(Edited Press Release)
Recapturetheglory, fifth in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), has had his Preakness Stakes (gr. I) plans derailed by a fever. The son of Cherokee Run is officially out, according to co-owner Ronnie Lamarque, who confirmed the news at 2 p.m. EDT May 10.
“The racehorse comes first,” said Lamarque, who teamed up with co-owner and trainer Louie Roussel to win the Preakness 20 years ago with Risen Star. “He had a slight temperature, plus a slight pulse in his right front toe. For betterment of racing, we are electing to give this horse some time and let him regroup. We are sorry we will not be coming to Baltimore, but I know it is going to be a great race. We are really going to miss the Preakness experience. We felt we had a live chance to turn the tables on Big Brown.”
The news of Recapturetheglory’s fever came in the early morning hours from assistant trainer Lara Van Deren, who was in Louisville with the colt.
“He just wasn’t acting right. He was backing up against the gate in the stall and he never does that. This morning his temperature was over 102.”
With the defection, it appears none of the 19 runners who lost to Big Brown in the Derby will compete in the Preakness. The last time that occurred was 60 years ago with Citation.
Currently, Kentucky Bear is the only Preakness starter on the Pimlico grounds. With trainer Reade Baker watching, the son of Mr. Greely drilled five furlongs in 1:01 over the sloppy Pimlico oval May 10 with Jamie Theriot in the irons. The duo teamed up to finish third in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland April 12.
“I think it was a great work,” said Theriot, who will be aboard in the Preakness. “I think he’s at the top of his game. It’s a great opportunity to get the pleasure to ride the kind of horses like this in this kind of race. It’s a dream come true. You go as a little kid and want to ride in these Triple Crown races and have that opportunity and a great shot of winning them. I think he’s peaking at the right time. I wouldn’t change mounts with anyone.”
At Belmont Park, trainer Todd Pletcher decided not to work Withers Stakes (gr. III) winner Harlem Rocker May 10 due to the weather. The son of Macho Uno is expected to drill May 11, with a Preakness decision made a day or two after. The undefeated colt is owned by Frank Stronach, who also owns Pimlico. Pletcher will saddle Lexington Stakes (gr. II) winner Behindatthebar in the May 17 classic.