malone, 21 Savage and Odesza on the event’s new 65-foot mega-stage designed to give attendees a view of the live racing. Also scheduled to perform are DJs Vice and Frank Walker.


Preakness Stakes Post-Position Draw Quotes

Bob Baffert (trainer, Justify; PP #7; 1-2): “I’m fine. I’ll never forget the sickening feeling when I drew the 1-2 (posts) with American Pharoah and Dortmund. I think the break is still very essential, so I’m fine with it.”

Elliott Walden (President and co-owner CEO WinStar Farm, Justify): “We were pleased with that. I don’t think Bob wanted to be the ‘1,’ and I think anything else would have been fine. To come out of the ‘7’ like he did at Churchill, I think is good. One thing, (Baffert) said he didn’t want Quip to his outside, because he might be speed, too.”
Chad Brown (trainer, Good Magic; PP #5; 3-1): “I’m fine with the draw. We should be close early.”
Rodolphe Brisset (trainer, Quip; PP #1, 12-1): “The No. 1 post can be very tricky. We know we have some tactical speed, so we are good with that. He’s doing really good. He shipped well and he’s going right through his feed tub. We are pretty upbeat about everything.”
Elliott Walden (President and co-owner CEO WinStar Farm, Quip): “I was pleased with the ‘1.’ I always liked the ‘1,’ like the shortest way around there. Anything here with eight horses, you can’t get a bad draw.”
Tom Amoss (trainer, Lone Sailor; PP #2, 15-1): “With an eight-horse field and a long run to the first turn, there’s really no disadvantage to where anyone drew. The one curious thing about the draw is that Justify’s stablemate, Quip, drew all the way down the rail. In that sense, he almost has to go to get some kind of position, which is kind of his style. I’m wondering how that will play out for those two horses.
“For our horse, he doesn’t break well and he’s going to drop behind horses. The fact that there’s only one horse inside him, and that horse has speed, that’s good for us…. No. 7 is an awesome post for Justify. It’s always great to have tactical speed and a position where the jockey can just look over and watch the race unfold and decide how you want to ride. He certainly didn’t lose anything at the draw, that’s for darn sure.”
D. Wayne Lukas (trainer, Bravazo; PP #8, 20-1; Sporting Chance; PP #3, 30-1): “I don’t think the draw is too important with an eight-horse field. We got a good run to the turn. I like our positions. Both of them are good.”
(On Bravazo drawing next to Justify): “I don’t think I’ll be next to him very long.”
(On Sporting Chance drawing inside): “You never know. You think the inside is bad, and we go over there and everybody is winning from the No. 1 hole. You’ve got to be a little careful with it.”
Scott Blasi (assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen, Tenfold; PP #6, 20-1): “I think that’s a good draw for us. I think it’s great. You’re in the middle of Good Magic and Justify. I think they’re the horses to beat in the race.”
Note: Asmussen texted Blasi with a single word: ‘Perfect.’
Chuck Zacney (co-owner, Diamond King; PP #4, 30-1): “I’m very happy. I was talking to [trainer] John [Servis] earlier and I wanted more of an inside post. He said, ‘Let’s go for the middle.’ We can kind of sit off the pace of Justify and, I have to believe, Quip. He’s pretty much all speed and he’s got to go, as well. It’s going to be interesting to see how the early pace shakes out. We’ve got a top jockey [Javier Castellano] and the horse is doing really well. Hopefully, the track’s in decent shape. I know they’re calling for rain the next couple days. That’s the only concern. He did train on a sloppy track Sunday and loved it, so we’re going in giving it our best shot. We’ll see if it’s good enough.”

Justify Odds-On Favorite for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes


Undefeated Kentucky Derby Hero Rated at 1-2 in Morning Line

Derby Runner-Up Good Magic 3-1 for Rematch with Justify
BALTIMORE – Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Justify was installed as the odds-on 1-2 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s 143rd Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course after receiving the No. 7 stall in the starting gate at Wednesday’s Post Position Draw for the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.
Owned by WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners and Starlight Racing, Justify scored a 2 ½-length victory in the May 5 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, giving Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his fifth Kentucky Derby triumph and his 13th overall win in a Triple Crown event.
“He looks no different than he did before the Kentucky Derby, so we’re pretty happy where we are right now,” said Baffert, whose Preakness favorite registered a dominating front-running Derby triumph over Good Magic on a sloppy track. “He looks healthy.”
Should Justify live up to his odds-on favoritism and prevail over seven rivals in the 1 3/16-mile spring classic, the 3-year-old son of Scat Daddy would give Baffert his seventh Preakness success, tying him for the record for most wins with Hall of Fame trainer Robert Wyndham Walden, who set the record between 1875 and 1888. A victory by Justify would also put him in a tie with Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas for the most wins (14) in Triple Crown races.
“I never think about breaking records or anything like that. I’m like, we live for the moment and right now, the moment is this race,” said Baffert, whose Derby winner arrived at Pimlico Wednesday afternoon following a flight from Louisville, Ky. “I got a little (New England Patriots coach) Bill Belichick in me. I’m like, ‘On to Baltimore.’ I don’t want to talk about this.”
Justify earned his Preakness favorite’s role by winning all four of his career starts by a combined 21 ½ lengths. The Baffert trainee debuted with a maiden victory Feb. 18 at Santa Anita, where he proceeded to win an allowance and the Santa Anita Derby (G1) before venturing to Churchill Downs and becoming the first horse since Apollo (1882) to win the Kentucky Derby without any racing experience as a 2-year-old.
Baffert’s first four Kentucky Derby winners – Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), War Emblem (2002) and American Pharoah (2015) – all went on to win the Preakness, and American Pharoah went on to become the 13th Triple Crown champion by rolling to victory in the Belmont Stakes (G1). Baffert also saddled Point Given (2001) and Lookin At Lucky (2010) for Preakness victories after Derby losses.
Mike Smith, who has been winless on 13 Preakness starters since winning aboard Prairie Bayou in 1993, has the mount aboard Justify.
Good Magic, owned by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Stables, was rated second in the morning line at 3-1 after drawing Post No. 5 for his Preakness rematch with Justify.
The son of 2007 Preakness winner Curlin, who will be ridden by Jose Ortiz, made a strong challenge to Justify at the top of the stretch in the Derby before coming up short in the run to the finish line.
“He’s a very impressive horse, a remarkable horse,” trainer Chad Brown said of Good Magic, who was honored with the Eclipse Award as the outstanding 2-year-old colt or gelding in 2017 after breaking his maiden in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). “I’m excited again to try him in the Preakness.”
Good Magic has allayed any concerns Brown may have had about running him back in the Preakness just two weeks after the Derby.
“He really had to bounce out of the race really well and gain his weight back quickly. I also wanted to see a horse that was moving as well as he was going into the Derby. I also wanted to see his energy level get back to what it was before the race,” Brown said. “I would think that after a hard race like the Kentucky Derby in those kind of conditions it would have been a bit of a longshot to do all that and have him look the way I wanted him to look. And lo and behold, he looked terrific coming out of the race, just a week removed. That was remarkable. I was very taken aback by how well the horse came out of the race and how strong he galloped at Belmont.”
 Brown experienced his first success in a Triple Crown race last year with Cloud Computing, who scored a narrow decision over Classic Empire in the Preakness.
“That was a big breakthrough win for us. To get that first Classic win out of the way…it was the one we were looking for,” said Brown, who has been honored with the Eclipse Award as outstanding trainer the past two years. “We had been working toward a win like that for a long time. It was a big relief to finally win one.”
D. Wayne Lukas has won more Triple Crown races than anyone, but the fire still burns in the 82-year-old Hall of Fame trainer, who is scheduled to saddle Bravazo and Sporting Chance in the Preakness Stakes.
“I’m excited because I like the big arena. I like to compete,” said Lukas, whose most recent Triple Crown success came with longshot Oxbow in the 2013 Preakness. “You hope that you have the one. Sometimes you get lucky. Oxbow came in here a couple of years ago and nobody knew he was here. But you go over there optimistic that your horses are going to run well.”
Like Baffert, Lukas has six Preakness victories to his credit, scoring with Codex (1980), Tank’s Prospect (1985), Tabasco Cat (1994), Timber Country (1995), Charismatic (1999) and Oxbow.
Bravazo, who captured the Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds in February, finished a troubled sixth in the Kentucky Derby. Calumet Farm’s son of Awesome Again is rated at 20-1 in the morning line.
Robert Baker and William Mack’s Sporting Chance, who captured the Hopeful (G1) at Saratoga last year, most recently finished fourth in the Pat Day Mile (G3) on the Kentucky Derby undercard. The son of Tiznow was set at 30-1 in the morning line.
Luis Saez has the mount aboard Bravazo, while Luis Contreras will ride Sporting Chance.
Trainer Steve Asmussen will seek his third success in the Preakness with Tenfold, who will be programmed at 30-1 in the morning line. The Hall of Fame trainer has visited the Preakness winner’s circle with Curlin (2007) and Rachel Alexandra (2009).
Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Tenfold, a son of Curlin, most recently finished fifth in the April 14 Arkansas Derby (G1) after winning the first two starts of his career, a Feb. 9 maiden race and a March 18 optional claiming allowance race. Ricardo Santana Jr., who was aboard for the two wins, returns to the irons Saturday.
Trainer John Servis is among the five Preakness-winning trainers who will participate in this year’s Middle Jewel. Servis, who saddled 2004 Kentucky Derby winner Smarty Jones for an record-setting 11 ½-length romp in the Preakness, will return to Pimlico with Diamond King, who was rated 30-1 in the morning-line.
Cash is King, LC Racing and D.J. Stable’s Diamond King has won four of six starts, including the April 21 Federico Tesio at Laurel Park, a Preakness ‘Win and You’re In.’ race.
Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, a two-time Preakness-winning jockey who scored aboard Cloud Computing last year, will ride Diamond King.
Rodolphe Brisset will be the least experienced Preakness trainer, having gone out on his own last year after assisting Hall of Famer Bill Mott for several years. Brisset has enjoyed considerable early success, having saddled Quip for a triumph in the March 10 Tampa Bay Derby (G2). Quip went on to finish second in the Arkansas Derby to earn enough points to qualify for the Kentucky Derby field, but Brisset opted to give the son of Distorted Humor more time and point him to the Preakness. Quip is owned by WinStar Farm and China Horse Club, who visited the Kentucky Derby winner’s circle with Justify, as well as SF Racing.
Quip, ranked third at 12-1 in the morning line, will be ridden by Florent Geroux, who has been aboard for all six of his races.
Trainer Tom Amoss, who notched a third-place finish with Mylute in 2013 from three Preakness starters, is set to saddle Lone Sailor in a quest for his first success in a Triple Crown race. G M B Racing’s Lone Sailor, who finished a close second in the Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds, came in eighth in the Kentucky Derby after a slow start.
Irad Ortiz Jr., the winningest jockey in the country last year and the current leader in this year’s standings, will ride Lone Sailor for the first time Saturday.
The son of Majestic Warrior was rated fourth at 15-1 in the morning line.

