Early Voting Set for Preakness; Zandon Decision Pending
BALTIMORE, Md. – Trainer Chad Brown has not decided whether he will have one or two runners in the 147th Preakness (G1) on May 21 at Pimlico Race Course. Klaravich Stables’ Early Voting (Gun Runner) is on course for the 1 3/16-mile Preakness, while Brown said that he is still considering a run with Zandon (Upstart), who was third in last Saturday’s Kentucky Derby (G1).
Zandon arrived at Brown’s barn at Belmont Park from Louisville, Ky. on Tuesday. The four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer said he will watch the horse on the track this week before deciding over the weekend whether to enter the Preakness.
Brown and owner Seth Klarman opted not to run Early Voting in the Derby and to point him to the Preakness, the race they won in 2017 with Cloud Computing. Early Voting won the Feb. 5 Withers (G3) and was second by a neck to Mo Donegal in the April 9 Wood Memorial (G2) to stamp himself as a Triple Crown series-caliber runner.
“He’s doing fine,” Brown said. “He’s going to have his final work over the weekend and then we’ll head to Baltimore sometime early in the week.”
Jose Ortiz will ride Early Voting in the Preakness.
Brown is using the same approach with Early Voting that worked with Cloud Computing: skipping the Derby and making the Preakness the fourth career start for colts with graded-stakes experience.
“They are very similar,” Brown said. “Lightly raced coming out of the Wood. They have spacing. The same owner. They have similar running styles. Early Voting has shown a little bit more speed and will be close up front. Cloud Computing wasn’t far away in the Preakness.”
Zandon’s Pre-Derby Works
|Payson Park Training Center||4/1/2022||Dirt||4F||48.60||Breezing||3/60|
|Payson Park Training Center||3/26/2022||Dirt||4F||48.80||Breezing||6/63|
|Payson Park Training Center||3/19/2022||Dirt||4F||48.80||Breezing||3/39|
|Payson Park Training Center||3/12/2022||Dirt||4F||48.40||Breezing||2/44|
Early Voting’s Works
|Belmont Park||4/23/2022||Dirt training||4F||49.92||Breezing||44/119|
|Belmont Park||4/2/2022||Dirt training||4F||48.63||Breezing||18/196|
|Belmont Park||3/26/2022||Dirt training||5F||1:00.42||Breezing||7/54|
|Belmont Park||3/18/2022||Dirt training||4F||48.47||Breezing||26/136|
Creative Minister Resumes Training
Creative Minister (Creative Cause), an impressive allowance winner on the Kentucky Derby (G1) undercard, went back to the track in preparation for a start in the May 21 Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course. Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr., seeking his first victory in a Triple Crown race, has the mount.
“He galloped, his first day back from running,” said Greg Geier, who oversees trainer Kenny McPeek’s Churchill Downs operation. “He looked good.”
McPeek confirmed Creative Minister is Preakness-bound late Tuesday afternoon. The gray son of 2012 Preakness third-place finisher Creative Cause debuted at Gulfstream Park on March 5, finishing second by a neck. Creative Minister then reeled off victories at 1 1/16 miles in a Keeneland maiden race in the slop and in the Derby Day allowance.
“He’s been a really late-developing colt,” said McPeek, who won the 2020 Preakness with the filly Swiss Skydiver. “Last year as a 2-year-old, he had development issues, just needed more time. We kept giving him more time, and he didn’t make the races until early March. But he’s really shown composure and talent. You don’t get many opportunities for these things. His race Saturday was ultra-impressive. Somebody said that on the Equibase figures that he got a faster figure than the Derby, so we’re going to try him.”
Fern Circle Stables and Back Racing LLC’s Creative Minister was awarded a 108 Equibase speed figure, while Rich Strike’s upset received a 106 in the 1 ¼-mile Derby.
McPeek said Smile Happy (Runhappy) and Rattle N Roll (Connect) are under consideration but the colts will not compete against each other, with both owned by Lucky 7 Stable. Rattle N Roll was entered in the Derby but did not get in off the also-eligible list. It is more likely that Rattle N Roll will run in the Preakness with Smile Happy having run in the Derby with an 8th place finish.
Creative Minister’s Works
Smile Happy’s Pre-Derby Works
Rattle N Roll’s Works
Un Ojo ‘Right on Track’ for Preakness
Cypress Creek Equine LLC’s Un Ojo (Laoban) jogged two miles Wednesday at Churchill Downs under Clay Courville, assistant to his dad, trainer Ricky Courville. The one-eyed winner of Oaklawn Park’s Rebel (G2) at 75-1 odds finished eighth with a troubled trip in the Arkansas Derby (G1). Un Ojo was withdrawn from the Kentucky Derby on the morning of entries with a minor foot bruise, from which he has rebounded to the point that the Preakness is the goal.
“My dad and I decided just to let him jog today,” Clay Courville said. “I’ll see how high he is in the morning when I get here (as far as what they do Thursday). We’re going to take it light on him until Saturday, when he breezes. He’s going good, jogged perfect for me this morning. He’s happy, that’s for sure. We’re on the right track.”
As was the case before the Derby, jockey Colby Hernandez will work Un Ojo, with Ramon Vazquez scheduled to ride in the Preakness.
