Rather than take Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner I'll Have Another out to exercise on a wet track the morning of May 15, trainer Doug O’Neill opted to keep Reddam Racing’s star 3-year-old under cover and out of the heavy rain falling at Pimlico Race Course, where he is set to run in the May 19 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
“He’s so fit, he’s doing so well, I just decided to walk all the horses this morning. I’m glad I did,” O’Neill said. “We all enjoy a day off from time to time. They all got a day off and the weather forecast is nice starting tomorrow through the weekend, so we can get right back to normal training tomorrow.”
A few days after winning the Kentucky Derby, I’ll Have Another jogged and galloped on the wet, sealed Pimlico track last week. O’Neill elected to keep it simple the morning of May 15 and cancel training.
“With walking it’s a rest day, where with jogging at least you’re doing some form of exercise,” O’Neill said. “I have no problem galloping on a wet track. It just seemed right. Looking at the weather, we’re going to be fine tomorrow. Why chance a slip or something silly happening? I have three other horses here, too, and we walked the shedrow with all of them.”
O’Neill said jockey Mario Gutierrez would be in Baltimore in the next day or two.
Bodemeister – Zayat Stables and Mike and Tiffany Moreno’s Bodemeister galloped 1 1/2 miles after the morning renovation break over a fast track May 15 at Churchill Downs under exercise rider George Alvarez.
Trainer Bob Baffert said that the Kentucky Derby runner-up would train in the morning before leaving the grounds for a flight to Baltimore. Baffert also is leaving tomorrow morning and will be in Baltimore in time for the post-position draw for the Preakness.
The post-position draw will take place at Pimlico at 6 p.m. (EDT) and will be televised live by HRTV.
Bodemeister will get the return services of jockey Mike Smith.
Daddy Nose Best – Owner Bob Zollars confirmed that Daddy Nose Best, 10th in the Kentucky Derby, walked the shedrow at trainer Steve Asmussen’s barn a day after working a half-mile in :53 over a sloppy track while in Louisville. Asmussen will name a rider later.
Pretension – Trainer Chris Grove confirmed May 15 that Kidwells Petite Stable’s Pretension will run in the Preakness. The colt’s 87-year-old owner, Irving Kidwell, who had medical issues that required a brief stay in a Maryland hospital earlier in the week, gave the go-ahead to Grove.
Pretension, who captured the Canonero II Stakes at Pimlico on May 5, had some light exercise at Bowie Training Center May 15. “We have an indoor area and he just jogged in there, because it was pouring this morning,” Grove said.
Javier Santiago has the return mount aboard Pretension.
Went the Day Well – Team Valor International and Mark Ford’s Went the Day Well galloped 1 1/2 miles on the Tapeta surface at Fair Hills Training Center the morning of May 15.
Trainer Graham Motion plans to ship the son of Proud Citizen from the Elkton, Md., facility to Pimlico after training hours May 16.
John Velazquez will have the return mount aboard Went the Day Well.
Creative Cause – Trainer Mike Harrington sent the Giant's Causeway colt, the fifth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, onto the Cushion track at Betfair Hollywood Park the morning of May 15 for a mile jog and a mile gallop in his final exercise before flying to Maryland May 16.
“Everything’s good,” said Harrington, who will be saddling his first Preakness runner since becoming a full-time trainer in 1993.
Creative Cause is scheduled to arrive at Pimlico sometime around 3 p.m. by van on May 16 following a flight from California that will make a stop in Louisville to pick up the Churchill Downs-based Preakness contenders.
Jockey Joel Rosario will be making his Preakness debut on Creative Cause.
Cozzetti – The Albaugh Family Stables' Cozzetti, who worked a bullet five furlongs in :58 4/5 over a track labeled as muddy May 14, walked the shedrow at trainer Dale Romans’ barn the morning of May 15.
Cozzetti is scheduled to fly to Baltimore May 16, and Romans said that is the only horse from the barn that he is taking to run at Pimlico May 19. He will be ridden by Joe Bravo.
Teeth of the Dog – J.W. Singer LLC’s Teeth of the Dog galloped 1 1/4 miles at Fair Hill Training Center the morning of May 15.
Joe Bravo will ride in the Preakness.
Tiger Walk – Sagamore Farm’s Tiger Walk galloped 1 1/2 miles May 15 at Kevin Plank’s farm in Glyndon, Md. He also stood in the gate wearing blinkers, with which he will be equipped in the Preakness.
Tiger Walk, who will be ridden by Kent Desormeaux in the Preakness, will be shipped to Pimlico early May 19.
Zetterholm – Exercise rider Mario Madrid took the Winter Park Partners’ colt out for jog around Pimlico’s track at 7 a.m. May 15.
“Mario said he felt fine and everything was good,” said Blake Dutrow, assistant to trainer Richard Dutrow. “He cooled out good and he’s a happy horse in this stall.”
Junior Alvarado has the riding assignment.
Optimizer – Bluegrass Hall's Optimizer, 11th in the Kentucky Derby, left Churchill Downs shortly after 4 a.m. May 15 for a van ride to Pimlico for the Preakness. Corey Nakatani has the Preakness mount.
Guyana Star Dweej -- Trainer Doodnauth Shivmangal opted for Belmont’s training track for Guyana Star Dweej’s May 15 exercise regimen after maintenance officials sealed the main track due to the threat of rain that didn’t arrive during training hours.
“He jogged and galloped and had a little two-minute lick,” said Shivmangal, who still hasn’t decided on a rider for the Preakness.