With Funny Cide and Peace Rules stabled in New York, and not expected to ship out for another day or two, Pimlico finally landed their own big two when Bob Baffert and D. Wayne Lukas arrived from Louisville early Wednesday.
Lukas will send out Scrimshaw (11th in the Kentucky Derby) and Ten Cents a Shine (eighth in the Derby), while Baffert will saddle Crown Royal American Turf winner Senor Swinger. Because Senor Swinger and Scrimshaw are owned by Robert and Beverly Lewis, both colts will be coupled in the wagering, giving bettors a rare opportunity to get racing's two most successful classic trainers on one ticket.
"Senor Swinger is still immature," Baffert said, "but he has a lot of talent. I still think he might be better on the turf right now, and he'll have to take a big step forward in the Preakness. The main reason I'm running him is because we got Pat Day to ride him. It's not easy getting Pat, and if I hadn't, I probably wouldn't have run."
Baffert will get to choose third in the post position draw this evening at the ESPN SportsZone.
Lukas is looking for big improvement from both his horses. "Scrimshaw wasn't a dead-fit horse for the Derby," Lukas said. "Then, at the start, he bumped hard with Ten Most Wanted and suffered a hip pointer on top of that. The bumping hampered both horses, and Ten Most Wanted came out of the race with a back problem.
"Ten Cents a Shine, I've been told, ran the fastest final half-mile in the Derby," Lukas said. "He came from way out of, then had to go 10-wide turning for home and was beaten only about seven lengths. "We've been working on this horse's mind, and we still have a ways to go, but he is coming around, and turned in a real sharp work last week. I'm not here to be a cheerleader for Funny Cide; the hell with that."
Ten Cents a Shine drew the first pick, much to the delight of owner Ken Ramsey, while Scrimshaw will pick seventh.
This evening's draw should be interesting, with Peace Rules picking eighth and Funny Cide 10th and last. Although Pimlico is a notoriously bad track for horses caught on the outside going into the clubhouse turn, Baffert recalled drawing the outside post with Real Quiet, who lost ground on both turns, yet still won.
There are currently four Preakness horses on the grounds, with Midway Road shipping in on Tuesday. Kissin Saint, who was supposed to arrive this morning, will leave Belmont at about 4 a.m. tomorrow. As of Wednesday afternoon, Barclay Tagg still hadn't made up his mind when to van down Funny Cide. Peace Rules likely will arrive tomorrow.