Top Three in Derby All Expected for Preakness

(from Pimlico release)
Giacomo, the second biggest upset winner in the 131-year history of the Kentucky Derby, runner-up Closing Argument and third place finisher Afleet Alex could all start in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) May 21 although winning trainer John Shirreffs hasn't committed his son of Holy Bull.

The Derby winner has won the the middle jewel of the Visa Triple Crown three consecutive years and reached the finish line first at historic Old Hilltop six times in the last eight runnings. The top three finishers from last year's Derby also competed two weeks later.

The connections for Closing Argument and Afleet Alex say they intend to go on to Baltimore for the 130th Preakness.

The powerful barn of Nick Zito will be represented, but the conditioner ruled out Andromeda's Hero. Still possible are Derby favorite Bellamy Road, High Fly, Noble Causeway and Sun King.

Other possible starters from yesterday's "Run for the Roses" are Don't Get Mad (fourth), Wilko (sixth), Flower Alley (ninth) and High Limit (20th). D. Wayne Lukas, who has saddled a record 30 Preakness starters, is expected to start either Going Wild, who was 18th yesterday, or A.P. Arrow.

New shooters are likely to include Malibu Moonshine (Tesio Stakes winner), Scrappy T (Withers winner) and Hal's Image (Unbridled Stakes winner). The last non-Derby starter to win the Preakness was Red Bullet in 2000.

The Preakness is limited to 14 starters but there has not been a full field since 1992. However 12 of the last 13 years have produced double-digit starters.

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