Neil Drysdale arrived in New York Thursday evening to begin Sunday Break's preparation for the the 127th Preakness Stakes. Drysdale said he will not make a decision whether or not to run the son of Forty Niner until he observes him over the next several days and watches him train. All Drysdale would say for now is that the colt is a possibility for the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Sunday Break failed to make it into the Derby field, which is restricted to 20 starters, due to insufficient graded earnings. The Preakness field is limited to 14 horses, but, unlike the Derby, the qualifications are based on lifetime earnings. As of now, Sunday Break's earnings of $185,220 places him 11th among the prospective starters.
D. Wayne Lukas said Proud Citizen will be his only representative in the Preakness. Table Limit will go to Belmont Park and point for the Peter Pan Stakes as a prep for the Belmont, while Withers runner-up Shah Jehan, who was never in consideration for the Preakness, will ship down to Baltimore to run in the six-furlong Hirsch Jacobs Stakes on the Preakness undercard. Lukas said Proud Citizen, second to War Emblem in the Derby, came out of the race in excellent shape. As for the winner, the son of Our Emblem had his first gallop Thursday, and had has been cleaning out his feed tub, according to trainer Bob Baffert, who said they're just "charging his batteries back up."
With U S S Tinosa, who also failed to make it into the Derby field, arriving on Thursday, and Equality scheduled to arrive today, it makes a total of four Preakness horses on the grounds. The other two are the Nick Zito-trained Crimson Hero and Straight Gin, who were the first to arrive earlier in the week. The last time Zito had the Pimlico stakes barn all to himself was in 1996, when he shipped in Louis Quatorze, Star Standard, and Saratoga Dandy immediately after the Kentucky Derby. He then went on to win the Preakness with Louis Quatorze, the Pimlico Special with Star Standard, and the Sir Barton Stakes with Saratoga Dandy.
Graham Motion, trainer of Equality, said the Tampa Bay Derby winner will work either Sunday or Monday, depending on the weather. The forecast calls for wet weather beginning late Sunday and continuing until Wednesday, with temperatures dropping into the 50s.
Activity will not pick up until the two planeloads from Louisville arrive on Wednesday., Included in the shipment are War Emblem, Proud Citizen, Harlan's Holiday, Booklet, and Easyfromthegitgo. Medaglia d'Oro and Sunday Break are training at Belmont, with the former not expected to ship to Baltimore until early Saturday morning
Local favorite Magic Weisner is training at Laurel, and probably won't ship until the morning of the race. The Maryland-bred son oof Ameri Valay worked a sharp six furlongs in 1:14 Friday, the fastest of six works at the distance. California-based Menacing Dennis worked five furlongs in :59 2/5 Thursday and is scheduled to fly to Baltimore Saturday.
Perfect Drift, third in the Kentucky Derby, will not run in the Preakness, according to the Pimlico racing office.