Good Magic Gets Acquainted with Pimlico Racing Surface

Baffert: Justify Has His Bags Packed and Ready to Go  

Quip Returns to Track ‘Showing Good Energy’
Lukas ‘Excited’ to Run Two Horses in Preakness  
Diamond King Servis’ 1st Preakness Starter since Smarty Jones
BALTIMORE – Kentucky Derby (G1) runner-up Good Magic was introduced to the racing surface at Pimlico Race Course Tuesday morning when the Chad Brown-trained colt galloped over a muddy oval in preparation for Saturday’s 143rd Preakness Stakes (G1).
Following the renovation break, e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Stables’ Good Magic galloped approximately 1 1/4 miles under exercise rider Walter Malasquez on the morning after arriving by van from Belmont Park Monday morning. His first time past the grandstand, Good Magic was in a measured and controlled gallop; he picked it up slightly his second time around.
Video Good Magic: click here to watch.
Video Baldo Hernandez: click here to watch.
Back at the stakes barn, Malasquez, who has ridden the Curlin colt in the mornings since he was a 2-year-old, said he liked what he felt under him. The exercise rider, who has worked for Brown for several years and was the regular morning partner to champion Lady Eli, noted that the placid demeanor observers observed in Good Magic on Tuesday morning is just who he is.
“He handled that track really good,” Malasquez reported. “He’s still the same horse he was in the Kentucky Derby. Nothing changed. He’s really easy and kind.”
Good Magic’s gallop also impressed trainer Chad Brown’s traveling assistant, Baldo Hernandez, who believes the striking chestnut colt with a distinctive white blaze dominating his face, is training better than ever following his second-place finish to Justify in the Kentucky Derby.
“I think he’s moved forward now,” said Hernandez, who is overseeing Good Magic’s training until Brown arrives from New York later in the week. “The way I see him galloping today, he looks really good to me. A smooth gallop. He galloped nice and easy. He can handle a [wet] track like that, too.”
Good Magic is likely to be the second choice behind Justify in the betting for the 143rd Preakness. Last year, Brown won his first Triple Crown race when he saddled 13-1 Cloud Computing to victory in the Preakness. Hernandez was an integral part of that win as he oversaw Cloud Computing’s training at Pimlico in the days leading up to the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.
“I’m really excited,” Hernandez said about this year’s Preakness attempt. “We’ve come in ready to go and I think we have a good shot this time. [I] just want to keep him happy and sound and every morning gallop him. He jogged good and galloped well this morning. He’s happy. In the stall, he’s happy. I think we’re ready.”
Hernandez said that Good Magic would gallop again Wednesday, but would likely come out earlier, at 7:40 a.m., before the track renovation break. He also indicated the Kentucky Derby runner-up would have a paddock schooling session on Thursday.
Baffert: Justify Has His Bags Packed and Ready to Go  
After Kentucky Derby winner Justify galloped over the track at Churchill Downs Tuesday morning, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said the unbeaten colt is on course for the Preakness Stakes. He is scheduled to ship from Kentucky to Baltimore on Wednesday.
“We went really easy with him today. Yesterday, we gave him a little bit of a stiffer gallop,” Baffert said. “He looks good. He’s got his bags packed and he’s ready to go tomorrow.”
Justify won the Kentucky Derby on May 5 over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs. He beat Good Magic, whom he is slated to face again in the Preakness, by 2½ lengths. He was Baffert’s fifth Derby winner. The first four – Silver Charm (1997); Real Quiet (1998); War Emblem (2002) and American Pharoah (2015), all won the Preakness.
“Let’s keep that up. We need to keep that up,” Baffert said. “I don’t know how they did it, but they did it. We’re hopeful that we’re going to keep that up.”
Baffert went back to California the day after the Derby and has liked what he has seen of Justify since returning to Kentucky this week. With the two-week turnaround from the Derby to the Preakness, there isn’t time to make adjustments.
“You hope they are doing really, really well,” Baffert said. “So far, I don’t see anything that would make me think that he’s not going to run a (big) race. But you never know until you lead them up there.”
Baffert noted that the colt still has to ship well and that there is wet weather forecast for this week in Baltimore.
“I see the forecast. I just quit watching it,” said Baffert, who trains Justify for WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, Starlight Racing and Head of Plains Partners. “It is what it is.”
While talking about Justify’s performance in the Derby, Baffert said that he and his assistant Jimmy Barnes were watching some newsreel coverage of the great Man o’ War on YouTube.
“The voice would come on,” Baffert said, “and the guy said, ‘The main essential of a good horse is speed and the second greatest essential of a great horse is more speed.’ That’s basically what we saw on Derby Day, a horse just pouring it on. If he was a rocket, he’d be shedding his afterburners, just going on and on. That’s just the way he ran the other day, to run as fast as he did.
“Granted, the track was pretty fast, but he was just unbelievable the way he just kept on running and just didn’t have any ‘whoa’ in him at all. Then (jockey) Mike Smith had trouble pulling him up,” Baffert added. “It’s probably the hardest that he’s ever had to run, but I think that quality right there is going to help him in the Preakness. Not only does he have the talent, but he has the will to win. For him, what he’s done in such a short period – it will be his fifth race in 13 weeks – it’s just incredible how tough he is.”
Justify easily won his debut in a maiden race Feb. 18, added an allowance race victory March 11, earned his Derby qualifying points with a win in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) April 7 and won as the Derby favorite May 5.
With his four resounding victories by a total of 21½ lengths, Justify has been compared to American Pharoah, the 2015 Triple Crown winner.
“Both of them, their mechanics are just smooth,” Baffert said. “They just float over the ground. And they are quick. They are quick enough to get out of a jam. He’s a big horse, but he’s really light on his feet, as you can see the way he broke. There were some fast horses in there, and he got with them right away. These horses are very rare to come by. So you better just enjoy the moment. My job is to keep him healthy and sound. He looks great.”
Quip Returns to Track ‘Showing Good Energy’
Quip jogged a mile at Keeneland under trainer Rodolphe Brisset Tuesday morning while returning to the track for the first time since breezing four furlongs in 48.20 seconds Sunday.
“He walked yesterday. He jogged and stood in the gate today. Everything is good,” Brisset said. “He’s showing good energy. He was very sound this morning. He went to the gate and he was at peace, so we’re in good shape.”
The son of Distorted Humor, who is owned by WinStar Farm, China Horse Club and SF Racing, was not always so cooperative during his 2-year-old campaign that concluded with a troubled seventh-place finish in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs that followed a debut victory at Churchill and a front-running 6 ½-length victory in a Keeneland allowance.
“He’s changed a lot. After the Kentucky Jockey Club, we gave him a couple of weeks off. When he came to us at Fair Grounds, you could see the maturation,” Brisset said. “You still have to be a little careful when he’s around too many horses. He’s still studdish. You still have to be a little careful, but he’s way more professional.”
Quip captured the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) in his 2018 debut March 10 and finished second in the Arkansas Derby (G1) April 14.
The WinStar homebred is scheduled to meet up with Kentucky Derby winner Justify and Lone Sailor in Louisville Wednesday morning for a scheduled flight to Baltimore.
