Mathea Kelley

Preakness Runners Arrive In Baltimore

Eight contenders fly into Baltimore from Louisville May 18 for Preakness Stakes.

Participants for the May 21 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) began arriving in earnest in Maryland May 18 as two planes from Kentucky unloaded their equine cargo in Baltimore. Before those jets landed, however, Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) third Mucho Macho Man  arrived by van from New York shortly after 10 a.m.

Mucho Macho Man walked the shedrow of the Preakness Stakes Barn several times before settling in to his stall. The Kathy Ritvo trainee worked four furlongs in :49 1/5 at Belmont Park May 17.

Astrology , Dance City, Dialed In , Flashpoint, Mr. Commons, Shackleford , Sway Away, and Midnight Interlude all flew in from Louisville on two planes and arrived in the afternoon. Dance City had an early-morning gallop at Churchill Downs before his flight.

“He’ll have a couple of days to get acclimated to Pimlico, and he seems to acclimate well wherever he goes,” noted trainer Todd Pletcher.

Dialed In, the Derby favorite, also galloped under the Twin Spires before flying to Baltimore. Trainer Nick Zito only has to look back at his Louis Quatorze for inspiration following a disappointing Derby run. That one bounced back from a 16th-place finish to take the 1996 Preakness.

“Some horses don’t get the chance to show how good they are (in the Derby),” said Zito. “Sometimes you just have to throw the race out.”

Flashpoint galloped at Keeneland before his flight. “He did great. He’s been training beautifully and we’re in great shape,” said trainer Wesley Ward.

Midnight Interlude jogged for trainer Bob Baffert before flying to Baltimore from Louisville. “He’s healthy. All systems go,” said Baffert.

Mr. Commons arrived after a trip that began in California May 17 and included an overnight stay in Kentucky, where he jogged before boarding the plane to Baltimore. Shackleford also galloped over the Churchill track before flying.

Derby winner Animal Kingdom , meanwhile, galloped at Fair Hill Training Center the morning of May 18 about 1 3/4 miles. He will be shipped to Pimlico the morning of the Preakness.

“I think he’s super,” said trainer Graham Motion. “I feel very good about where he’s at.”

Concealed Identity breezed three furlongs in :36 1/5 at Bowie Training Center May 18. “He open-galloped and we let him pick it up the last three-eighths,” said Linda Gaudet, wife of trainer Eddie Gaudet.  Norman Asbjornson galloped two miles at Bowie.

Up at Belmont Park in New York,  Isn't He Perfect and King Congie also both galloped the morning of May 18.