(Edited Pimlico press release)
Pleasant Prince worked five furlongs in a brisk :59 May 9 over Keeneland’s synthetic main track, after which owner/breeder Ken Ramsey declared him ready to go in May 15 Preakness (gr. I).
“He galloped out six furlongs in 1:13 3/5,” Ramsey said. “He worked with two stablemates in front of him. He went past both of them before he got to the wire. Julien Leparoux came from Churchill Downs to work him and pronounced him fit for the Preakness.”
The work was the second-best of seven over a fast track, the scene of Pleasant Prince’s disappointing seventh-place finish in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) April 10. Trainer Wesley Ward then sent the colt to the The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (gr. III), in which he needed to finish at least second to amass enough graded-stakes earnings to qualify for the 20-horse Kentucky Derby field. Unfortunately, he could only manage a third-place finish over a muddy track.
Pleasant Prince finished second in the Florida Derby (gr. I), a nose behind eventual Kentucky Derby runner-up, Ice Box .
“It changed the path that we took, and it certainly changed the path that Ice Box took,” Ramsey said. “After Ice Box ran as well as he did (in the Kentucky Derby), and according to the chart he was checked three separate times, he may have well been the best horse had he gotten a clear trip. I think that kind of flatters our horse, because he was in a virtual dead heat in the Florida Derby.”
Pleasant Prince is a 3-year-old son of Indy King.