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Big Brown trots back after his gallop
on Thursday morning.
       • Preakness Entries
Preakness Thursday Morning Works

Date: 05/15/2008

Several Preakness horses, including Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown arrived at Pimlico on Wednesday, so it was a busy day at the track. This was also the day for the traditional Alibi Breakfast where the trainers of the horses get to make their excuses for Saturday and have a little fun.

Big Brown was who everyone wanted to see on Thursday morning, and he came out of the barn at about 8:30am to gallop. Trainer Richard Dutrow said, "He's a lightly raced horse. He's only got four starts. It's not like he had five or six starts as a 2-year-old and this is his fifth or sixth start this year. This might work to his advantage. We'll see."

Big Brown heads out of the stakes barn on Thursday morning with trainer Richard Dutrow (middle) and co-owner Michael Iavarone (right) following behind. Dutrow said, "You go through a lot to get ready for races like this. But I feel like I have the best horse, the fastest horse, who is proven at the distance. If our horse can get over the two weeks, he's going to be tough to beat. I figure the lighter I train him, the better. I don't want to squeeze anything out of him. I want to go as slow and easy as I can between races."

After his morning after his 1 1/2 mile gallop under regular exercise rider Michelle Nevin, Big Brown had new glue-on shoes affixed to his front feet at noon by Ian McKinlay, a noted equine farrier. Dutrow said, "It went good. I was very happy with it. He was comfortable, cool, relaxed, galloped good. We're as happy as we can be right now."

Macho Again galloped 1 1/4 miles and was led back to the barn by his trainer Dallas Stewart. Stewart said, "He showed a lot of fight in his last race. I really like the way he handled himself in the last race. He got bumped and squeezed. He showed fight and he finished off the race real nice. He was really running. He beat a nice horse that was no slouch."

Gayego returns from his morning jog once around the track and then gets a bath. Jody Pieper, who was aboard the Paulo Lobo-trained colt during his 6 a.m. exercise, said "It was just to let him stretch his legs a little bit and kind of see things."

Yankee Bravo also galloped on Thursday morning. Trainer Paddy Gallagher said, "He galloped around slow and looked around. He's the kind of horse that nothing bothers after he gets a chance to settle in." Gallagher has never saddled a horse at Pimlico before.

Hey Byrn was another who galloped 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Peter Shelton. Later he enjoyed grazing behind the stakes barn. Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. said, "People are saying, 'Is he a great horse?' That remains to be seen. One of the signs that will tell us is when we look back at the horses that he ran against in the Derby and Preakness and some of these other races. What have they done after that? Are they just a bunch of ordinary horses and he's just the best of the bunch? Or are they good horses and he's a champion? Time will tell."

Kentucky Bear posed in the grass behind the stakes barn after his gallop. Trainer Reade Baker said, "He galloped a mile and a half and then he went to the gate and backed out. I like to do that with horses when they're going to different places because there are a lot of different (gate) manufacturers and they look different to them. Sometimes they hesitate when they've never been in them before."

Tres Borrachos went out to the track but only trotted once around the wrong way before returning to the barn. Trainer Beau Greely said, "He just jogged today. He was on his toes and feeling fresh. He'd have done a lot more had we let him. He'll gallop tomorrow and just walk into the race. I think the track's going to suit him. He's run his best races on dirt. There are a little tighter turns here or so they tell me. I think with the 2-hole, it came up good for him."

Stevil also galloped then enjoyed a bath. He is a very dark gray who almost doesn't look gray. Trainer Nick Zito said, "He just galloped today, an easy gallop. He's doing great. I was happy with the post (No. 9), so everything's good. He's very consistent. He's going to run a good race; he always runs a good race. I'd be surprised if he didn't run a good race, knock on wood. He should be in the money."

Racecar Rhapsody was another who stretched his legs on Thursday morning. Former jockey Jose Castanon, now an assistant to trainer Kenny McPeek, said, "I took him out about 7:30 and I jogged him one mile and galloped him one mile. It feels like he can handle this track very well. This horse is kind of calm. He doesn't get scared. He just goes for it. He doesn't look around much."
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