Mage’s Preakness Status Likely To Be Decided Friday

May 11, 2023

Mage after his victory in the Run for the Roses (Daniella Ricci/Past The Wire)

National Treasure Slated to Breeze Friday at Santa Anita

Chase the Chaos’ Owner Enjoying Pinch-Me Moment

First Mission Schools, Gallops at Churchill

Preakness 148 Notes

BALTIMORE— A final decision on Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Mage’s status for the May 20 Preakness Stakes (G1) at historic Pimlico Race Course is expected to be made Friday, according to Gustavo Delgado Jr, son of and assistant to trainer Gustavo Delgado Sr.

Delgado Jr. said the hesitancy to fully commit to the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown is to make sure Mage is up to running back two weeks after wearing down Two Phil’s to win the Derby by a length. The triumph gave Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano, who, like the Delgados, is from Venezuela, his first Kentucky Derby.

Mage is owned by the Delgados’ OGMA Investments LLC, Ramiro Restrepo, Sterling Racing and the CMNWLTH micro-shares partnership. Each of the four entities own 25 percent, though some have other partners, including the Delgados, the son said. Delgado Jr. said the final decision, which he expects to be made Friday, will be made by his dad.

“Before we make the decision, we’re going to recheck him again with our vet here,” Delgado Jr. said at Churchill Downs. “Make sure everything goes right, that he feels good again. We still have to discuss a couple of things with the partners we have. But pretty much everything seems to be in good order.”

The only reason not to go would be “if he gets sick, if he doesn’t eat well, that sort of thing,” Delgado Jr. said.

Mage post-Derby (Coady Photography)

Mage, who had prepped for the Kentucky Derby with a gutsy second-place finish behind Forte in the April 1 Curlin Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park, had another routine gallop at Churchill Downs Thursday morning.

“A little bit more than a mile and a half,” Delgado Jr. said. “Good tempo. Not too much, not too little. Energy-wise he looks great. We go pretty much with the route he had previous to the race, previous to the Florida Derby. I don’t think we’ll breeze him. It’s more about keeping him happy.

“He’s not a big horse. He’s not a small horse, either. He’s got a good size to him. But we’re of the opinion we can’t do too much for weight maintenance…. He looks great. He doesn’t seem tired at all.”

Delgado Jr. said Mage’s disposition changes once he gets on the track.

“He’s one horse here in the stall, walking the shedrow,” he said. “And it’s another horse when he gets to go to the track. Two different personalities. Like ‘game time.’ On the track you’ll see he’s pretty active. Here, he’s more laid back.”

Mage’s shipping plans may have hinged on whether a Pimlico allowance race for the Delgados’ 3-year-old filly Isabel Alexandra drew sufficient entries when drawn Thursday to be used on Sunday’s card. The race did fill. If Mage continues to show all the right signs, the Florida-based Delgados’ three-horse mini-stable in Louisville likely will ship to Baltimore Saturday, Delgado Jr. said. The third horse is O Captain, who was scheduled to run Thursday evening in a Churchill Downs allowance race.

National Treasure Slated to Breeze Friday at Santa Anita

National Treasure works April 22 (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is scheduled to breeze his Preakness Stakes (G1) prospect National Treasure Friday morning at Santa Anita Park before making the decision concerning the son of Quality Road’s status for the May 20 Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course.

Baffert said Thursday that he will also work other graded-stakes performers nominated to stakes at Pimlico Race Course during Preakness Weekend: Michael Lund Peterson’s unbeaten filly Faiza for the May 19 Black-Eyed Susan (G2); as well as Havnameltdown for the Chick Lang (G3) and Arabian Lion for the Sir Barton on May 20.

Baffert is bidding for his record-breaking eighth victory in the Preakness Stakes. His most recent victory was in 2018 with Triple Crown winner Justify.

National Treasure is owned by SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Robert E. Masterson, Stonestreet Stables LLC, Jay A. Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital LLC and Catherine Donovan. He has one win in five career starts but has three graded-stakes placings. In his most recent start, he was fourth in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 8.

Faiza is perfect after five career starts. On April 8, the 3-year-old daughter of Girvin won the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) by 6 ½ lengths.

Havnameltdown, co-owned by longtime Baffert clients Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, has four wins and two seconds in six career races. The 3-year-old son of Uncaptured, who captured the San Vicente (G2) at Santa Anita, most recently finished second in the Saudi Derby (G3).

