Bobby Zen

With the leading GI Kentucky Derby runners looking likely to skip the May 18 GI Preakness S., a wave of non-Derby starters are lining up for the second leg of the Triple Crown. Trainer Bob Baffert, whose horses were banned from the Derby, confirmed GI Arkansas Derby winner Muth (Good Magic) and stablemate Imagination (Into Mischief), who won the GII San Felipe S. before finishing a narrow runner-up behind Stronghold (Ghostzapper) in the GI Santa Anita Derby last time out, are both expected for the Preakness. The duo breezed in company at Santa Anita Saturday, both timed in 1:11.40 (1/5) for six furlongs and they are tentatively scheduled to ship from Southern California to Baltimore May 14.

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas indicated Saturday that Myracehorse’s Seize the Grey (Arrogate) was likely for the Preakness following his win in the GII Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs on the Derby undercard.

“I think the 680 people will want to vote for that,” Lukas joked of the micro-share ownership group. “My vote will be the one that counts, but I’ll vote with them. We have nothing to lose. He earned his way to run in the Preakness. He’s qualified for it. He’s nominated for it. So why wouldn’t we give those people that opportunity? That’s what we’re getting paid for, to make that many people happy. If he pulls up well and everything is good tomorrow and the next day, we’ll strongly, strongly consider the Preakness.”

While Chad Brown ruled Derby runner-up Sierra Leone (Gun Runner) out of the Preakness, the trainer said GII Louisiana Derby third-place finisher Tuscan Gold (Medaglia d’Oro) was possible for the race.

“I’m going to take a look at that horse training up until the Peter Pan,” Brown said of Saturday’s nine-furlong Grade III race at the Belmont at the Big A meet. “See how the race comes up, see where he draws, because it’s likely to be a big field, I’m hearing. Keep an eye on that Preakness, and sort of go from there.”

Also considered possible for the Preakness is Informed Patriot (Hard Spun), who earned a fees-paid spot in the race with his win in Oaklawn Park’s Apr. 20 Bathhouse Row S. Informed Patriot was fifth in the GI Arkansas Derby for trainer Steve Asmussen.

GIII Withers S. winner Uncle Heavy (Social Inclusion) and Copper Tax (Copper Bullet) are also on the list of potential Preakness starters revealed Sunday by Pimlico officials.

Trained by Gary Capuano, Copper Tax earned an automatic berth to the race by virtue of his 3/4-length victory in the Apr. 20 Federico Tesio S. at Laurel.

“We’ll see how it is in the next few days and see how things shake out,” Capuano said. “The door’s not closed yet. It actually opened up a little bit. Baffert is going to come with a couple real good horses and he’ll be the factor in there, obviously. Copper Tax is in good shape. Everything looks good with him. We’re still a little bit up in the air trying to figure things out.”

Copper Tax has yet to breeze back since the Tesio and a work over the weekend was delayed by rainy weather.

“I did let him stretch his legs and gallop on pretty strong [Saturday] and he loved it out there,” Capuano said. “He’s doing good. We’ll see how this week goes, how the weather and the track holds up and how much I can do with him between now and probably the end of the week and go from there.”

The post Preakness Possibles Line Up appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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