Proud Citizen, shown winning the Lexington Stakes.

Proud Citizen, shown winning the Lexington Stakes.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Proud Citizen Breezes Sharp Half at Churchill Downs

Proud Citizen, runner-up to War Emblem in the 128th Kentucky Derby, breezed a half-mile in :47 4/5 at Churchill Downs Sunday in preparation for the May 18 Preakness Stakes.

Lukas had originally scheduled a Monday or Tuesday work for the son of Gone West, but a forecast of rain forced him to move the work up a day.

"At this point in the game it's just a maintenance work anyhow,
we're not really trying to do anything," said Lukas. "But he did do it full of energy. He was hard to pull up -- he wanted to do a little more. But that was plenty.

"He bounced down through the stretch. Stacey (Maker) was well
out of the saddle with a pretty good hold. I even rode up and signaled for her to stay even -- don't be sending him down the road."

As for turning the tables on War emblem, Lukas said "I was just talking to Bob Baffert and he says our numbers are quite a bit better than those other horses, if you believe in the numbers and a lot of guys do. We're at least tighter this time. I think we've got a few more options. I don't like to come out of our style and probably won't, but it gives us more of an option having this one (the Derby) under our belt. We were playing a little bit of catch-up in the Derby. Now we're
tight enough that we can probably do a little bit more in the race -- if we have to. Now we're looking at a horse that's probably pretty fit."