The five horses under consideration for next Saturday’s $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (GI) stabled at Churchill Downs galloped Friday morning.
California Chrome, winner of the 140th Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI), galloped an easy 1 ½ miles shortly before 7 o’clock with regular morning partner Willie Delgado aboard.
Seventh-place Kentucky Derby finisher Ride On Curlin galloped 1 1/8 miles after the break with Bryan Beccia in the saddle.
Illinois Derby (GIII) winner Dynamic Impact galloped 1 ½ miles at 6:30 with Marco Cano up. Trained by Mark Casse, Dynamic Impact is scheduled to work at 6 a.m. Saturday with jockey Miguel Mena aboard. However, rain that began falling at the close of training hours Friday was forecast to continue sporadically all day and night and assistant trainer Norman Casse said the work could wait a day if necessary.
Bayern, who was disqualified from the victory in the Derby Trial (GIII) on opening night, visited the starting gate and galloped 1 ½ miles after the renovation break under Jorge Alvarez. Bayern is scheduled to work Monday.
Ria Antonia, winner of last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) and sixth in last Friday’s Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) galloped 1 ½ miles under Maurice Sanchez before the renovation break. Ria Antonia is scheduled to work Monday.
GENERAL A ROD CONFIRMED FOR PREAKNESS, CASTELLANO TO RIDE
Starlight Racing and Skychai Racing LLC’s General a Rod, 11th in the Grade I Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands, will be on a Monday flight to Pimlico for the May 17 Preakness Stakes according to trainer Mike Maker. Maker said the son of Roman Ruler would not record an official work prior to the Preakness.
Maker also confirmed that jockey Javier Castellano will be ridden by General a Rod in the Preakness. Castellano, who was aboard We Miss Artie in the Derby, takes over for Joel Rosario, who will have the mount for Ride On Curlin in the Preakness.
POINT TO THE WILD SEEKS FIRST STAKES WIN IN SATURDAY'S UNBRIDLED SYDNEY
J J K Thoroughbreds LLC’s Point to the Wild will try for her first career stakes win in Saturday’s Unbridled Sidney overnight stakes at five furlongs on the Matt Winn Turf Course.
Trained by Brad Cox, Point to the Wild’s first race in stakes-company came as a fourth-place effort behind Sweet Cassiopeia in the April 19 Giant’s Causeway at Keeneland. Sweet Cassiopeia, third in the Giant’s Causeway, also is entered in the Unbridled Sidney.
“She’s doing really well,” Cox said. “This will be the first time on the turf course here for her at Churchill. The forecast calls for a little rain so if it softens up the turf course, it may be a good thing because her best two races have been on a soft turf at Fair Grounds. Hopefully we catch a little rain.”
Since entering Cox’s barn in October 2013, Point to the Wild won three of four starts at Fair Grounds before the Giant’s Causeway. Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. has been aboard for every start under Cox, and retains the mount Saturday.
“We were right there with her (Sweet Cassiopeia),” Cox said. “We had a bit of a troubled trip down the lane, wasn’t the jock’s fault or anything, just a tight spot. She galloped out great; I think she galloped out in front of everybody so I don’t think we’re sitting behind her or anything.”