“He’s going to do an easy mile. We’re supposed to get rain, so we’ll see how the track is going to be, I’m going to get on him and do a little something, nothing crazy and then he vans to Louisville about 8:30,” Brisset said. “I’m going to head there before him. I can race him there.”
Lukas ‘Excited’ to Run Two Horses in Preakness  
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas’ Preakness horses, Bravazo and Sporting Chance, took a tour of the track at Pimlico early Tuesday morning.
Lukas’ pair shipped by van from Churchill Downs Monday, a trip that took about 11½ hours. He said they looked fine to him Tuesday and he switched up his training plan a bit and let them jog around the muddy track.
“We van in and they are in box stalls. You think they are going to be a little bit flat, then they get off the van and they act like they haven’t even left their stalls,” Lukas said. “On the way in, I said we’d walk them today. Once I saw them off the van and saw that they’d never turned a hair and everything was that good, I said, ‘Let’s jog them today, let them look around a little bit.’ That’s what we did. We let them stretch their legs. But they had good energy.”
Video D. Wayne Lukas: click here to watch.
Video Sporting Chance: click here to watch.
Video Bravazo: click here to watch.
Lukas said it will be an easy few days for Bravazo, who was sixth in the Derby, and Sporting Chance, who finished fourth in the Pat Day Mile (G3) on the Derby undercard.
“I’m going to go light. They are dead fit,” Lukas said. “That two-week break from the Derby, it isn’t any different from the NBA or the NFL, the recovery is the thing. You’ve got to get that energy level back up. I want them to really have a high energy level on Saturday.”
The morning after the Derby, Lukas was quick to say that both of his colts would run in the Preakness. He has won the race six times and is tied with Bob Baffert for second place on the career wins list, one behind 19th century star Robert Wyndham Walden. His most recent win came in 2013 with long shot Oxbow.
“I’m excited because I like the big arena. I like to compete,” he said. “You hope that you have the one. Sometimes you get lucky. Oxbow came in here a couple of years ago and nobody knew he was here. But you go over there optimistic that your horses are going to run well.
“At this point in my career I am realistic, though, too,” he added. “When you are 30 you think you are going to beat everybody. At 82, you think, ‘Well, maybe Justify is a little tough,’ – that type of thing. But you still enjoy the moment, you still enjoy the competition and getting out there.”
Lukas said he is impressed with Baffert’s Derby winner Justify, who will be a heavy favorite in the expected field of eight in his fifth career start.
“He’s a big, strong horse with tactical speed,” Lukas said. “He makes his own luck and he’s in the right barn too. Bob (Baffert) does a tremendous job with these horses.
“The comment before the Derby, which I never bought into, was that he didn’t have the seasoning, that he hadn’t been in a race where there were a lot of horses, he wasn’t tested and seasoned. Well, when they are that good and they have that ability, the seasoning goes out the window because they make their own luck,” he added. “Mike Smith had him in perfect position all the way around there. The best horse won. It was that simple.
Diamond King 1st Preakness Starter for Servis since Smarty Jones
Unlike the last time he showed up with a horse for the Preakness, trainer John Servis and his long shot stakes winner Diamond King will be coming to Pimlico for Saturday’s race under much different circumstances.
Cash is King, LC Racing and D.J. Stable’s Diamond King jogged a mile over a “good” main track at Parx Racing in Bensalem, Pa. Tuesday morning. It was his first day back to the track after working five furlongs in 1:01.51 over a sloppy surface Sunday.
“Everything’s pretty much done. He seems really happy,” Servis said. “He came out of the work really good, so it’s just a question of keeping him on the ground right now and getting him there in one piece.”
Servis said Diamond King is scheduled to leave the Philadelphia-area track around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday for the approximately two-hour trip to Baltimore, and the Quality Road colt will train over Pimlico Thursday morning.
The last horse Servis brought to the Preakness was popular Pennsylvania-bred Smarty Jones, the undefeated Kentucky Derby winner of 2004 who stayed perfect with a record-setting 11 ½-length victory that broke Survivor’s mark of 10 lengths set in the 1873 Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.
“He was doing great,” Servis said of Smarty Jones. “I was tickled to death with how he was doing. I remember just waiting to get him to the Preakness. It was great. You’re always thinking one [race] ahead so I was kind of hoping it didn’t take too much out of him.”
Smarty Jones came up a length short in his bid for the Triple Crown, taking the lead into deep stretch before being passed by 36-1 long shot Birdstone in the final 70 yards of the 1 ½-mile Belmont Stakes (G1).
This year, it is Servis who has the long shot in Diamond King looking to spring an upset over unbeaten Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness favorite Justify. Diamond King is a two-time stakes winner, having earned an automatic entry into the Preakness by virtue of his victory in the Federico Tesio Stakes April 21 at Laurel Park.
“It’s a little different now, obviously, but it’s nice to be back there. There’s no pressure this time, that’s for sure,” Servis said. “It was pretty crazy [with Smarty Jones], but it was fun. I enjoyed the hell out of it.”
Servis can become only the fourth trainer since 1909 to win the Preakness in his first two tries. The others are Thomas Healey (1922, 1923), Jimmy Jones (1947, 1948), Henry Forrest (1966, 1968) and Tom Bohannan (1992, 1993).
Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano is named to ride Diamond King. Castellano has won the Preakness twice, including Cloud Computing last year.
Lone Sailor Doesn’t Break a Sweat in Morning Gallop  
G M B Racing’s Preakness contender Lone Sailor went out for a routine gallop at Churchill Downs at his normal 5:45 a.m. time Tuesday, and exercise rider Maurice Sanchez came off the track saying, “I sweated more than he did.”
That statement was music to trainer Tom Amoss’ ears regarding the late-running Kentucky Derby eighth-place finisher who narrowly lost the Louisiana Derby (G2).
“The things you’re looking for in deciding whether to run back quickly are: How is his
weight? How is his appetite? And how is his energy on the racetrack?” Amoss said. “All those three things get a check in the box. He’s doing well. We’re looking forward to running.”
Amoss hopes Lone Sailor and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. are able to avoid the kind of traffic that compromised the son of Majestic Warrior’s trip in the Derby.
“I’ve got great respect for Justify, as well as the second-place horse, Good Magic,” Amoss said. “What can we do to have a better placing against those horses, rather than eighth like we had in the Kentucky Derby? We have to have a clean trip. We can’t get stopped in the race, lose ground because we’re waiting for traffic and then have to get a late start. It’s the equivalent of giving a head start to your competition in a race. You don’t want to give a head start to those two, that’s for sure.”
Lone Sailor is scheduled to fly to Baltimore Wednesday on the same noon flight in the company of Justify and Quip.
Tenfold Hits the Road to Baltimore Early Tuesday Morning
Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Tenfold left Churchill Downs via van for Baltimore at 5 a.m. Tuesday, said Scott Blasi, assistant trainer to Steve Asmussen, noting that the son of 2007 Preakness winner Curlin came out of his Monday work (four furlongs in 49 2/5 seconds) in good order.
Asmussen is scheduled to run about a dozen horses Friday and Saturday at Pimlico, including some that shipped Monday. Blasi was scheduled for a noon flight to Baltimore.
“Now we just need to be fast enough,” Blasi said.
Tenfold, who did not race at 2, has raced three times: winning his first two starts at Oaklawn Park before finishing fifth in the Arkansas Derby. Ricardo Santana Jr., aboard for the two victories, has the mount.

