Nick Zito, trainer of A P Valentine, likely will have to do some last-minute recruiting for a jockey, after it was announced Friday that Dollar Bill will point for the Preakness Stakes, and regular rider Pat Day will be aboard. Zito thought he had secured Day's services, but when Dollar Bill popped into the picture, Day popped out of the picture for A P Valentine.
"I thought we had Pat Day, and now I'm not sure," Zito said. "The horse works Monday morning, and the coach (co-owner Rick Pitino) and I decided to wait until then before we make any decision. We'll make a list of riders we agree on, and then make a decision based on who is available."
A P Valentine had to take up twice in the Kentucky Derby, costing him any chance. He rallied from 14th at the eighth pole to finish seventh, giving Zito a glimmer of hope that perhaps things finally will fall right for the son of A.P. Indy.
John Ward has mapped out Monarchos' training schedule between now and the Preakness. Ward said the Kentucky Derby winner jogged three-quarters Saturday morning before galloping a mile and a half. He timed the colt his last mile in 1:57, and noted he had more bounce to his step than he did Friday. Monarchos' other strong strong gallops will come Monday and Wednesday. On Tuesday, he'll school on the turf course, where he'll be saddled Preakness Day, and school at the gate on Thursday after galloping. If Ward decides the colt needs a little more work, he could give him an easy half-mile breeze one day next week.
Bob Baffert said Point Given and Congaree, fifth and third, respectively, in the Derby, both came out of the race in excellent shape and had good gallops at Churchill Downs Saturday. Baffert plans on working both colts, probably Monday, then ship to Baltimore on Wednesday. Accompanying them will be Mr. John, from Elliott Walden's stable, and Dollar Bill. Walden will bringing five or six horses with him to compete in other races. Mr. John finished second in the Lexington Stakes in his last start, only to be disqualified to eighth for interfering with Distilled shortly after the start. Corey Nakatani, who was aboard the son of Golden Gear in the Lexington, will be back on for the Preakness after being taken off A P Valentine.
Tony Reinstedler, trainer of Percy Hope, said the Lone Star Derby winner will work at Pimlico Sunday. Jon Court, who rode the colt to victory at Lone Star, will be aboard for the work, and will have the mount in the Preakness. Also working on Sunday will be Bay Eagle, who is stabled at Delaware Park. Trainer Graham Motion said the work will determine whether or not the colt runs in the Preakness.