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Nyquist passes by the Preakness Barn at Pimlico on Thursday morning.

Preakness Thursday Photos

Date: 05/19/2016

All but 3 of the Preakness horses were on the grounds at Pimlico on Thursday morning, with the others scheduled to arrive by van before noon. All but Exaggerator, who just walked the shedrow, went out this morning to visit the track. It was cool and cloudy Thursday morning at Pimlico with temperatures near 60 and the track was rated fast.

Here are photos for eight of the Preakness horses from this morning. Be sure to click the small photo to see a larger version. Also check out the Alibi Breakfast from later in the morning.

Nyquist went out for a gallop at 8:30AM under exercise rider Jonny Garcia, with assistant trainer Jack Sisterson aboard stable pony Satire. Trainer Doug O'Neill said, "Nyquist had great energy and looked real loose, and he galloped really well. So we're very, very happy the way the morning went. Tomorrow's going to be a very easy morning. We're feeling very optimistic about Saturday. He was pretty good before the Derby and he's pretty good now. ...We had five weeks to prepare from the Florida Derby to the Kentucky Derby, now it's a quick turnaround, but he's showing all signs that he's good as ever."
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  • Nyquist also managed to avoid a loose horse during his gallop. Jockey Mario Gutierrez, on hand to watch the gallop said, "Watching him gallop today, it's hard not to get confident. We're going into the race with a lot of confidence. I could stay here all day to try to describe the feeling when I'm on his back. It's a good feeling. You know what you have under your hands is a powerful animal that's just waiting for you to let go, and you know they're going to keep running. Besides that, he loves to race. He loves the competition." His final 3/8 mile was clocked in 42.71 seconds.
    Cherry Wine schooled in the starting gate and galloped alongside Collected. Trainer Dale Romans said, "They’re not cars. They’re animals, organic. Anything can happen. My horse loves the mud. If it comes up rainy and wet, he could run a huge race. But it’s going to take a huge effort, and it might take a little bit of Nyquist backing up, even with a huge effort, to win the race.”
    Collected galloped at Pimlico and had to swerve inside at the top of the lane to avoid Nyquist who was still getting up to speed down the center of the track. Exercise rider Jorge Alvarez said, "(Jonny Garcia aboard Nyquist) gave me a dirty look. He asked me to back off. I’ve been in that situation before. We’re rivals, but you have to be a gentleman. I helped him out. I backed off, and he went on.”
    Fellowship put in a routine gallop twice around. Assistant trainer Norm Casse said, “It’s certainly nice to know there’s going to be speed for him to run at, but we’re not going to take him back and take him out of his game because we think there’s going to be a ton of speed that’s going to collapse. We’ll just let him be who he is.”
    Lani was the second horse to arrive this morning by van from Belmont Park. He was wearing some very funky shipping boots. Wednesday he worked 5f in 1:01.20 at Belmont. Keita Tanaka, representative of owner Koji Maeda said, “It was an ideal work. He showed a very good turn of foot. For the training aspect, Belmont has been the best location for him. Because the track is wider and there are fewer horses out there, Lani just concentrated on what he needs to do. He has been behaving as good as he does back home in Japan. He been relaxing and when he needs to run he concentrates on running.”
    Laoban galloped on the main track. Trainer Eric Guillot said, “I wanted to be the next one to win the Triple Crown, because it was 37 years since the last one, but that white-haired guy (Bob Baffert) did it last year, so now I’m trying to win the Preakness with a maiden." The horse's name means "boss" in Mandarin Chinese.
    Stradivari was the first to arrive this morning by van from Belmont Park. I missed his arrival, but I did get a shot of him in his stall afterwards. Wednesday he galloped 1 3/8 miles at Belmont. Trainer Todd Pletcher said, “At the time we were getting him ready (for his debut) I felt like he was ready to run. I wasn’t a thousand percent sure he was what I would describe as super-tight ready to go. But the way the condition book fell, I didn’t want to run him six furlongs first time out. The seven-furlong race came up. So I decided to go ahead and run, and he came up a little bit short. At the eighth-pole he flattened out a little bit and got a little bit tired. We sent him to Florida after that race and a few more works moved him forward. Plus we got to stretch him out around two turns, which is what he really wants to do.”
    Uncle Lino was pretty nervous and washed out coming back from the track after his gallop twice around. Owner-trainer Gary Sherlock said, “I think my horse is better now than when I ran with him. I’ll be disappointed if I don’t run first, second or third. If nothing happens to Nyquist, he’ll probably win. It’s the Preakness, so it’s not just another horse race. I’ve been doing this for 50 years, so I don’t get that excited. Want to see me excited? Let me win.”

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