Baffert, Lukas Chasing History in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes

Hall of Fame Trainers Seeking Record-Tying 7thPreakness Wins

Baffert Looking to Tie Lukas’ Record of 14 Triple Crown Scores
BALTIMORE – Hall of Fame trainers Bob Baffert and D. Wayne Lukas are in a position to deliver performances of historical significance Saturday in the 143rd running of the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course.

Baffert and Lukas, both of whom came out of Quarter Horse racing and attained greatness with Thoroughbreds, each have six Preakness wins and are tied for second place on the all-time list, one behind Robert Wyndham Walden. In addition, Baffert’s 2½-length victory with Justified in the Kentucky Derby on May 5 was his 13th Triple Crown victory, putting him in a tie with Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons, one behind Lukas’ record of 14. Fitzsimmons, whose training career spanned 1894 to 1963, won the Preakness four times and is the only trainer to twice sweep the Triple Crown.
Baffert, 65, is scheduled to start Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Justify, while Lukas, 82, is planning to saddle two runners: Bravazo, who was sixth in the Derby, and Sporting Chance, who was fourth in the Pat Day Mile (G3) on the Derby undercard. If both horses go to the gate, it will be the 13th time Lukas has had two or more starters in a Preakness.
A star in the 19th century and elected to the Hall of Fame in 1970, Walden – known best by his middle name – completed his run of seven Preakness winners 130 years ago in 1888. He won seven of 13 runnings of the Preakness beginning in 1875 and had a record five-straight wins from 1878 through 1882. All five in the streak were owned by sportsman and magnate George Lorillard.
Walden owned and operated Bowling Brook Farm in nearby Middleburg, Md. and was on one of the pre-eminent horsemen of his time. He also won the Belmont Stakes four times and his son, also named Robert, won the 1899 Kentucky Derby with Manuel.
Baffert made his Preakness debut in 1996 with Cavonnier, who was fourth at Pimlico after losing the Derby by a nose to Grindstone. He has saddled a total of 18 horses in 16 editions of the Preakness and in addition to his six wins, he has one second and one third. His Preakness earnings are a record $4.4 million.
After a rare absence in 2017, Baffert returns to Baltimore with unbeaten Justify, and will try to extend a personal streak of completing the Derby-Preakness double for the fifth time. Baffert, who has never lost with his Derby star at Pimlico, opened that run with Silver Charm in 1997 and continued on with Real Quiet (1998), War Emblem (2002) and with Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in 2015. His other Preakness victories came in 2001 with Point Given, who was fifth in the Derby, and 2010 with Lookin At Lucky, who finished sixth in the Derby after drawing the rail, a difficult post that has not yielded a Derby winner since Ferdinand in 1986.
Lukas won with his first Preakness starter, Codex, in 1980, defeating the Derby-winning filly Genuine Risk in a highly controversial race. Many Observers felt that jockey Angel Cordero Jr. was far too aggressive in the stretch and carried Kentucky Derby winner Genuine Risk wide, inhibiting her chances of winning. She was second by 4 ¾ lengths. Lukas has started a record 41 horses in 27 editions of the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. He also has one second and five third-place finishes. His other winners were Tank’s Prospect (1985); Tabasco Cat (1994); Timber Country (1995); Charismatic (1999); and Oxbow (2013).

Good Magic Confirmed for Preakness Rematch vs. Justify

Barnes in ‘Awesome Position’ with Baffert, Justify

Diamond King ‘Right on the Money’ in 5F Breeze 

Lone Sailor Confirmed for Preakness; Ortiz Jr. to Ride 
Quip Ready, Fit Sunday after Breezing 4F

BALTIMORE – Kentucky Derby (G1) runner-up Good Magic will run in the 143rd Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course, trainer Chad Brown announced on Sunday.

