With the defection of Empire Maker, Cherokee's Boy, winner of the Federico Tesio Stakes, is now likely to run in the Preakness Stakes, trainer Gary Capuano said Thursday. The addition of Cherokee's Boy brings the probable field to seven.
The morning after the Kentucky Derby, when it appeared that five of the top six finishers from the race would run in the Preakness, Capuano said Cherokee's Boy would run in the $125,000 Sir Barton on the Preakness undercard. But, now, with only two of the top six being considered, Capuano is leaning towards running in the second leg of the Triple Crown.
"It's not definite but we are leaning that way," said Capuano, who saddled Captain Bodgit to a second-place finish in the 1997 Kentucky Derby, and a third, beaten two photos, in that year's Preakness. "The odds are a lot better today than yesterday. I'd say we are 70-30, so we are getting up there. Yesterday I was 98% sure we weren't running."
If Bobby Frankel decides to run Midas Eyes instead of Peace Rules in the Preakness, then Funny Cide will the only Derby starter to have finished on the board in the Run for the Roses.
Owned by Foard Wilgis and Dave Picarello of Baltimore, Cherokee's Boy has won six of 12 career starts, including five stakes victories, with earnings of $414,929. In his last start on April 19, the son of Citidancer romped to an easy win in the $150,000 Tesio Stakes at Pimlico.
"The owners really want to run," added Capuano. "I don't want to be a 100-1 shot hoping for a miracle. But he breezed very well this morning and everything looks good."
If Cherokee's Boy runs, Eclipse Award winning apprentice Ryan Fogelsonger would have the mount.
"Two Baltimore guys own a Maryland-bred with a Maryland trainer and a Maryland jockey. What more could you ask for?" said Wilgis. "The horse is doing really well, so why not? We'll have a lot of fun, that's for sure."