Closing Argument, the Successful Appeal colt, who came within a half-length of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) glory, had trainer Kiaran McLaughlin smiling Monday morning after he breezed a half-mile in :49 flat over the main track at Belmont Park in his final preparation for Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I). "He went faster than I thought he would go," McLaughlin said. "Usually he won't work fast on his own, and I thought he'd go in :51 or :52 this morning. But he worked great and came out of it great. We're ready to go." Closing Argument has earned $986,984 for owners Philip and Marcia Cohen and has never been worse than third in eight career starts.
"He's been just amazing," McLaughlin said. "He ran a huge race in the Derby, and since then he hasn't missed an oat. He's just a trier, and he always gives 100 percent." The colt will be vanned to Baltimore from New York on Wednesday morning, and will gallop up to the Preakness. Cornelio Velasquez will be aboard again Saturday.