Saying “we’re there to win”, co-owner Ronnie Lamarque announced May 7 that Recapturetheglory, who finished fifth to Big Brown in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), is confirmed for $1 million Preakness Stakes (gr. I) May 17 at Pimlico Race Course.
“First of all, we know that we belong,” said Lamarque from New Orleans. “Of the 33,000 horses that were foaled three years ago, twenty of them made it to the Derby and we beat fifteen of them. Big Brown is a bear, but we’re not going to run in it to run second. We’re there to win and we believe it is a speed favoring racetrack. I’ll look at all the other entrants. They don’t scare me at all and I believe our horse definitely belongs and we feel like the Preakness is our kind of race.”
With assistant trainer Lara Van Deren up, Recapturetheglory jogged a mile and galloped a mile before the renovation break May 7 at Churchill Downs. The confirmed frontrunner won the Illinois Derby (gr. II) and has finished in the money six times in seven career starts. E.T. Baird will have the riding assignment.
“Right now he’s doing very, very well,” said Lamarque, who co-owns the son of Cherokee Run with trainer Louis Roussel. “The colt is in Kentucky and in very wonderful hands of Lara. We wouldn’t be considering Baltimore if we didn’t think we had a contender. I don’t want to go with a pretender. I hope everyone who is entering, their horse better be at the top of their game. He looks better today than he did before the Derby. He came out of the race, I thought he would be lethargic. Now we getting ready for the Preakness and I pray to God they know what they getting into. They are going against Big Bad Leroy Brown. We’re ready to go against him. You never know what’s going to go on in the ring because we’re not afraid.”
Lamarque and trainer Roussel are no strangers to the Preakness. They combined to take the 1988 renewal with Risen Star, a horse who finished third in the Derby two weeks earlier.
Recapturetheglory will be leaving Louisville the evening of May 9 and arriving at Pimlico the following morning.
In other Preakness news, trainer Kenny McPeek informed Pimlico racing secretary Georganne Hale this morning that Racecar Rhapsody, fourth in the Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland April 19, is headed to the Preakness. A Kentucky-bred son of Tale of the Cat out of the A.P. Indy mare Reflect the Music, Racecar Rhapsody has compiled a record of 6-1-1-1 with earnings of $148,391. Racecar Rhapsody opened 2008 with a fourth-place finish in the Lane’s End Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park March 22.
“The horse is training really well,” McPeek said. “We kind of feel like we might be running for second money with Big Brown being as impressive as he’s been, but you never know.”
Robby Albarado, who has ridden the colt in six of his starts, will have the mount as he shoots for his second consecutive Preakness victory. He piloted Curlin to victory in last year’s Preakness.
The Preakness starter list now stands at nine: Big Brown; Recapturetheglory; Behindatthebar; Giant Moon; Kentucky Bear; Racecar Rhapsody; Stevil; Tres Borrachos and Yankee Bravo, along with three other potential runners.