The morning after Good Magic finished 2½ lengths behind Justify over the sloppy track at Churchill Downs, Brown said he would take the colt back to his base at Belmont Park, spend a week observing how he came out of the race, consult with the owners and then make a decision.
“The horse has just been training very well since the Derby,” Brown said. “He bounced out of the race in great condition and I think he deserves a chance in the race. He’s doing great.”
Like most trainers, Brown does not typically run a horse back in two weeks, but he said Good Magic had shown him that he is ready for the Preakness.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for the horse,” he said. “I really don’t have anything else planned for him before, say, either the Haskell (G1) or the Jim Dandy (G2) anyway. That said, I wouldn’t do it just because he’s going to get a bit of a freshening. He has to be doing well, and he’s doing exceptionally well. He’s doing far better than I expected exiting the Derby. It’s remarkable to see how well the horse is moving and his energy level. He already has his weight back. He just looks great. I’m excited about it.”
This will be the fourth consecutive year that the top two finishers in the Kentucky Derby have a rematch in the Preakness. In each of the last two years, the Derby runner-up finished ahead of the Derby winner in the Preakness. Brown acknowledged that Justify presents an imposing challenge for his colt.
“It’s a tall order,” he said. “The horse is unbeaten and to a degree untested. He ran a great race in the Derby and he is clearly the horse to beat. We’re going to need to close the gap on him somehow. We’re going to need to improve. Even though our horse ran an excellent race in the Derby and earned a lot of respect from everybody, he needs to again move forward and we need to have Justify come back to us a little bit. I think that the margin that I saw between the two horses is not out of the question that we’ll be able to make up that difference.”
Good Magic, co-owned by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Farm, broke his maiden winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and was voted the Eclipse Award as the 2-year-old male champion. This year, he was third in the Fountain of Youth (G2) and won the Blue Grass (G2) prior to the Kentucky Derby. e Five purchased Good Magic for $1,000,000 as a yearling at Keeneland and subsequently sold a 50 percent share to Stonestreet, which bred the colt.
Brown, 39, has won the Eclipse Award as the champion trainer the past two years. He won the 2017 Preakness with Cloud Computing in his debut in the race.
Good Magic is scheduled to ship to Baltimore on Monday and will gallop on the track Tuesday morning.
Barnes in ‘Awesome Position’ with Baffert, Justify
Justify made a visit to the starting gate and had a routine gallop Sunday morning at Churchill Downs as the Kentucky Derby winner prepares for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes and an attempt to stay on course for a Triple Crown sweep.
“He stood in the gate, we jogged down the stretch a little ways and then galloped a mile and a half,” said assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes, who is overseeing Justify’s training while Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is in California. Baffert is expected to arrive in Louisville Sunday night, with Justify flying to Baltimore on Wednesday.
As Baffert’s chief assistant, Barnes is a familiar sight at Churchill Downs –
and everywhere from Monmouth Park to Mountaineer, from Oaklawn Park to Belmont Park, Saratoga in August and Dubai in March, wherever Baffert has a quality stakes horse hitting the road.
Justify, the heavy favorite to annex the Preakness Stakes after running his record to 4-for-4 with his coronation in the Kentucky Derby, is yet another Baffert star placed in Barnes’ care while on the road.
He’s the latest in an almost unfathomable sequence where Baffert has had American Pharoah, the 2015 Triple Crown champion, Arrogate, the world’s all-time money-earner who raced in 2016-17 and now, Justify, who became the first horse since Apollo (1882) to win the Kentucky Derby without racing at 2. The stable has uncorked so many record-setting horses that a horse such as 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Bayern barely makes the discussion.
“It’s an awesome position to have, and I’m just blessed to be here,” said Barnes, whose first full year with Baffert was 1999, when the barn had the champion filly Silverbulletday. “I can’t imagine doing anything else. These horses are like once in a lifetime horses coming through the barn. We just keep enjoying it while they come, because you never know when you might have a slow year.
“I’ve trained on my own; it’s a tough go. I like dealing with this caliber of horses, prefer to be at this level. So I’d rather just stay right here. You put in a lot of hours. It’s a dedication thing. Luckily my wife works with us, so I get to spend a lot of time with her. Maybe not at home, but we’re at the barn every day together. It’s worked out for us, we’ve been married 32 years. Just keep going along here as long as it lasts,” he added.
Barnes’ wife, top-notch exercise rider Dana Barnes, has worked for Baffert since 1998. Jimmy heard there could be an opening for an assistant in the stable, asked Baffert to keep him in mind, was hired and wound up being the chief assistant when Eoin Harty went on his own in 2000.
Barnes previously had worked for Hall of Famers Charlie Whittingham and Jerry Hollendorfer, as well as David Hofmans, who saddled Touch Gold for a 1997 Belmont Stakes (G1) victory over the Baffert-trained Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Silver Charm.
“I tend to point myself toward good stables, yes, absolutely,” Barnes said. “I’ve been very fortunate to end up dealing with great horses for a long time now.”
Diamond King ‘Right on the Money’ in 5F Breeze
Cash is King, LC Racing and D.J. Stable’s Diamond King turned in his final work for the 143rd Preakness with a five-furlong breeze Sunday morning at Parx Racing in Bensalem, Pa.
Frankie Pennington was aboard as the stakes-winning son of Grade 1 winner Quality Road went in 1:01.50 over a sloppy main track in company with 4-year-old gelding Colonel Juan. Diamond King galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.53.
“Everything went super, very good. It was exactly what I was looking for,” trainer John Servis said. “I told him I was looking for around 1:01 and then let him gallop out on his own … so it was right on the money.”
Diamond King has worked twice since his victory in the 1 1/8-mile Federico Tesio Stakes April 21 at Laurel Park that earned him an automatic berth into the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. He breezed a half-mile on his own in 50.21 seconds May 6 at Parx.
“He went in company today because he works better in company than he does by himself. He can be a bit lazy,” Servis said. “I’m very happy with him. I’m tickled to death. I think he’s doing great.”
Considering the weather and the forecast, Servis was relieved to get Sunday’s work in as planned,  rather than have to push it back to Monday.
“Very much so,” he said. “It was a sealed racetrack. It wasn’t the best racetrack in the world but the bottom was good. I would have preferred a fast racetrack, but for a wet track it was very good, actually.”
Diamond King will have an easy day Monday and will remain at Parx until later in the week. All Preakness horses must be on the grounds by noon on Thursday, May 17.
“He’ll walk tomorrow and then I’ll just play it by ear after that,” Servis said. “I’ll see how he comes out of this work and how everything is and adjust his schedule accordingly.”
Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, who notched his second Preakness victory last year aboard Cloud Computing, has been named to ride.
Justify figures to be a strong favorite in the Preakness, and Servis was complimentary of the Kentucky Derby winner.
“He’s very impressive. Especially as good as he did it, and as good as he looks, it’s just hard to imagine that was only his fourth start,” he said. “He’s a good horse. He might be a great horse. I think we’re finding that out.”
