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The spectacular sunrise at Pimlico on Wednesday morning.

Preakness Wednesday Photos

Date: 05/12/2021

All of the Preakness horses and some of the Black-Eyed Susan fillies galloped over the fast Pimlico main track on a cloudy Wednesday morning, including Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit. Conditions were typical for mid May with overcast skies and temperatures in the mid 50's during training but warming up to around 70 as the morning progressed.

Here are photos of all 10 Preakness horses and 9 Black-Eyed Susan fillies from Wednesday. Click on the small one to see the larger version.

Preakness

Concert Tour galloped twice around, as did stablemate Medina Spirit. Assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes said, "I look for both of them to run very well on Saturday," adding that Concert Tour is "good and fresh. We’ve had weeks between races now. I think he likes that. He doesn’t like his races stacked on top of one another probably. Both of our horses run. They both try to get away from there, play the break and stay clean, and give yourself a fair shot."
Crowded Trade galloped twice around with stablemate Risk Taking. Trainer Chad Brown said, "Crowded Trade ran a really good race in only his third start. He did hang a little bit in the lane, but he made up a lot of ground after breaking bad. Risk Taking was quite a disappointment that day. He was coming into the race in excellent form and his numbers were heading the right way. He just didn’t fire."
France Go de Ina worked 4f in 49.40 but during the run-out, unseated exercise rider Masaki Takano. After the outriders caught the horse, Takano remounted and trainer Hideyuki Mori walked the horse to the indoor paddock for schooling. Kate Hunter, representing the Japan Racing Association said, "[Takano] slipped a bit from the stirrup on the left side and lost his balance. The horse is fine." Mori added, "It had nothing to do with the horse. He breezed well. Luckily, or unluckily, the rider fell off after the goal, just after the finish line, after he finished his workout. We are just very happy that the horse is OK."
Keepmeinmind jogged 1 mile then galloped 1 mile after 6AM after arriving from Churchill by van Tuesday. Trainer Robertino Diodoro said, "The big thing is you always worry about these horses shipping and stuff," said trainer Robertino Diodoro, participating in the Preakness for the first time. "I couldn’t get here fast enough this morning to check his feed tub. He ate everything, so that was great. I thought he trained really well. Very happy.
Medina Spirit galloped twice around, as did stablemate Concert Tour. Assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes said, "I said the other day the horse can’t read the odds. I’m very confident. The first time this year things have lined up for this horse. The only thing is, the race is run on dirt and not paper. You know how that goes sometimes. But on paper, I think there’s definitely enough pace and the smaller field helps. I think we drew well, and will stay on the rail as long as we can…. You got to worry about your own horse, and we’re not going to change our running style. We tried that once a couple of starts ago because of the lack of speed and it didn’t turn out. We’re going to go back to our normal way of just worrying about our horse and hoping he’s doing well — and definitely don’t take him out of his element."
Midnight Bourbon galloped for the first time after arriving on Tuesday. Trainer Steve Asmussen said, "He went over the racetrack beautifully this morning, so no excuses until necessary. What will be very interesting is how the racetrack plays all week and what we would like to do in the Preakness." David Fiske, manager for owner Winchell Thoroughbreds added, "I don’t think he will try to beat (Concert Tour and Medina Spirit) to the turn. But I would think he would be up there with him, so he can breathe on Medina Spirit from the outside and hopefully cause Concert Tour to run wider than he would like. But who knows? As big as he is, and he has shown in his previous races to be pretty fast, he can take up some space and kind of dictate where some other horses are going to end up."
Ram galloped once around. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas said, "I’ve got to move up. He’s a situation kind of like Oxbow when I brought him. He’s getting good right now and he’s moved forward almost two or three or four points every time he’s run. He’s got to improve a lot. (Co-owner) Bob Baker died recently and his wife is emotional, I think, about coming here and being a part of this again. Bob kept saying, 'We don’t have too many years left,’ meaning me and him. We’re the same age. And he died suddenly. We’re a long shot, but we’re dangerous. I don’t think we can win it. I think we can probably be on the board. And we may not even do that. If we don’t, we’ll load him and go home. We don’t have to wake up every day saying, 'God, I have to prove that I can train one of these things.’"
Risk Taking galloped twice around with stablemate Crowded Trade. Trainer Chad Brown said, "Clearly, the kickback (in the Wood Memorial) impacted him to some degree. Whether that fully explains why he just quit in that race, I will never be certain of it. I am just going to draw a line through that race. I just hope he can get back to his race in the Withers, which would put him in contention here."
Rombauer galloped 1 1/4 miles at 6:30AM after flying in on Tuesday afternoon. Trainer Mike McCarthy said, "The horse is a pretty easy keeper. He shipped in good order and got over the racetrack fine this morning. His best races have been when he has been able to close. He was a little bit farther back than I would have liked in the El Camino Real Derby, but he was able to get the job done. He was a little bit closer than I would have liked in the Blue Grass. He’s not so much pace-dependent, but I would like to see them go fairly swiftly up front, obviously."
Unbridled Honor galloped twice around after arriving by van from Belmont on Tuesday. Trainer Todd Pletcher said, "I think the timing suits him. I think the distance should suit him. I think he would benefit from a good pace up front, which maybe we’ll get if Midnight Bourbon shows a little initiative and (with) Concert Tour and the first-place finisher in the Derby. Hopefully he can get away a little better, get in a little better stalking position and then have a good pace to run at. When I was watching the (Derby) live, when he got to the backside and he pricked his ears, I thought to myself, 'Oh, I don’t like this,’ because all my horses at that point were way back anyway. It wasn’t really shaping up like I was hoping at that stage."

