Five Churchill Downs-based Preakness Stakes (Grade I) contenders, led by Kentucky Derby winner Justify, continued their final preparations Sunday morning at Churchill Downs prior to shipping to Baltimore for the middle jewel of the Triple Crown.
Undefeated in four starts, Justify trained at 7:30 a.m. (all times Eastern) and was accompanied by Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s top assistant Jimmy Barnes on the pony. The colt galloped 1 ½ miles after schooling in the gate.
“He put in a normal gallop,” Barnes said. “Once we got out of the gate we jogged down the stretch and galloped a normal 1 ½ miles.”
Earlier in the morning, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas’ Kentucky Derby sixth-place finisher Bravazo breezed four furlongs in :50.60 with eighth-mile splits of :13, :25.40 and 38 before a five-furlong gallop out in 1:04.80, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols.
“I don’t really pay any attention to the splits,” Lukas said. “He did it real nicely. He just ran eight days ago so we really didn’t need to do much with him.”
Bravazo’s stablemate, Pat Day Mile (GIII) fourth, Sporting Chance galloped about 1 ½ miles after a planned breeze was aborted. The Tiznow colt is not expected to breeze prior to the Preakness, according to Lukas.
Both colts will van to Baltimore Monday at 3:30 a.m.
On Saturday evening, trainer Tom Amoss confirmed Kentucky Derby eighth-place finisher Lone Sailor would enter the Preakness. The G M B Racing-owned colt galloped 1 ½ miles at 5:30 a.m. Sunday under regular exercise rider Maurice Sanchez. Amoss also confirmed jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. would pick up the mount in the Preakness.
Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen’s Arkansas Derby (GI) fifth-place finisher Tenfold is expected to breeze Monday morning under regular exercise rider Angel Garcia, according to assistant trainer Scott Blasi.
Fans are invited to watch and wager on the Preakness Stakes at Churchill Downs next Saturday on a day that will feature 11 live races including the $100,000 Louisville Handicap (GIII) and a simulcast of the Preakness on the Big Board. Tickets start at $5 and can be purchased in advance on www.churchilldowns.com.
LANERIE RECORDS FIVE-WIN DAY SATURDAY AT CHURCHILL DOWNS – Perennial leading rider Corey Lanerie scored five victories in Saturday’s 11-race program to move him one win behind Brian Hernandez Jr. in the jockey standings, 13-12.
“We’re very fortunate to have days like that,” Lanerie said. “I’m just thankful to be riding fast horses.”
Lanerie, a 15-time leading rider at Churchill Downs, began the afternoon sweeping the first two races on a pair of Mike Maker trainees Sheikh of Sheikhs ($3.20) and Brave Soul ($7.60).
Two races later, Lanerie again teamed with Maker for a 4 ½-length win aboard Hint of Roses ($4.80).
The Louisiana native won Race 5 for trainer Mike Tomlinson on Lookin for a Kiss ($4.60) and capped off his day with a four-length win on trainer Ian Wilkes’ Fort Peck ($7.40).
Lanerie rides nine races on Sunday’s 10-race Mother’s Day card at Churchill Downs.
STAKES PROBALES – The 81st running of the $100,000 Louisville Handicap (Grade III) highlights next Saturday’s 11-race card at Churchill Downs. The probable entrants include Cooptado (ARG), Harlan Strong (ARG) and Some In Tieme (BRZ). Entries for Saturday’s card will be taken Wednesday.