Un Ojo’s Pre-Derby Works (no other works were listed on Equibase)
|The Training Center At Copper Crowne||4/16/2022||Dirt||5F||1:03.15||Breezing||2/8|
|The Training Center At Copper Crowne||3/19/2022||Dirt||5F||1:03.00||Breezing||1/6|
Skippylongstocking, Son of a Preakness Winner
At Palm Meadows, Gulfstream Park’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County, Daniel Alonso’s Skippylongstocking galloped for a planned start in the Preakness.
“He’ll work Friday or Saturday before shipping,” trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. said.
Junior Alvarado has the return mount aboard the son of 2016 Preakness winner Exaggerator, who finished third in the April 9 Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct.
Skippylongstocking’s Latest Works
|Palm Meadows Training Center||5/7/2022||Dirt||5F||1:01.30||Breezing||3/8|
|Palm Meadows Training Center||4/30/2022||Dirt||4F||48.50||Breezing||5/40|
|Palm Meadows Training Center||4/2/2022||Dirt||5F||1:00.40||Breezing||2/13|
|Palm Meadows Training Center||3/26/2022||Dirt||3F||35.05||Breezing||1/55|
|Palm Meadows Training Center||3/19/2022||Dirt||5F||59.40||Breezing||2/17|
|Palm Meadows Training Center||3/12/2022||Dirt||3F||36.10||Breezing||12/55|
Sanchez-Salomon considering for stakes-winner Shake Em Loose
Owner-trainer Rudy Sanchez-Salomon is still thinking Preakness for J R Sanchez Racing Stable’s claimer-turned-multiple stakes winner Shake Em Loose, who breezed 5 furlongs Tuesday over the main track in 59.60 at his home base of Laurel Park.
“He was very impressive today. He went a half-mile in 47 [seconds] and galloped out five-eighths in 59 and three,” Sanchez-Salomon said. “Very impressive.”
Sanchez-Salomon said he wants to see how the Preakness field develops before making a decision. He is also considering the $100,000 James W. Murphy for 3-year-olds going a mile on the grass on the Preakness undercard for Shake Em Loose.
“I haven’t decided yet. I don’t know who’s coming or who’s not. I’m thinking about going to the Preakness, but I’m still on the fence,” he said. “I don’t want to break his heart. He breezed unbelievable today and everybody was happy about it, but I’m still going to give him one more breeze Sunday on the grass and I’ll make my mind up then.”
In 11 lifetime starts, Shake Em Loose has raced once on the grass last fall for his previous connections, finishing 11th following a troubled start. Sanchez-Salomon worked him five furlongs over Laurel’s world-class turf course May 1.
“He really impressed me when he worked on the grass the other day,” he said. “I just want to keep him sound and happy.”
Sanchez-Salomon claimed Shake Em Loose for $16,000 last November and the gelded son of Grade 1 winner Shakin It Up has since won three of five races, all at Laurel, including the 2021 Heft at odds of 59-1 and the 1 1/16-mile Private Terms March 19. Following the race, he was nominated to the Triple Crown by the late deadline for $6,000.
In his most recent start, Shake Em Loose ran third in the 1 1/8-mile Federico Tesio April 16, five lengths behind Joe and Mr Jefferson, who were separated by a nose. Joe was taken out of Preakness consideration this week and will instead be pointed to the Murphy.
“He was good going into the last race and he just had some bad luck, but that’s horse racing,” Sanchez-Salomon said. “We’re happy with him.”
Shake Em Loose’s Works
Tiz the Bomb (Hit It A Bomb) will go back to the turf after finishing ninth in the Derby, the trainer said. Tiz the Bomb easily handled the Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike twice at Turfway Park while winning the John Battaglia Memorial and the $600,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3).
“I think the Derby winner just loved Churchill,” McPeek said of Rich Strike, whose only prior victory came by 17 lengths in the Churchill Downs $30,000 maiden-claiming race from which trainer Eric Reed claimed him for owner Rick Dawson. “He’s run two huge races here. There are horses like that.”
Trainer Kelly Breen said Monday that his graded stakes-placed colt In Due Time is not a candidate for the 147th Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 21. The son of Not This Time was second to Simplification in the Fountain of Youth (G2) on March 5 at Gulfstream Park. In is most recent start, he was third as the 8-5 favorite in the Lexington (G3) on April 16 at Keeneland.
Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Taiba (Gun Runner), 12th as the Derby second choice, is out of Preakness consideration. Trainer Tim Yakteen said via text that Taiba and stablemate Messier (Empire Maker), 15th in the Derby, would head back to California. “They came back in good shape. We will regroup and come up with a campaign,” he said.
Joe (Declaration of War) and Blackadder (Quality Road), colts who earned automatic entry berths with victories earlier this year, will not run in the Preakness.
Trainer Michael Trombetta said Monday that Joe, the Elkstone Group’s homebred, will be nominated for the James W. Murphy Stakes on the Preakness Day program. Joe, a Maryland-bred son of Declaration of War, won the Federico Tesio April 16 at Laurel Park for his fourth victory in six career starts.
Blackadder, winner of the ‘Win and In’ El Camino Real Derby Feb. 12 at Golden Gate Fields, was sold after his ninth-place finish in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes April 9. His new trainer, Christophe Clement, said the Quality Road colt is not being considered for the Preakness.
Maryland Jockey Club Press Release/Edited by Maribeth Kalinich