Thursday's Preakness Notes: Funny Cide to Arrive Saturday Morning

The question du jour is when Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide will arrive at Pimlico. Trainer Barclay Tagg, contacted around noon on Thursday, confirmed that early Saturday morning is the most likely time.

As for the horse, Funny Cide was on the Belmont track this morning under the care of assistant trainer Robin Smullen, and Tagg reported that everything went smoothly with no serious further work scheduled prior to the race.

At Thursday's Alibi Breakfast, a long-standing Pimlico tradition, Jack Knowlton once again expressed his excitement at winning the Derby for the "little man." Knowlton is the managing partner for Sackatoga Stable, owner of Funny Cide. The syndicate is made up of five men from upstate New York who pooled together $75,000 and wound up with a Kentucky Derby winner.

Thursday's Preakness roundup:

CHEROKEE'S BOY – The Maryland-bred, who is a perfect three-for-three at Pimlico, jogged a mile at his Bowie Training Center home before 8 a.m. Thursday. Trainer Gary Capuano then pronounced the son of Citidancer, owned by ZWP Stable, done for the day.

"He's done everything we have asked of him in his workouts and exercise sessions," Capuano said. "He's coming into the race with all systems go. He will have to move forward to be in contention, but that's what horses do. They either move forward or backward because we are not taking about machines."

Cherokee's Boy and regular rider Ryan Fogelsonger will break from post one in the 128th running of the $1,000,000 Preakness Stakes.

"Our perfect post would have been the three- hole, but we are happy with number one because speed horses have a little advantage on the inside."

FOUFA'S WARRIOR – The son of Jade Hunter will do battle in his home state Saturday, hunting for the first Preakness victory by a Maryland-bred in two decades. The gelding, owned by Sondra Bender and trained by Lawrence Murray schooled in the gate at Laurel Park Thursday before galloping a mile and a quarter.

"Everything is going according to plan," Murray said. "The horse continues to be healthy and happy, and coming into a race like this I couldn't ask for anything more."

Foufa's Warrior will break from post three in the 10 horse Preakness field and has been installed as a 20-1 long shot by Pimlico's oddsmaker Frank Carulli.

"That's just fine with me," Murray said. "When you're 20-1 there's not nearly the same amount of pressure as when you are starting the favorite. A little pressure in a race like this is normal and can be good thing, but you can't get too involved in all the hype."

Ramon Dominguez has the mount. It will be his third straight ride in quest of racing's middle jewel of the Triple Crown.

KISSIN SAINT– The Kissin Kris colt arrived at Pimlico from Belmont Park at 8:30 a.m. Thursday. "Everything went well," trainer Lisa Lewis said of the four-and-a-half-hour van ride. "It was an uneventful trip."

Kissin Saint, 20-1 on the morning line, comes off a third beaten eight lengths in the April 12 Wood Memorial (Gr. I) at Aqueduct. The bay colt has thrived over the ensuing five weeks. "As long as he keeps doing well, I'm doing well," Lewis said.

Ten females have saddled horses in the Preakness. Lewis will become the 11th to saddle a Preakness starter, although her mother, Penny Lewis, finished ninth with Hegar in 1993. This is Pedersen's second starter in the race; she finished fifth with Griffinite in 2001. The best result by women trainers were Nancy Alberts, second with Magic Weisner in 2002, and Shelley Riley, third with Casual Lies in 1992.

MIDWAY ROAD–The somewhat overlooked stablemate of probable Pimlico Special favorite, Mineshaft, was on the track for a gallop. The exercise rider reported to trainer Neil Howard: "He was great...and strong"

Midway Road will be back on the track both Friday and Saturday mornings prior to the race, according to the trainer whose only other Preakness starter, Summer Squall, reported home a winner in 1990.

As for a Preakness track coming up off,, trainer Howard remarked: "He'd love it."

NEW YORK HERO – The Jennifer Pedersen trained Maryland-bred is due to arrive at Old Hilltop this afternoon.

"He's training terrific, " said the very pleased conditioner. "He galloped real strong [at Aqueduct] this morning. We'll see you later this afternoon at Pimlico."

New York Hero finished fifth in the Withers (Gr. III) and fourth in the Wood Memorial (Gr. I).

PEACE RULES – The Derby third-place finisher was en route from Belmont Park to Pimlico with arrival time approximately 3:30 p.m. Thursday, according to trainer Bobby Frankel.

Frankel said he had no qualms with the No. 7 post-position. "It's fine," he said. "The post isn't a big deal."

The No. 7 post has produced 11 Preakness winners, most recently Silver Charm in 1997.

Frankel has had two previous Preakness starters: Medaglia D'Oro, 8th in 2002, and Native Guest, 7th in 1975.

His jockey Edgar Prado has won 14 Pimlico riding titles.

SCRIMSHAW/TEN CENTS A SHINE –-The two D. Wayne Lukas trained hopefuls were out early, as is the conditioner's custom.

Ten Cents A Shine was first on the track for a gallop at approximately 5:30 a.m., and Lukas commented that the workout was great after the horse jogged around the historic Old Hilltop oval. About an hour later, Scrimshaw was sent for a similar gallop and Lukas expressed equal satisfaction with the work.

Ten Cents A Shine, now to be ridden by Jerry Bailey for Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, will break from the fifth post position and is listed at 15-1 by track oddsmaker Frank Carulli.

Scrimshaw, under two-time Preakness winner Gary Stevens, will break from the No. 2 post and races coupled with the Bob Baffert-trained, Senor Swinger –

Bob and Beverly Lewis own both. The interesting entry of normal rivals Lukas and Baffert is put at 5-1 on the morning line, but may attract special attention from the expected huge crowd due to the unusual circumstances of getting one bet on two trainers who have accounted for six of the last nine Preakness winners.

SENOR SWINGER –Owned by Beverly and Robert Lewis and trained by Bob Baffert, this gray/roan colt has the same color and connections as the 1997 Preakness winner Silver Charm.

"Other than those similarities, you can't make many other comparisons between those two horses," Baffert said. "It's always hard to compare any two horses. They are all individuals with different traits and personalities."

After working five-eighths of a mile in 1:00 2/5 Monday at Churchill Downs and arriving at Pimlico on Wednesday, Senor Swinger got his first look at Pimlico's track Thursday morning when he galloped more than a mile.

"The horse is doing fine and we're having fun," Baffert said. "I always have fun. That's why I train horses."

And on the subject of a wet weather forecast for the Preakness, Baffert had no concerns. "Last year it rained a lot on Preakness day and the track here (Pimlico) was great," Baffert said. "I love the track here. Instead of Eclipse Awards for the media, they should give an Eclipse Award to the track superintendent here."

Senor Swinger will break from post 10 and has the services of five-time Preakness winner Pat Day.

"I said to Pat (Day), if you will ride him, I'll run him," Baffert said. And when he said yes, I gained a lot of confidence in my Preakness horse. And the post-position really isn't that important. We want to stay out of trouble early and come after the leaders late."