Friesan Fire

Friesan Fire

Mathea Kelley

Tuesday Work to Determine Friesan Fire Status

Friesan Fire , who grabbed his quarter slightly and suffered several cuts while finishing 18th in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), will ship down to Pimlico next Monday from Delaware Park and will work on Tuesday under jockey Gabriel Saez to determine whether the colt will run in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).


“It’s only an hour trip down and an hour trip back, so we’ll send him down Monday afternoon and work him Tuesday morning and then see where we stand,” trainer Larry Jones said. “He’s not a definite at this point, but he did heal up very fast and he tracked today at Delaware Park. So, we’ll see how he handles the track and what Gabriel says and then make up our mind.”


The morning after the Derby, Jones’ wife Cindy was still trying to figure out how Friesan Fire got a piece of black vet wrap lodged so far up his hoof they had to remove two nails from his shoe in order to pry it out. After first, they thought it was part of the horse’s hoof.


“I talked to Bob Baffert the next day over at Cracker Barrel, and he was telling me how amazed he was that Pioneerof the Nile came back with a hole in his bandage, and he has no idea how he could have gotten that. I asked him, ‘You didn’t have on black bandages did you?’ He said, ‘Yes I did,’ and I told him, ‘Well, I know where it is, it was stuck in my horse’s shoe.’” Pioneerof the Nile got close to having a bad go, but Bob said he wasn’t marked up; he just had a hole in the bandage.”


In other Preakness news, Jerry Hissam, agent for Calvin Borel, said Thursday morning he was unable to comment at this point who Borel will ride in the Preakness. No decision will be made until the status of Rachel Alexandra is determined.


"I hope they go to the Acorn (gr. I) with that mare," said Mine That Bird's trainer Chip Woolley. "I told people that day I'm glad she's not in the Derby. If we do lose Calvin I don't think I'll have a hard time finding a rider."


Starlight Partners' Take the Points, who has turned in two exceptional works, including a bullet breeze in :47 2/5, with the addition of blinkers, will wear blinkers for the first time in the Preakness. Edgar Prado has been named to ride.


"Todd said he's doing fantastic," said Starlight managing partner Jack Wolf. "He'll breeze Saturday or Sunday at Churchill Downs. "He's got the right style and the right rider (Edgar Prado) for Pimlico. He's improved a lot with blinkers and Todd said he's noticed a big difference. It was Alex Solis came up with the idea of blinkers after the Santa Anita Derby. According to his exercise rider he actually came back with a better work the second time even though it wasn't a bullet work."

Baffert said he is training Pioneerof the Nile as if he's running in the Preakness. "I won't know for sure until I see him Sunday or Monday," Baffert said. "Right now everything looks positive."