Calumet Farm's Hence at Churchill Downs

Calumet Farm's Hence at Churchill Downs

Coady Photography

Hence Likely to Join Lookin at Lee in Preakness

Trainer Steve Asmussen said Sunland Derby winner is a probable starter.

The field for the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course May 20 continues to take shape.

The Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner Always Dreaming is scheduled to arrive in Baltimore the morning of May 9 and trainer Todd Pletcher expects to be at Pimlico May 10.

Pletcher said Sumaya U.S. Stable's Rebel Stakes (G2) winner Malagacy will not contest the second leg of the Triple Crown. The seven-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer is sending a strong contingent to Baltimore, including Moana for the May 19 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2), Hegde Fund for the LARC Sir Barton Stakes, Clipthecouponannie for the Skipat Stakes, possibly Madefromlucky  for the Pimlico Special (G3), and Bode's Dream and/or Nonna Bella for the Adena Springs Miss Preakness (G3).

Trainer Steve Asmussen said May 8 at Churchill Downs he is "expecting to go" to the Preakness with Derby runner-up Lookin At Lee and that Derby 11th-place finisher Hence is a "probable" candidate.

"I'm just very happy with the way (Lookin At Lee) came out of the race. We'll give him another day off, just walk the shed, and we'll go to the track on our normal schedule," Asmussen said. "He'll probably have one easy (half-mile workout) before we head up there."

Lookin At Lee is expected to fly out May 17. Before the Derby, Asmussen said the spacing of races appeared to be a key for Sunland Derby (G3) winner Hence, who puts a lot into his daily training. 

"(Hence) came out of the race really well. He didn't run hard enough to be tired, I know that. (The two-week spacing between classic races is) not necessarily ideal, but if he didn't run hard, (more time) wouldn't be as required," Asmussen said.

"He was pretty overwhelmed, I think, just by the kickback and stuff. He never leveled off, definitely came out of it feeling good. So I don't think he ran hard. Off a hard race, spacing is required. But off an easy one, it's more like a work."

Trainer Brendan Walsh termed American Equistock's Multiplier "a strong possibility" for the Preakness after the Illinois Derby (G3) winner worked an easy half-mile in :50 3/5 at Keeneland Monday. Walsh was in the saddle for the move. The Keeneland clockers caught Multiplier galloping out to five furlongs in 1:03 3/5 after breezing in company with Golden Domer.

"He's not a great work horse, but he worked good and we're happy with him." Walsh said. "We are pointing there (the Preakness) right now, I think. If everything is well in the next week or so, there's a strong possibility we will run." 

The work was the first for Multiplier since he won the Illinois Derby April 22 by a head over Hedge Fund, covering 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.98. Walsh said Multiplier may work again Sunday and probably ship to Pimlico next week.

Fern Circle Stables' Preakness candidate Senior Investment worked five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 under exercise rider Danny Ramsey Monday at Keeneland. It was the fastest of 18 works at the distance, with the clockers getting a gallop-out time of 1:13 4/5 for six furlongs.

"He worked super," trainer Kenny McPeek said. "He's pretty consistent. We didn't do anything special, but he's on his game right now. We're going to work him again next Sunday and then work on travel plans.

"It was a maintenance breeze. I told (Ramsey) to break him off, sit still, and let him do his own thing down the lane. He pretty much hit :12 (per eighth-mile) the whole way."

The Stonestreet Lexington Stakes (G3) winner will remain at Keeneland until flying to Baltimore, according to McPeek. Channing Hill has the mount.

Jerry and Ann Moss' Royal Mo, the Santa Anita Derby (G1) third-place finisher excluded from the Kentucky Derby because of the points-system tiebreaker used to determine the 20th horse to get in the field, had a walk day after working five furlongs 1:05 Sunday at Churchill for trainer John Shirreffs. He is scheduled to fly to Baltimore Tuesday morning.