Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Goldencents continued to provide encouragement to trainer Doug O'Neill that he is ready to bounce back with a big effort in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) off his 17th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
The son of Into Mischief , who scored an impressive 1 1/4 length-victory over Flashback in the April 6 Santa Anita Derby, turned in a strong gallop at Pimlico Race Course May 14, in which he went faster than a two-minute lick.
"I got him a mile in 1:50," O'Neill said. "He galloped so great; going strong and straight the whole way. He's even better now than he was before the Derby. He keeps continuing to move forward after bouncing out of the Derby unbelievable."
O'Neill has settled in to the same barn he occupied last year with I'll Have Another , bringing 12 horses with him.
"I love it here; it feels like home," O'Neil said.
O'Neill at first thought he might have to work Goldencents.
"I called the stewards when I got here, because back home if you're beaten more than 30 lengths, you have to work, but the stewards said we were OK," O'Neill said.
The reason Goldencents was beaten 49 1/2 lengths in the Derby was because jockey Kevin Krigger, seeing the horse was done and was backing up after tracking the torrid pace set by Palace Malice, wisely decided to wrap up on him after turning for home and almost came to a walk, pretty much coasting home the rest of the way.
Krigger has taken time off from riding in Califorinia to gallop Goldencents up to the Preakness.