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The Preakness Barn at Pimlico on Wednesday morning.

Preakness Wednesday Photos

Date: 05/18/2016

Unlike most recent years, this year many of the Preakness horses were already at Pimlico on Wednesday morning. Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist arrived on May 9 and was the first on the grounds, but several others have trickled in starting over the weekend. Three horses arrived yesterday, one will arrive today, and the rest tomorrow afternoon. It was chilly, damp, and cloudy this morning at Pimlico and the track was rated good. Vanessa arrived Tuesday afternoon so got a couple of shots then and more on Wednesday morning.

Nyquist was spotted walking the shedrow on Tuesday afternoon. Trainer Doug O'Neill said, The morning went great. As planned, we jogged him two miles. I sound like a broken record great energy, he looked great. Were just looking for him to continue what hes been doing since hes been in Baltimore and just keep his appetite up and stay injury-free and stay loose. Im very happy." He goes out for a walk after 4pm then goes for TheraPlate therapy.
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  • Nyquist came out early and went twice around the wrong way with the pony this morning. The undefeated Kentucky Derby winner should go off at very short odds on Saturday. Regular rider Mario Gutierrez gets the call again for trainer Doug O'Neill and owner Paul Reddam. O'Neill announced Nyquist will be saddled in the indoor paddock rather than on the turf. "The theory is that we saddle the horse in the stall every day. Sometimes saddling in the wide open, they can get looking around and not paying attention, so well saddle him in the downstairs paddock area and then come out on the grass.
    Exaggerator, who arrived on Sunday afternoon, galloped this morning. The Santa Anita Derby winner and Kentucky Derby runner-up will again attempt to come from off the pace on Saturday with Kent Desormeaux aboard for his older brother, trainer Keith Desormeaux and owner Big Chief Racing. Keith said, He jogged two miles. You want more than that? Nothing happened. How about this? He bucked two times at the three-eighths pole and then settled in and jogged twice. He was feeling good. The kids were running around on the grandstand, and that usually gets him stirred up, any horse stirred up. He handled it well. The stats are just staring you in the face: If you want to be successful in the Triple Crown, it seems like being out in California is one of the first steps to accomplish that.
    Collected arrived on Tuesday afternoon (shown shortly after on the right) and galloped today. The newcomer to the Triple Crown wars won the Sunland Festival Stakes and the Lexington en route to Pimlico. Martin Garcia rides for Bob Baffert on Saturday. Baffert said, Its going to be a step up for him. Hes fast and there are a lot of fast horses in there. We never thought about the Derby with him. We thought about the Preakness, the shorter one. The owners get excited. Hes the kind of horse that brings it every time. Hes handy. Hes quick. The only way we can beat (Nyquist) is either if he does not bring his A game or has some racing luck that hampers him.
    Fellowship galloped this morning. He is winless since the In Reality Stakes for Florida-sired juveniles last October, was 3rd in both the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby then 4th in the Pat Day Mile on the Kentucky Derby undercard. Jose Lezcano will get the call for trainer Mark Casse. Norm Casse, assistant to his father said, Were just going to let him settle into his stride. We dont have a target on our back by any means. Nobodys really paying attention to us. We find that his horse has a really good cruising speed, so I think, ideally, you just dont mess with him just let what happens in the race happen and let him come with his run when its time.
    Laoban also galloped this morning under exercise rider Clay Courville after arriving yesterday afternoon from Churchill Downs by plane. The maiden was second in the Gotham before finishing 4th in the Blue Grass Stakes. Cornelio Velasquez rides for trainer Eric Guillot. Guillot said, Hes too big of a horse to show that kind of speed early. I think hes going to relax more. Hes had a few works with horses in front of him. This field is loaded with speed loaded more than Guillots plate at a Chinese buffet. I think Nyquist looked better today than he did previous to the Derby when I saw him. Thats not good for me.
    Uncle Lino also arrived yesterday afternoon and was spotted walking the shedrown this morning after arriving Tuesday afternoon by plane from California. The Santa Anita Derby third place finisher won the California Chrome Stakes at Los Alamitos for his final prep. Regular rider Fernando Perez gets the call for owner-trainer Gary Sherlock. He is one of three colts by Uncle Mo in the field, the others being Nyquist and Laoban. I dont know if Im going to get it done, but Im going to come in and give it a good shot, Sherlock said. The horse is doing good. Hes moving forward. Exaggerator has beat me twice, but Ive had some excuses. I think my horse is better now than when I ran with him. Ill be disappointed if I dont run first, second or third. If nothing happens to Nyquist, hell probably win.
    Cherry Wine arrived by plane from Louisville on Wednesday afternoon. Trainer Dale Romans said, Cherry Wine is one of those horses where hes probably not the best horse, but hes opportunistic. If he gets the opportunity, hes going to capitalize on it. If Nyquist comes up a little tired where he cant handle the two-week turnaround, well be right there ready. Everybody knows that if everybody runs true to form, Nyquist isnt going to get beat. But horses dont always run true to form. We saw that last year in the middle of the summer (when Keen Ice upset American Pharoah in the Travers)." The Blue Grass Stakes third place finisher last won three starts back at Gulfstream in an allowance event.

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