Lone Sailor Confirmed for Preakness; Ortiz Jr. to Ride
Owner G M B Racing on Saturday evening tweeted that the Tom Amoss-trained Lone Sailor, its Louisiana Derby (G2) runner-up and Kentucky Derby eighth-place finisher, will run in the Preakness and that Irad Ortiz Jr. has the mount.
“When we got into this thing in 2014, on the back of our silks are three crowns, the Triple Crown,” said Greg Bensel, the senior vice president for communications for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints and NBA Pelicans, who also oversees G M B Racing for Gayle Benson, now the owner of the Saints and Pelicans following husband Tom Benson’s death March 15.
“A lot of people don’t particularly know that’s what it stands for,” Bensel said of the G M B’s silks design. “But our goal is always to run in the Triple Crown races, to run at the highest level. We’ve always dreamt of the Kentucky Derby, and we’ve been fortunate enough to have three in the last three years. We’ve won the Woody Stephens at Belmont, but the Preakness and Baltimore have always been a place we’ve wanted to run and be a part of that.”
G M B Racing was represented in the 2016 Kentucky Derby by Mo Tom (8th) and Tom’s Ready (12th), who went on to win the Woody Stephens (G2) on the Belmont Stakes undercard.
“Our horses, although they ran eighth and 12th in 2016 (in the Derby), our head guy, Mo Tom, was a guy who’d lose a lot of weight and couldn’t really bounce back. This guy, Tom Amoss gave us a good report Derby night, a great report the next day. I’m talking about him eating his whole tub, lively, got the look in his eye, went out for a full gallop a couple days later, full of energy, full of spunk. So no reason to not think about the Preakness,” Bensel said.
“Then you want to take a peek at the field. You want to see what Justify is doing; you want to see who else is entered; you want to see how big the field is because he’s a deep closer,” he added. “You saw how he got held up by (a stopping) Free Drop Billy in the Derby, and then he lost a shoe. So he was running against all odds in that Derby, and still he came fighting hard in the slop to be eighth. We’re hearing that we’re probably going to have a lot of wetness and moisture in Baltimore this week. We hear the field will be somewhat lighter. Justify or no Justify, we are on go. All systems point to go for us.”
Irad Ortiz Jr. has picked up the mount aboard Lone Sailor, who was ridden by James Graham in the Derby.
“We called on Irad Ortiz here. No disrespect to James Graham. We love James Graham; he’s been great to us. But we’re going to try something a little different here and take our chance,” Bensel said. “We’ve got a horse with a big engine, who is healthy, who’s sound, who’s full of energy. And why not?”
Lone Sailor galloped Sunday morning at Churchill Downs and will fly to Baltimore Wednesday. Amoss said the colt definitely deserves another chance with the cards reshuffled.
“The caveat here is that it was a very sloppy track Derby Day,” Amoss said. “But having said that, it’s hard to not want to take a chance against a group that didn’t come home very fast in the Kentucky Derby. Our horse, like many others, got in trouble in the race and we’d like another shot at this group. I have great respect for the group, and I thought going into the Kentucky Derby that the race went through California – which it turned out to do. But I’m looking forward to getting another chance at what hopefully is a fast track, although looking at the weather ahead, it looks like more rain.”
Quip Ready, Fit Sunday after Breezing 4F
With trainer Rodolphe Brisset aboard, Quip turned in his final timed work for the 143rd Preakness Stakes Sunday morning, breezing a half-mile in 48.20 seconds at Keeneland.
The WinStar Farm homebred son of Distorted Humor, co-owned by WinStar, China Horse Club and SF Racing, covered the first quarter of a mile in 24.40 and was timed in 23.80 for the second quarter. Quip was alone on the track at Keeneland at 6:30 a.m. and beat the heat that spiked later in the morning.
“He did exactly what we wanted and exactly his usual half-mile, out five-eighths,” Brisset said. “There was nothing fancy. We don’t need anything fancy anyway. We’re ready. He’s fit. We let him go off a little faster than 25 and came home in 23, and he galloped out (six furlongs) in 1:12 2/5. That’s his usual. He was by himself. We didn’t want to do more than this.”
Quip won the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and was second in the Arkansas Derby(G1) to accumulate more than enough points to qualify for the Kentucky Derby, but his connections opted to pass on the Derby and point to the Preakness. A primary reason was that the colt needed more time between races than three weeks from the Arkansas Derby to Kentucky Derby. Also WinStar had interests in three other Derby runners, including the eventual winner, Justify.
Brisset said he likes how Quip looks and is training entering the Preakness.
“He’s shown all the signs that he is back to his own self,” Brisset said. “The race in Arkansas and the trip was pretty hard on him. We gave him an easy week and a half after the Arkansas Derby. We didn’t lose anything because he has been galloping on a daily basis. Then we decided to pick the weather last week – breezing on Thursday (May 3) before the Kentucky Derby to beat the rain. That gives us a good 10 days between his last breeze and this one today. It’s good timing. Now we don’t have to do anything much, just keep him on his basic, regular galloping.”
Quip will be flown to Baltimore on Wednesday. Florent Geroux, who has been aboard for his five career starts, will ride Quip in the Preakness.
Bravazo Turns in 4F Maintenance Breeze
Calumet Farm’s Bravazo, the winner of Fair Grounds’ Risen Star (G2) who was sixth in the Kentucky Derby after being well-beaten in the Louisiana Derby, worked a half-mile in 50 3/5 seconds at Churchill Downs early Sunday morning in preparation for the Preakness Stakes.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas said he hadn’t seen the official time but had wanted something in the range of 50 seconds. He didn’t need the clocker’s splits to know Bravazo finished nicely.
“I don’t know what the splits were, have no idea,” he said. “I don’t pay any attention to that. I just want to see how they go. What were the splits? Had to be slow first.”
The official splits were 13 seconds for the first eighth-mile, 25 2/5 for the quarter-mile, 38 for three-eighths, with Bravazo going the final eighth-mile in 12 3/5 seconds and galloping out five-eighths of a mile in 1:04 4/5.
“He just ran eight days ago,” Lukas said. “He doesn’t need much.”
Calumet Farm and Lukas teamed in 2013 to win the Preakness with Oxbow, extending the historic Lexington farm’s record number of victories in the race to eight. It was the sixth for Lukas, who along with trainer Bob Baffert would tie the all-time record with another win. R.W. Walden won the Preakness seven times from 1875-1888.
Lukas’ other Preakness candidate, last summer’s Grade 1 Hopeful winner Sporting Chance, who was a troubled fourth in the Pat Day Mile (G3) on the Derby undercard, was scheduled to work a slow half-mile but wound up galloping.
Lukas and his duo are scheduled to leave Churchill Downs at 3:30 a.m. Monday for the van drive to Pimlico.
Tenfold Slated for 4F Breeze Monday
Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Tenfold had a routine gallop at Churchill Downs Sunday morning and is scheduled to work the easy half-mile on Monday that trainer Steve Asmussen generally gives his horses five days before a race. Tenfold had his big work for the Preakness the previous Monday, powering five-eighths of a mile in 1:00 1/5, seventh-fastest of 23 works at the distance that day.
Tenfold, who did not race last year, won his first two races before finishing fifth in the Arkansas Derby.
ALSO: Trainer Todd Pletcher has opted to bypass the Preakness Stakes with Calumet Farm’s Pony Up in favor of a start in the $100,000 LARC Sir Barton, a 1 1/16-mile stakes for 3-year-olds on the Preakness undercard. Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez will have the mount.
Ruis Racing’s Bolt d’Oro, who finished 12th in the Kentucky Derby, was also taken out of Preakness consideration Sunday.

