WinStar Farm’s Super Saver is scheduled to ship to Pimlico Race Course May 12 in advance of a Preakness Stakes (gr. I) that could attract a full field of 14.
Super Saver will remain at Churchill Downs, where he won the May 1 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), before his trip to Maryland.
“It has been fun, but the focus now is moving forward and getting ready for the Preakness,” said trainer Todd Pletcher, who won his first Kentucky Derby. “It is not the time to rest on laurels.”
Super Saver is scheduled to return to the track for a jog May 5. Pletcher is expected to return to Churchill before the end of the week and decide whether Super Saver will work or gallop up to the Preakness.
“I am pleased with the way he is eating and with his energy level,” Pletcher told Pimlico officials. “He is versatile and athletic. I have heard a lot about the trip he got and the trouble some of the others got into. My point is that the tactical speed, agility, and other qualities he possesses helped (jockey) Calvin (Borel) give him a perfect trip. Both deserve credit.”
Pletcher’s other likely Preakness starter, Aikenite , who was second in the Derby Trial Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Apr. 24, galloped 1 1/4 miles under Kevin Willey after the renovation break May 4 and is scheduled to work May 9.
Derby Trial (gr. III) winner Hurricane Ike tuned up for the Preakness with a five-furlong work in 1:00.40 under Borel after the renovation break at Churchill May 4.
“My assistant (Lupillo Alferez) told me that he cooled out good and seems to have come out of it in good order,” trainer John Sadler said.” Our plans are to work him back (May 10), and if that goes well then we’ll run him in the Preakness.”
Borel rode Hurricane Ike in the Derby Trial, but Robby Albarado will pick up the mount in the Preakness.
Dublin, who finished seventh in the Derby, is the only confirmed runner planning to test Super Saver again, though Noble's Promise , who led at the quarter pole before finishing fifth, is possible, according to trainer Ken McPeek.
“He’s a really good horse,” McPeek said. “He always tries hard. He really tried hard the other day but got a little heavy on him the last part of it. He does deserve one more try, and I think that’s what we’re going to do.”
Six other runners who competed in the Derby are under consideration but there has not been a final decision on the status of the Nick Zito duo of Ice Box and Jackson Bend, the Bob Baffert pair Lookin At Lucky and Conveyance, or of Paddy O'Prado and Make Music for Me.
“I’ve talked with (owner Robert) LaPenta, and he said the decision is up to me,” Zito said.
Pleasant Prince, second to Derby runner-up Ice Box in the Florida Derby (gr. I), will work five-furlongs at Keeneland May 9 for trainer Wesley Ward.
Schoolyard Dreams will put in his final Preakness work either May 5 or May 6 at Monmouth Park for trainer Derek Ryan.
Caracortado will work seven-eighths at Santa Anita Park for trainer Mike Machowsky.
Graham Motion has put on hold a scheduled work at Pimlico for Turf Melody. The trainer is now considering the Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park May 8.
A Little Warm, who was second in both the Louisiana Derby and Coolmore Lexington Stakes (both gr. II), and Bushwhacked are battling high temperatures, according to trainers Tony Dutrow and Jonathan Sheppard, respectively. Both have missed three days of training.
Post positions for the Preakness will be drawn May 12 at 5 p.m. EDT in the Turfside Terrace at Pimlico. The event will be televised on HRTV.
Track officials also reported 397 horses have been nominated to 15 stakes to be run Preakness week. Seven stakes, including the featured Black-Eyed Susan, will be offered May 14, while eight will be run on Preakness day.