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Derby winner Mystik Dan in his stall Friday morning

Preakness Friday Photos

Date: 05/17/2024

Friday morning the Preakness horses were out on the track for their final pre-race gallops along with Gun Song who went on to win the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes in the afternoon. During training hours it was in the low 60's and mostly cloudy.

Mystik Dan had what trainer Ken McPeek described as a light gallop Friday morning under former jockey Robby Albarado. "He didn't need anything complicated," McPeek said.
Just Steel went to the track Friday morning for routine exercise. Jockey Joel Rosario will replace Keith Asmussen, who finished 17th with Just Steel in the Derby after attending a hot early pace. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas said, “First of all, what we're doing is we're trading for a little more experience. Joel has been here, rides here, knows the track. We’re trying to take a little edge, trying to improve our position a little bit and get a realistic pace. I don't blame Keith for the Derby. That that was one of those things that happens in races. I feel like Joel will probably put us in a position to maybe win this thing if we’re good enough.”
Seize the Grey went to the track Friday morning for routine exercise. Jaime Torres retains the mount on MyRacehorse’s Seize the Grey, whom he rode to victory in the Pat Day Mile (G2) on May 4.
Catching Freedom went to the racetrack at Pimlico Race Course at 6 a.m. Friday for a routine gallop in preparation for Saturday’s $2 million Preakness Stakes (G1). "He looked very good," said assistant trainer Blake Cox, who has overseen the training of the Louisiana Derby (G2) winner at Pimlico for his dad, trainer Brad Cox.
Tuscan Gold galloped 1 1/4 miles Friday morning at Pimlico, the last time he’ll see the track before going to post in the Preakness Saturday. Tuscan Gold was ridden by exercise rider Janiel Rosado on Friday. Assistant trainer Jose Hernandez said, “He has been handling the track really well. He did fine again today. We didn’t ask him to do anything more than he has been doing. He is just very focused right now. I am really confident going into the race.”
Imagination galloped 1 3/8 miles under exercise rider Humberto Gomez. Trainer Bob Baffert was watching and said, “He looks fine, I really don’t have any excuses for him. He should run well. If he gets out there by himself, I don’t know what he would do and how he would react. I am going to leave it up to Frankie. He’s on his own.”
Uncle Heavy y went out to the track for routine morning exercise Friday. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. will replace Mychel Sanchez, a top rider at Parx, who was up on the colt in his first five races. Trainer Butch Reid Jr. said, “Mikey Sanchez is a fine rider, and he and I are certainly going to keep doing business, but Irad is Irad and he's got the experience in these big situations. I think that was really the difference in making the call.”
Gun Song was bred in Kentucky by Marianne Stribling and sold for $120,000 as a yearling at the Keeneland September sale, and later brought $400,000 from owner Lee Lewis at the OBS March sale of 2-year-olds in training. She was the favorite for the Black-Eyed Susan and won by 3 1/4 lengths.
88 year old Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas watches over his charges Just Steel and Seize the Grey Friday morning. Lukas has won the Preakness 6 times and likes it here better than at the Derby. He said, "The thing here, there is a lot of camaraderie and it’s fun to be here. It seems like a little bit of the tension and intensity of the Kentucky Derby leaves and we come in here and we have a little bit more fun with the whole thing."

Photos courtesy of Amber Chalfin of Downthestretchphotos.com.
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