Derby Hero Justify Visited by Trio of Happy Owners

Bravazo, Sporting Chance Return to Track for Lukas

Lone Sailor, Givemeaminit Play Waiting Game
BALTIMORE – Kentucky Derby (G1) hero Justify had his final scheduled walk day Wednesday at Churchill Downs before resuming training Thursday in preparation for the 143rd Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course.
Assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes said that trainer Bob Baffert’s plans call for Justify to gallop Thursday morning at 7:30, after Churchill’s first track renovation break. Barnes said everything is good with Justify, who came out of the Derby with a hind foot condition that Baffert has termed a “non-issue.”
Three of Justify’s owners through the Starlight Racing partnership arrived at Baffert’s Churchill Downs barn Tuesday, still finding it hard to believe they were heading to Baltimore with the Kentucky Derby winner.
Starlight co-managing partner Jack Wolf, Tom Mueller and Clinton Glasscock are among those becoming the first current Louisville residents to own the Derby winner since H.C. Applegate won with Old Rosebud in 1914.
“I still haven’t figured out that we have part of the horse that won,” Wolf said. “I woke up this morning going through what I needed to plan to do to get the partners everywhere, thinking it still hadn’t been done yet. So it hasn’t even sunk in yet on me.
“I think I read that Bob is undefeated with his Derby winners at Baltimore. You’d think the track and the distance would suit this horse, not that any track and distance would not suit this horse,” he added.
Justify will be Wolf’s fourth Preakness starter. He took fourth with Harlan’s Holiday in 2002 and 13th with Take the Points in 2009. With Starlight subsequently expanding its partnership, Mueller and Glasscock were part of the ownership that also was fourth in 2014 with General a Rod, a horse Starlight bought into before the Derby.
“To go with the favorite is a pretty awesome experience,” Mueller said. “I think the coolest part is having friends and family from around the country saying now, ‘I want to go to the Preakness. I want to be in Maryland. Meet you in Baltimore.’ I’m sure our entourage will not get smaller. It will only grow.”
Starlight forms partnerships that invest in modest-sized yearling crops but also on occasion has bought into a horse. With its 2017 2-year-olds appearing to be late-developing types, Wolf said some of his partners asked about trying to buy into a “made” horse. After Audible won Gulfstream Park’s Holy Bull Stakes in late January, Wolf worked on buying into that colt, who is trained by Starlight’s main trainer, Todd Pletcher. A deal was made to buy SF Bloodstock’s share of Audible for racing purposes only, with SF maintaining its breeding interest.
“Once we negotiated a price and terms on him, SF asked if we wanted the same deal on this one (Justify),” Wolf said. “He had just broken his maiden.”
Wolf said Starlight owns 15 percent of Audible, who went on to win the Florida Derby (G1) and Justify. Their partners are WinStar Farm, China Horse Club International and Head of Plains Partners’ Sol Kumin. Audible finished third in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.
Glasscock admitted he “was maybe a part of that” push to try to buy into a possible Derby horse.
“Back in January, we made a run at probably nine or 10 horses. For different reasons, it obviously didn’t work out,” he said. “Then we lucked into these two…. All of our group really cares about the racing side. Obviously, WinStar and China Horse Club are into breeding and racing. We thought it might be a win-win if we could get in there and just get the racing rights.”
Glasscock was part of the Starlight entourage watching the Derby from Churchill Downs’ turf course. “I was already really drenched from walking over from the backside,” he said. “I’ve never watched the Derby from over there. It’s almost like they’re singing My Old Kentucky Home at you before the race, which gave you chills. The Preakness, you do sometimes watch it from the infield — not the crazy part of the infield.
“The Preakness is definitely a festive, party atmosphere, like the Derby. But it is a different experience. For me, it’s so more relaxed. It’s not as hectic,” he added.
Asked if he has allowed himself to think about a Triple Crown sweep, should Justify win the 1 3/16-mile Preakness and then the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes, Glasscock said: “He obviously came in as the prohibitive favorite, overcame the ‘Apollo curse,’ and I think he was very, very impressive Saturday, overcoming all those obstacles. So yeah, you start dreaming about it. Hopefully we get through next Saturday and then on to New York.”
Mueller also watched from the turf course, the ruination of his pants and shoes a small price to pay.
“It was almost a little surreal,” he said. “I remember bits and pieces, not the whole thing. And it wasn’t like I was drunk or anything.
“The winner’s circle, itself, was complete chaos. Once you got into it, the number of people, you’re sinking into the mud. I had mud up almost to my knees. I just dropped my pants off at the dry cleaner and they said, ‘These might be done.’ I said, ‘I want them either way. I might get them framed.’ It was a ton of fun, it was awesome. But it was a bit surreal. Being aware of the 104 years (since a Louisville resident owned the Derby winner), as well, certainly made it more surreal.”
Bravazo, Sporting Chance Return to Track for Lukas
Calumet Farm’s Bravazo and Robert Baker and William Mack’s Sporting Chance trained on the Churchill Downs track Wednesday for the first time since their respective starts on Saturday’s Kentucky Derby program.
Bravazo, sixth in the Kentucky Derby, and Sporting Chance, fourth in the Pat Day Mile (G3), jogged once around the track and up the mile chute. Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has confirmed both horses for starts in the Preakness, in which he will seek a record-tying seventh win in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.
After a troubled start, Bravazo raced wide along the first turn and backstretch before making a solid run on the far turn and into the stretch before tiring. Sporting Chance was caught in traffic on the backstretch and was forced to race eight-wide on the turn on his way to a fourth-place finish in the one-turn Pat Day Mile.
Lukas has yet to name riders for Bravazo, the Risen Star (G2) winner, or Sporting Chance, the 2017 Hopeful (G1) winner.
Lone Sailor, Givemeaminit Play Waiting Game
Lone Sailor returned to the Churchill Downs track Wednesday for the first time since finishing eighth in the Kentucky Derby. The son of Majestic Warrior galloped 1 ½ miles while showing “good energy,” said Tom Amoss, who trains Lone Sailor for Gayle Benson’s G M B Racing.
“He had a good day on the track today. I mean, one day doesn’t make a decision [about Lone Sailor’s Preakness status],” said Amoss. “We’ll kind of wait and see. I don’t think it’s any secret we’re all looking to see where Justify lands. I’m sure a lot of trainers are interested in how he’s doing.”
Still, he continued, “I think it’s contingent on how our horse trains and how the conversation goes with Mrs. Benson on Saturday. I feel pretty confident that we’ll make a decision by Saturday evening.”
The Equibase chart footnotes reported that Lone Sailor “was stymied in traffic from the seven-sixteenths to inside the three-furlong marker, got through and stayed on the rail to the stretch, shifted out late and kept on to the wire” in finishing 1 1/4 lengths out of fifth and 2 1/4 out of fourth.
“I thought (his Derby) was a good one,” Amoss said. “Look, he didn’t break well – he never does. He went straight to the rail, got through all the way to the half-mile pole, got up to about sixth or seventh. Then Free Drop Billy was done in front of us and backed up, and unfortunately we had nowhere to go. So we backed up with him, backed up to a point where we were beating only a couple of horses. He rallied, got up to fourth at the top of the stretch and it was just too much. It’s the Derby. You can’t tell everybody, ‘Hey, here’s a head start. We’ll catch up to you.’ It just doesn’t work like that. I liked his race, though.”
No decision has been made on who would ride if Lone Sailor runs in the Preakness, Amoss said.
Valene Farms’ Louisiana-bred Givemeaminit, third in the Pat Day Mile after finishing fourth in the Louisiana Derby (G2), is also a possibility for the Preakness Stakes, though trainer Dallas Stewart said the seven-furlong Woody Stephens (G2) on the Belmont Stakes undercard in New York is more likely.
“If it’s a short field we might think about it,” Stewart said. “We jogged that horse this morning, and he jogged good. He looks great coming out of the race. We’ll see. The distance is something we’ve got to think about.”
Other horses under Preakness consideration are Quip, who was a confirmed for a start Tuesday, Good Magic, the Kentucky Derby runner-up, and Tenfold, the fifth-place Arkansas Derby (G1) finisher.