Black-Eyed Susan

Adventuring comes here off a win in the Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway. Trainer Brad Cox said, "Obviously, she’s very well bred and we’re hopeful that she’ll be able to handle the 1 1/8. She certainly appears that she can. She broke her maiden in an off the turf race on the dirt and performed extremely well. She was able to get the job done on the synthetic and she works well enough on the dirt to give us the confidence to try a graded stake on the dirt. We’re looking forward getting her up there. She had enough points to go in the Kentucky Oaks, but we thought the Black-Eyed Susan made more sense. Plus, she wasn’t nominated to we’d have had an extra large fee to run. I really like her. She’s already a stakes winner, but we need to hopefully get some graded wins."
Army Wife went winless in her first three starts last year, all on turf, before graduating in her first try on dirt. She hasn’t been worse than third since, winning an optional claimer March 13 at Gulfstream and running third behind Search Results and Maracuja in a 1 1/8-mile Gazelle (G3) April 3 at Aqueduct. "She’s a filly we’ve always been high on. She makes a fabulous impression," trainer Mike Maker said. "She had a couple of months off and got a little behind, but she’s doing well and we’re looking forward to it."
Beautiful Gift galloped twice around with stablemates Medina Spirit and Concert Tour. Assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes said, "All three looked beautiful on the track," Barnes said. "They go over the track very well. It looks like a really good surface here. We’re very happy with that."
Iced Latte galloped once around. Trainer Todd Pletcher said, "It seemed like she handled (her last start, 2nd in a Belmont allowance April 25) OK. I don’t think it is indicative of her quality. We were impressed by her maiden win. She’s always trained very forward and I liked the way she breezed [the other] morning."
Lady Traveler is well-tested against graded company, having run second in the Jan. 30 Forward Gal (G3) at Gulfstream and fourth last out in the April 2 Beaumont (G3) at Keeneland. Tom Bellhouse, COO of owner West Point Thoroughbreds said, "Last time, even though she didn’t hit the board, she ran a nice number and really showed improvement. In the middle of the race she started making a big move and, unfortunately, the horse that was in front of her when she started to make the move kind of drifted out and got in her way a little and kind of broke her momentum.
Miss Leslie earned an automatic berth in the Black-Eyed Susan by virtue of her 1 1/2-length triumph in the 1 1/16-mile Weber City Miss April 24 at Pimlico. Trainer Claudio Gonzalez said, "When she ran the first time long, she proved right away that she loved the distance. And, she did it again the last time, too. She loves it. It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be different fillies coming from outside, not only local fillies. They are coming from everywhere. It’s a big race. I believe she has to show how she can handle the tough fillies."
Spritz comes here off a 2nd place finish in the Bourbonette Oaks. "Our filly is doing really good," trainer Rodolphe Brisset said. "We saw the filly getting better, I thought, with each race. I don’t think we had the perfect trip in the Bourbonette. Maybe the five-eighths move was a little too soon after going 23 [seconds] flat the first quarter. We were second-best. Since that, the filly’s been working on the dirt very good. She’s definitely a two-turn horse and she’s tactical out of the gate. She’s shown us that the more we’ve run her, and we know that on the dirt it’s a pretty good weapon. Based on the way she’s breezing on the dirt, it’s time to take a shot at it and see what she wants to do."
The Grass is Blue ran fourth and third to her Chad Brown-trained stablemate Search Results in the Gazelle and March 6 Busher Invitational. A stakes winner in the 1 1/8-mile Busanda Jan. 24 to kick off her 3-year-old season, she was beaten two heads when third behind Miss Leslie in the Anne Arundel County. The Grass Is Blue will carry three-time Eclipse Award winner Irad Ortiz Jr. from Post 8.
Willful Woman comes here off an allowance win at Oaklawn on April 9 after finishing 7th in the Honeybee. "She lost it at the break," owner Alex Lieblong said of the Honeybee. "She was looking at something in the infield when they popped the gate and then got flustered when she missed it. It was just one of those deals where we were like, 'Ok. Let’s start over.’ That’s what we did with the allowance. I hated that we missed the series there but it might wind up being one of those deals where it worked out for the best, if you just give them time."

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