Zedan Racing Stables Inc.’s Arabian Lion was most recently second in Keeneland’s Stonestreet Lexington (G3), won by Preakness candidate First Mission.

Chase the Chaos’ Owner Enjoying Pinch-Me Moment

Chase the Chaos victorious in the El Camino Real Derby Feb. 11 at Golden Gate Fields (Vassar Photography)

Nearly 20 years and hundreds of races after purchasing his first horse, Bill Dory is experiencing a pinch-me moment with Chase the Chaos headed to Pimlico Race Course for a run in the Preakness 148 on May 20.

Dory, 68, and his partner Adam Ference live near Edmonton, Alberta and own the Pennsylvania-bred son of Astern, whom they purchased sight unseen for $10,000 as a weanling in 2020. With his victory in the Feb. 11 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields for trainer Ed Moger Jr., Chase the Chaos earned a fees-paid berth in the 148th running of the Preakness, the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown May 20 at Pimlico Race Course.

“I’m lost for words,” Dory said. “This is above and beyond what I ever expected to happen to me in horse racing. Being a small-time owner type of deal, I was hoping to make it to the Canadian Derby at our local track one day. That was my dream. This has surpassed my dreams a thousand-fold.”

Dory entered the sport by claiming a horse whom he said won his first start and was claimed back – a double victory for the rookie owner.

“I thought, ‘this is an easy business,’” he said with a laugh. “Yeah, right. So, I kind of got the bug from there, I’ve had numerous horses and I enjoy the pedigree part a lot.”

Through the years, Dory has since run horses in his own name, with his wife Sandy and in some 30 partnerships, according to Equibase stats. The Dory-Ference team had its first runners in 2020.

At Keeneland’s November Sale they purchased a handful of horses, topped by the $10,000 buys, Chase the Chaos and Readytotapnsing, who have both won stakes.

“We didn’t go to the auction. That was during Covid,” Dory said. “We ended up just talking to a lot of consignors. I had narrowed the field down to about 50 horses that I figured would fit in our price range and what I liked about the breeding and stuff. That’s kind of how we ended up with him. I really like the Medaglia d’Oro (grandsire) and the Uncle Mo (dam sire) portion of it.”

Chase the Chaos started his career in the care of trainer Robertino Diodoro last summer at Canterbury Downs in Minnesota. While Chase the Chaos showed talent, he was difficult to work with and the decision was made to geld him. He ran second in his debut in a race washed off the turf and then broke his maiden going a mile on grass. Dory has used Moger as his trainer for many years and sent Chase the Chaos to him at Golden Gate. Competing on a synthetic surface for the first time, Chase the Chaos finished third in a six-furlong stake, then turned in a strong second in a one-mile, two-turn stake at 65-1. He won a one-mile optional claimer by seven lengths as the heavy favorite and followed that victory with a 1 ½-length score in the El Camino Real Derby.

Dory does most of his racing in Alberta. His home track is Century Mile, which he said is a 15-20-minute drive from his home in Spruce Grove. He and his wife now operate Sublime Stable, an equine rehab and conditioning center.

“I retired and I guess I needed something to do,” Dory said.

The association with Ference began when he and his wife bought the Dorys’ house.

Dory has seen Chase the Chaos run twice, in the El Camino Real and in the San Felipe (G2) on dirt at Santa Anita. Chase the Chaos ended up 16 ¾ lengths behind Practical Move and Dory said that after the race it was determined that he had bled, an exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage. A subsequent poor performance as the favorite in the California Derby tested Dory’s confidence, but he is excited about visiting Baltimore and having a starter in the Preakness Stakes.

“I have never been to a Triple Crown race before because my saying was ‘when I have a horse in it, I’ll go,’” he said. “And now I do. So, I have to go.”

First Mission Schools, Gallops at Churchill

First Mission captures the Lexington (G3) April 15 at Keeneland (JennyPhoto/Past The Wire)

Godolphin’s 3-for-3 First Mission, winner of Keeneland’s Stonestreet Lexington Stakes (G3) in his last start, schooled in the starting gate and galloped at Churchill Downs Thursday in preparation for a planned start in the May 20 Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course.

Trainer Brad Cox is planning to work the son of 2007 Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness runner-up Street Sense on Saturday but is keeping an eye on the weather forecast.

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