With more than an inch of rain in the Louisville area and more coming down Sunday morning, trainer Dale Romans opted to postpone a work for Preakness Stakes (gr. I) contender Cozzetti and instead sent the colt out for a 1 1/2-mile gallop at Churchill Downs after the renovation break under exercise rider Romero Cordache.
“We will see how the track is in the morning and he may work,” said Romans, who won last year’s Preakness with Shackleford .
Cozzetti, a Kentucky-bred son of Cozzene, broke his maiden at Churchill Downs last November and has made his next four starts in stakes company. In his final start at age 2, he finished eighth in the CashCall Futurity (gr. I) at Hollywood Park. He began his 3-year-old campaign with fourth-place finish in the Kitten’s Joy on the turf at Gulfstream prior to running third in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) and fourth in the Arkansas Derby (gr. I). Cozzetti will be ridden by Jose Lezcano in the Preakness.
Gallops were the order of the day for other horses at Churchill Downs and the nearby Trackside Training Center under consideration for the Preakness.
Trainer Bob Baffert’s Bodemeister , winner of the Arkansas Derby and runner-up to I'll Have Another in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), galloped a little more than a mile after the renovation break while stablemate Liaison , sixth in the Kentucky Derby, had a similar activity before the break. Exercise rider George Alvarez was aboard both colts.
Before the renovation break, Hierro, winner of The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (gr. III) April 28 at Churchill Downs, and Isn't He Clever, runner-up to Daddy Nose Best in the Sunland Derby (gr. III) and most recently eighth in the Arkansas Derby, both galloped with regular exercise rider Carlos Rosas partnering both of the Steve Asmussen trainees. Both 3-year-olds may work Monday.
Optimizer, trained by D. Wayne Lukas, galloped before the break under exercise rider Joel Cano. He finished 11th in the Kentucky Derby under Jon Court. Corey Nakatani will have the mount in the Preakness.
At the Trackside Training Center, champion 2-year-old male Hansen galloped 1 ¼ miles under Joel Barrientos for trainer Mike Maker. Hansen finished ninth in the Derby.