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Preakness Thursday Photos

Shackleford poses for the fans at Pimlico Thursday morning.
Date: 05/19/2011

Nine of the 14 Preakness entrants are at the stakes barn at Pimlico, and all of them went out on the main track for either a gallop or a jog around the muddy main track. It was warm and very humid, with a bit of fog at times and a few sprinkles by the end of the morning with more rain expected in the afternoon. Morning line favorite and Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom is still at Fair Hill training center and will ship in on Saturday morning.

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Dialed In galloped twice around the muddy track through fog. Trainer Nick Zito said of his disappointing Derby finish as the favorite, "It was the greatest eighth-place finish you'll ever see. You don't get anything for that. But when you look at the way he closed, in any kind of a normal race, he would have been right there. But we didn't get anything."

Shackleford went out for a maintenance gallop for trainer Dale Romans. Owner Mike Lauffler said, "I think it will be fine with us. We've been on the outside two of the last three races, so it will be nice to be near the inside. We've got speed, so we should be able to save a little ground into the first turn, which is what we want to do. He should be in the top three or four horses going into the first turn."

Mucho Macho Man went twice around on Thursday. Trainer Kathy Ritvo said, "The post (8) is great. Anyplace out there would have been perfect for me. I'm going to let (jockey Rajiv Maragh) ride his own race."

Midnight Interlude was sent out to the track by trainer Bob Baffert. Baffert said, "Things are looking up. No. 7 is a good post. You don't want to be in the 1, 2 or 14, but everything else is fine. I think we should have been closer up in the Derby, and I think we'll be there here." Martin Garcia gets the call on Saturday.

Astrology galloped on the muddy track for trainer Steve Asmussen. Co-owner George Bolton said, said, "Colt is in great shape and I think he'll outrun his odds. We started planning for this race 2 months ago. Scotty (Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen) thinks he's going to run great on Saturday." Mike Smith will be in the irons for the Preakness.

Dance City went out onto the track Thursday morning and went once around. Trainer Todd Pletcher said of post 8, "I think it's good. I think most of the speed is inside us. Right in the middle is a good spot. I'm pretty happy sitting there." Ramon Dominguez will be aboard for late owner Edward P. Evans.

Flashpoint was one of the last horses to take to the track on Thursday morning. Trainer Wesley Ward said, "I think we're good. We drew a good post (4). We'll have to see how we break. We'll talk it over with Mr.(John) Fort and with the jock (Cornelio Velasquez), and we'll come up with a game plan here probably as soon as tomorrow."

Mr. Commons jogged twice around the muddy track. Victor Espinoza, who last won the Preakness aboard War Emblem in 2002, will be in the irons for trainer John Shirreffs and owner St. George Farm Racing LLC.

Sway Away went out for a gallop Thursday morning. Racing manager Mersad Metanovic said, "(Post 6) was excellent. We don't want No.1 and we don't want No. 14. We're happy. I believe, as we discussed with (trainer) Jeff (Bonde), that we'll reserve off the pace and make one run with the horse. It's up to (jockey) Garrett (Gomez), as well. He's a nice, patient rider and he's got all the credentials. Nobody has to tell him how to do it."
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