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Preakness Thursday Photos

California Chrome gets his bath on Thursday morning.
Date: 05/15/2014

Thursday was first day at Pimlico for several of the Preakness horses and most took advantage of it to get the feel of the track and stretch their legs. Everyone came out except Ride on Curlin. The weather was a bit cool and very foggy, misty, and damp until very late in the morning, so the earliest photos show the fog badly. After workouts were finished, all the connections and media enjoyed the traditional Alibi Breakfast in the clubhouse.

2014 Preakness Entries - A field of 10 was entered on Wednesday with Derby winner California Chrome the 3-5 favorite drawing post 3. Check out the horses with post positions, morning line odds, and free past performances here.
Analyzing the Preakness Stakes Contenders for 2014 - Here my annual analysis of the current contenders to try and pick a winner based on angles and statistical trends to match them with the profile of a Preakness winner. This year the Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome was an easy top choice. Check out all the contenders here.
Preakness Weather Forecasts - Friday is looking pretty bad, but Saturday should be OK.

California Chrome came out when it was still quite foggy. Trainer Art Sherman said, "I think there is a going to be a different scenario of the race. It looks like there is going to be some legitimate speed, but don't underestimate this horse. He's been head and head with horses in :09 (1:09) and change and did draw off and he did do a mile in 1:33 and change. He can go with the best, I think. He's proven it. He's kind of like push-button. You don't have to be on the lead, but when you ask him to run he's going to give you a burst coming down the lane."

Bayern galloped on the Pimlico main track. Trainer Bob Baffert said of jockey Rosie Napravnik, "I've had a lot of success with her, but I've put her on a lot of live horses. She helps me out at Churchill. She's got the right attitude. She knows that I could bring somebody in from California to ride a horse at any time, and she has no problem with that. When she breezes my horses she knows what I want, what I expect. She works really well with us. A lot of jockeys are intimidated when they ride for me. She's not. She just rides her horse. I never say hardly a word to her. I just throw her on there, that's it, and I just leave her alone. She does her homework and I don't have to say too much to her."

Dynamic Impact galloped 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Wayne Brown. Norm Casse, assistant to father Mark said, "He likes to take his time out there. It was a very good first day and it looked like he got over the track real well. It was our first day here and I'm glad I brought another horse so I could do a test run."

General A Rod returns to the stakes barn after galloping 1 1/4 miles under exercise rider Joel Barrientos. Trainer Mike Maker said, "It was all good until we drew the 2-hole," the former D. Wayne Lukas assistant said. "It is what it is. Obviously the makeup of the race is going to decide (strategy). If he can get out, so be it. If he can't there's really nothing you can do, unless you plow somebody over. That's why we'll let (jockey) Javier (Castellano) decide. I've always had a lot of confidence in this horse. He's got a great attitude and he never gets nervous about anything. If he's good enough, he'll prevail. If not, we'll find a softer spot next time."

Kid Cruz gets his bath at the stakes barn after his gallop. Trainer Linda Rice said, "There was so much fog out there I was struggling to find my own horse. We let him stretch out down the lane a little bit and try to let him know where the wire is. He's doing well. He's won over the track, so we're going to find out if he can handle this type of competition. I'm excited to see how it plays out. We're here and we're ready to go."

Pablo Del Monte galloped 1 1/4 miles on the Pimlico main track under exercise rider Mike Clark. Trainer Wesley Ward said, "My colt's got speed and historically, for Aloma's Ruler (1982 Preakness winner) and horses like that, speed has been to their advantage and they have taken it from gate to wire. There have been a lot of gate-to-wire winners. Everything is kind of coming together right now and I really don't want to change anything."

Ria Antonia returns to the barm after her 1 mile jog under exercise rider Maurice Sanchez. Owner Ron Paolucci said, "This can't be any harder than running against (Oaks winner) Untapable. It looks to me like California Chrome and everybody else. She is the second-leading money earner in the field behind only California Chrome and she is the only other Grade 1 winner in the field besides California Chrome. How can people say that she does not belong?"

Ride On Curlin in his stall yesterday afternoon since I didn't actually see him today. Trainer Billy Gowan led Ride On Curlin on a 35-minute walking regimen in the shedrow of the Preakness Stakes Barn Thursday morning, a day after his final breeze (half-mile in 49 3/5 seconds) for Saturday's Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. "He looks really good; his legs are good, and he ate everything, so we're fine," Gowan said after the lengthy walk.

Social Inclusion jogged 1/2 mile then galloped 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Domingo Navarro. Owner Ron Sanchez said, "I feel a lot of respect for (85-year-old trainer Manny Azpurua). He was a national hero of racing fans in Venezuela. The more I know him, the more I want to learn from him. I'm proud of Manny Azpurua. This is my man. We're going to make it. No matter what, we're going to stick together. He knows the horses; he loves the horses. I respect him so much. I didn't sell the horse because they wanted to take the horse away from him. Loyalty is a big word,"
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