Nominations Total 237 Horses for Preakness Stakes (G1) Undercard

Seven Stakes, Three Graded, Support Middle Jewel of Triple Crown

Stablemates Just Howard, G1 Winner Ring Weekend Target Dixie (G2)
Maryland Sprint (G3) Included in Renewed MATCH Series
Sophomores in Spotlight in Chick Lang, Sir Barton, James Murphy
BALTIMORE – A total of 237 horses were nominated to the seven stakes, three graded, worth $1.05 million that support the 143rd running of the Preakness Stakes (G1), the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, Saturday, May 19 at legendary Pimlico Race Course.
The $1.5 million Preakness will anchor eight stakes, four graded, worth $2.55 million on a 14-race program that begins with a special 10:30 a.m. first post. The Preakness will be Race 13 with a post time of 6:48 p.m.
Just Howard and Ring Weekend, based in Fair Hill, Md. with trainer Graham Motion, are among 31 horses nominated to the 117th running of the $250,000 Dixie Stakes (G2) for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/16 miles on the grass.
Skeedattle Associates’ Just Howard has yet to make his 2018 debut after being named Maryland-bred champion 3-year-old, turf horse and Horse of the Year following wins in the Commonwealth Derby (G3), Find and Caveat stakes. Grade 1 winner Ring Weekend, who has nearly $1.6 million in earnings from 31 career starts, has been off the board in two stakes tries this year after opening his 7-year-old campaign with an allowance win at Gulfstream Park Feb. 11.
Also prominent among Dixie nominees are World Approval, a multiple Grade 1 winner of more than $3 million who captured last year’s race en route to champion turf male honors; Cairbou Club, who beat Ring Weekend in the Henry Clark April 21 at Laurel Park; multiple Grade 1 winner Divisidero, unraced since October; graded winners Flatlined, Frostmourne, Mr. Misunderstood, Page McKenney, Projected and Shining Copper; and two-time Maryland Million Turf winner Phlash Phelps.
The $150,000 Maryland Sprint (G3) for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs, and $100,000 The Very One for fillies and mares 3 and up going five furlongs on turf are part of the renewed Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship (MATCH) Series, an assortment of 25 races at tracks in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania which originally debuted in 1997 and ran for five years.
Graded stakes winners American Anthem, Delta Bluesman, El Areeb, Favorable Outcome, Favorite Tale, Long Haul Bay and Warrior’s Club; and Recruiting Ready, winner of the Chick Lang on the 2017 Preakness undercard, top 36 nominees to the Maryland Sprint. With 39 nominations, The Very One was most popular among horsemen featuring Grade 3 winner Morticia and multiple stakes winners Anna’s Bandit, Blue Bahia, Chanteline and Triple Chelsea.
Two-time defending Eclipse Award champion trainer Chad Brown has six of 35 nominees to the $150,000 Gallorette (G3) for fillies and mares 3 and up going 1 1/16 miles on turf, led by graded-stakes winners Elysea’s World, Fifty Five, Fourstar Crook and Uni. Also nominated are defending champion Cambodia and multiple graded-stakes winners Hawksmoor and Tricky Escape.
Aside from the Preakness, 3-year-old will be in the spotlight in both the $200,000 Chick Lang at six furlongs and $100,000 LARC Sir Barton to Benefit Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance at 1 1/16 miles. Among the Chick Lang’s 34 nominees are graded-stakes winners Engage, Madison’s Luna and Run Away; undefeated stakes winner Midnight Poker and multiple Maryland stakes winner Still Having Fun.
The Sir Barton drew 35 nominees led by Arkansas Derby (G1) fifth-place finisher Tenfold, under consideration for the Preakness; stakes winners Battle At Sea, Noble Commander, Prince Lucky, Sea Foam, Whereshetoldmetogo and Whirlin Curlin; Sunland Derby (G3) runner-up Dream Baby Dream and multiple graded-stakes placed Pony Up.
On turf, sophomores will be featured in the $100,000 James W. Murphy at one mile which attracted 27 nominations, among them stakes winners Battle At Sea, Black Stetson, Evaluator, Magicalmeister, Reride, Sand Dancer, Still Having Fun, Therapist and Whirlin Curlin.

Kentucky Derby Hero Justify Looms Strong Preakness Favorite

Trainer Bob Baffert to Seek Record-Tying 7th Preakness Win

Trainer Chad Brown to Consider Preakness for Good Magic
BALTIMORE – Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said Sunday morning that Saturday’s Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Justified was all but shouting to him that he was ready to go on to the 143rd Preakness Stakes (G1) – the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown – at Pimlico on May 19.
In just the fourth start of his career, Justify handled a very strong Derby field on Saturday, setting a fast early pace on the sloppy track at Churchill Downs, then holding off Good Magic to win by 2½ lengths to stay unbeaten. Justify, the 5-2 favorite, is co-owned by China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing and WinStar Farm.
Baffert, who will try for his record-equaling seventh Preakness victory, said he will follow his usual policy heading into the Preakness of leaving the colt at Churchill Downs and shipping to Pimlico the week of the race. Baffert’s four previous Derby winners, all went on to win the Preakness.
As he often does the morning after a winning a major race, Baffert brought Justify out his barn to show off the chestnut to the media and fans. Justify had so much energy that Baffert had trouble holding him. The show-and-tell session was promptly changed to a short show and then a long tell after Justify was returned to his stall.
“He’s pretty wild,” Baffert said. “He came out of it really well. He’s full of himself. He came back and he wasn’t really that tired and ate up last night. Today he’s been a handful.”
Twenty minutes after the Derby, Chad Brown, trainer of runner-up Good Magic, said it was unlikely that last year’s 2-year-old champion would go on to Pimlico. However, Sunday morning after examining the son of Curlin – winner of the 2007 Preakness – Brown said he wanted to take a little more time to consider his options. Brown won the 2017 Preakness with Cloud Computing.
“I’ve got an idea, but I’ve got to wait until I talk to the owners,” Brown said, noting that a decision was likely by Monday. The colt is co-owned by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and his breeder, Stonestreet Farm.
“I’ll get their thoughts on it and let them weigh in on it,” he said. “I’ll tell them what I see and see what they want to do. I think for me to rule it out this morning would be foolish. I don’t want to get into a situation where I commit to one way or another and I change my mind. I want to give myself a little room to really observe the horse. The horse will tell us.”
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said he expects to have two Preakness runners, Calumet Farm’s Bravazo, who was sixth in the Derby, and Robert Baker and William Mack’s Sporting Chance, who was fourth in the Pat Day Mile (G3) on Saturday. Lukas picked up the first of his six Preakness wins with Codex in 1980.
Also considered as probables for the Preakness Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner and Arkansas Derby (G1) runner-up Quip and Federico Tesio winner Diamond King. Quip, co-owned by China Horse Club, WinStar and SF Racing, had enough points to qualify for the Derby, but his owners opted to give him a little more time to recover from the Arkansas Derby on April 7 and point to the Preakness. Since WinStar also owns Justify, the farm’s CEO Elliott Walden said the plan for Quip had not been formalized.
“I hesitate to say right now. We’ll see how the week plays out,” Walden said. “My first inclination is to go ahead and run him, but we need to talk to our partners and see. But we’d set the horse up to run in the Preakness and he worked very well on Thursday. If Justify is supposed to win the Triple Crown, he’ll beat Quip. I just think you try to manage your horses the best you can and that it’s the right thing for Quip. Not making a final decision today. The horse is doing really well, and we’ll see.”
Trainer Todd Pletcher’s four Derby runners were led by Audible’s third-place finish, a head behind Good Magic.  He said all four will move on to New York and did not indicate that a Preakness entry was likely.
“Everybody came well back. Everybody’s happy and sound today,” Pletcher said. “I thought Audible ran great. I love the way he finished and am proud of his effort. Everybody ships back to Belmont (Monday). We’ll regroup there and not make any decisions for a week or so.”
Justify debuted on Feb. 18 and won his fourth race in the Derby. In the process, he snapped the “Curse of Apollo,” named for the 1882 Derby champ, the only horse to win the race who had not competed as a 2-year-old. His performance on Saturday, brought comparisons to Baffert’s 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, but the 65-year-old trainer pushed aside questions about another Triple Crown sweep.
“One race at a time,” he said after taking the traditional call from the Maryland Jockey Club’s President and General Manager Sal Sinatra formally inviting Justify to the Preakness.
“I said, ‘if he gets on that plane, we’ll come.’ We’ll just take it day by day, but there is no reason to say no,” Baffert said.
Justify’s appearance prompted Baffert to change plans and return home to California on Sunday.
“I was going to stay here a couple of days, but he looks phenomenal today,” Baffert said.
Though he has won nearly every one of the major dirt races in America and has trained standouts like American Pharoah, Silver Charm and Arrogate, Baffert said he was impressed by what Justify accomplished in the Derby.
“It was a pretty awesome performance,” he said. “We were hoping that he had that in him. At the three-eighths pole I was thinking, ‘Man, he better be a really good horse if he’s going to just keep going.’ Those great ones they do that.”