Low Blood Count Knocks Alysweep Out of Preakness

Gotham winner Alysweep, who is coming off a second-place finish in the Withers Stakes, has been withdrawn from the Preakness Stakes due to a low blood count, trainer Patrick Reynolds said Tuesday.

The defection of Alysweep brings the number of prospective Preakness starters down to 11, with Bob Baffert still contemplating whether to run During in the Preakness or the Sir Barton Stakes run the same day.

Although Pimlico officials said Tuesday that Derby winner Funny Cide is scheduled to arrive on Wednesday, trainer Barclay Tagg said no decision has been made, and he'll have to discuss it with assistant trainer Robin Smullen. Funny Cide is expected to take up residence in either Barn 29 or 30, on the backside, instead of in the traditional Derby winner's stall in the Preakness stakes barn on the opposite side of the track.

The first Preakness starter, Midway Road, was expected to arrive Tuesday from Louisville, with the majority of horses arriving Wednesday from Louisville and New York.

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