There were few surprises in Friday's early wagering on Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Racecourse, with Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense the predictable favorite.
Hard Spun completed his preparations for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) with a quarter-mile blowout under jockey Mario Pino May 16 at Delaware Park.
Street Sense, winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) completed his Preakness preparations Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs. He ships to Pimlico on Wednesday.
Steve Asmussen trainee Curlin, who finished third in the May 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), tuned up for Saturday's 132nd running of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) with an easy half-mile work on Monday at Churchill Downs.
Flying First Class is to run in the $1 million Preakness Stakes (gr. I) in one week at Pimlico Race Course, trainer D. Wayne Lukas confirmed Saturday morning to Maryland officials.
When Street Sense moves on to Pimlico Race Course for the May 19 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), the Carl Nafzger-trained colt is likely to face only a few of the 19 horses he defeated in Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Ellwood W. Johnston's Old English Rancho homebred Flying First Class kicked clear in the stretch and was hard ridden to a 3 3/4-length victory by Mark Guidry to win the $117,800 Derby Trial for 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs Saturday.
Kicking off Churchill Down's spring meet a week before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) is the April 28 Derby Trial Stakes, where a full field of 14 3-year-old males will contend for the title of the $100,000 race. Appearing to head the field is Southwest Stakes winner Teuflesberg.
Curlin, coming off a dazzling maiden debut victory by nearly 13 lengths six weeks ago, was equally impressive Saturday, leaving his field behind while capturing the $300,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Oaklawn Park in his first start for trainer Steve Asmussen.
The Derby trail hits four fronts this weekend, with all eyes on Tampa Bay Downs, Oaklawn Park, Santa Anita, and Sunland Park. Although the races in general are more about potential stars than proven stars, that certainly doesn't apply to the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) which features the match-up of the year, so far.
Teuflesberg and Officer Rocket, the first two finishers in the Southwest Stakes last month, return to Oaklawn Park Saturday for the $300,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds where they will meet spectacular maiden winners Curlin and Flying First Class.
Nobiz Like Shobiz, Great Hunter, Stormello, and Scat Daddy will get most of the headlines in the Fountain of Youth and Robert B. Lewis Stakes (both gr. II), but there is undiscovered talent just waiting to take the Derby trail by storm, including a couple trained by two familiar names
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