Preakness148: Post Draw, Participants Prepare 

May 15, 2023

National Treasure on the track at historic Pimlico Race Course Monday morning.(Maryland Jockey Club Photo)

Mage ‘Good, Quiet, Relaxed’ Monday Morning at Pimlico

Blazing Sevens Gets Acquainted with Pimlico Surroundings  

National Treasure Gallops Monday Morning for Preakness

Red Route One to Go it Alone for Preakness

Perform Performing Up to McGaughey’s Standards 

Chase the Chaos Slated to Ship Tuesday

David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club

BALTIMORE, Md. – Kentucky Derby (G1) champion Mage stretched his legs while jogging and galloping at Pimlico Race Course` Monday morning in preparation for a highly anticipated start in Saturday’s 148th running of the Preakness Stakes (G1).

The Gustavo Delgado-trained 3-year-old, who went to the track shortly after 8:30 a.m., jogged in the company of a pony once around the mile oval before galloping once around under exercise rider J.J. Delgado.

“He looked good, quiet, relaxed,” said Gustavo Delgado Jr, his father’s assistant. “There were only one, two, three horses on the track the same time he was. He was getting to know the track mainly.”

Mage walking from the track at Pimlico. (Jim McCue/MJC)

Mage, who will be installed as the Preakness favorite following the post-position draw late Friday afternoon, arrived at Pimlico early Sunday morning following a van ride from Churchill Downs.

The son of Good Magic, who is owned by OGMA Investments LLC, Ramiro Restrepo, CMNWLTH and Sterling Racing LLC, rallied from 16th in a field of 18 under a masterful ride by Hall of Famer Javier Castellano to register a length victory in the May 6 Derby while making only his fourth career start. His connections waited until Friday to commit Mage to the Preakness, in which the lightly raced colt will run in the 1 3/16-mile Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown off just two weeks rest. Mage is expected to be the only Derby competitor to be entered in the Preakness.

“Personally, I think he came back from his last race in better shape than his previous race,” Delgado Jr. said.

Just a year ago, Delgado Jr. and Restrepo ventured to the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds-in-training sale at nearby Timonium, MD, where they purchased Mage for $290,000.

“It’s amazing when you look back, but right now I’m just trying to be not too high, not too low, in emotions. We have a big race coming. We just want to focus on the horse and make him the happiest he can be,” Delgado Jr. said. 

Blazing Sevens Gets Acquainted with Pimlico Surroundings

Rodeo Creek Racing LLC’s Blazing Sevens got his first look at the track at Pimlico Race Course Monday as he jogged once around with exercise rider Peter Leiva aboard. 

Blazing Sevens, a son of Good Magic, will run in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes (G1) for trainer Chad Brown, who will be looking for his third win in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. Brown won the race last year with Early Voting and in 2017 with Cloud Computing.

Under the watch of assistant trainer Jose Hernandez, Blazing Sevens went to the track at 7 a.m. Monday.

“Just once around,” Hernandez said. “He liked it out there; he was happy. He went out there, stood a little bit, looked around and was back in about 15 minutes. So far, so good,”

Blazing Sevens walking the legendary Pimlico track. (Jim McCue/MJC)

Blazing Sevens, who will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. in the Preakness, last raced April 8 when he finished third in the Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland. That came after an eighth-place finish in the Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park in his seasonal debut.

In the Blue Grass, Brown equipped Blazing Sevens with blinkers for the first time.

“I liked him with the blinkers,” Brown said. “They are going to stay on him. He grabbed the bridle a little better and was more consistent (in the Blue Grass).”

Hernandez said Blazing Sevens will return to the track at Pimlico Tuesday morning and gallop.

National Treasure Gallops Monday Morning for Preakness Run

Shortly after sunrise, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s National Treasure got a feel for the surface and a look around Pimlico Race Course Monday morning when he went out for his routine daily exercise at 6 a.m.

National Treasure and three other Baffert stakes horses shipped to Baltimore from California Saturday for the 148th Preakness Stakes (G1) and the festival of supporting stakes. As is typically the case, Baffert’s longtime assistant Jimmy Barnes supervised the trip and is managing the operation at the stakes barn at Pimlico. 

“It’s our first day to hit the track,” Barnes said. “We walked yesterday. Just galloped about a mile and quarter.”

Barnes said that the horses left Baffert’s barn at Santa Anita at 3 a.m. and were flown from Los Angeles to Newark, N.J. The final leg to Pimlico was a four-hour van ride. 

“That’s why we came on Saturday because it’s a long ship,” he said. “It all went smooth and we’re looking forward to Saturday.”

National Treasure, a son of Quality Road, 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 last race, he was fourth in the Santa Anita Derby (G1).

Red Route One to Go it Alone for Preakness 

Red Route One will be the sole representative for owner Ron Winchell and trainer Steve Asmussen in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course, with stablemate Disarm now pointing toward Saratoga’s Travers Stakes.

Red Route One earned a fees-paid spot in the 1 3/16-mile Preakness by virtue of winning Oaklawn Park’s $200,000 Bath House Row Stakes for his first stakes victory. Joel Rosario, who rode Red Route One last year in his racing debut on turf and then again in the Bath House Row, will be back aboard. Rosario has never won the Preakness, finishing second four times, including his runner-up finish aboard favored Epicenter for Winchell and Asmussen last year.

A son of the Asmussen-trained, Winchell co-owned 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner, Red Route One was third at 59-1 odds in last fall’s Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland won by eventual Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and 2-year-old champion Forte. It was Red Route One’s first dirt start after two grass races, including a maiden victory at Kentucky Downs, the all-turf course in which Winchell is co-managing partner.

Red Route One in a work at Oaklawn in late March. (Coady Photography)

This year, he closed from well back to take second in both Oaklawn Park’s Southwest (G3) and Rebel (G2). He broke slowly and finishing sixth in the Arkansas Derby (G1) to thwart his Kentucky Derby aspirations and reroute him to the 1 1/8-mile Bath House Row Stakes.

“Red Route One is a horse that ran decent in the preps leading up to the Kentucky Derby until the Arkansas Derby,” Asmussen said. “That didn’t go his way that day. He rebounded with a nice win in the ‘win-and-you’re-in’ Bath House. He is a horse that will appreciate more ground, (but) we’re very concerned about the lack of pace that is obvious in the Preakness.”

The stable’s Pimlico-bound horses are scheduled to leave Louisville early Tuesday morning.

The final decision was made Monday morning to give Disarm, who would have been making his fourth start in eight weeks, more time before his next race.

“Just like him being fourth in the Derby, we’re close to where we want to be but not there yet,” Asmussen said.

Also at Churchill Downs Monday morning, First Mission, who won the Stonestreet Lexington Stakes (G3) at Keeneland last time out, jogged once around the track on his first morning back training after working five-eighths of a mile Saturday in a lively 59.20 seconds in preparation for the Preakness. First Mission and trainer Brad Cox’s other horses headed to Baltimore for Preakness Weekend stakes were scheduled to leave Churchill Downs at 9 a.m. Monday.

Perform Performing Up to McGaughey’s Standards 

Perform continues to perform the way Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey wants the 3-year-old colt to as he heads into the 148th running of Saturday’s Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course.

Owned by Woodford Racing LLC, Lanes End Farm, Phipps Stable, Ken Langone and Edward J. Hudson Jr., Perform is scheduled to leave McGaughey’s barn at Belmont Park Tuesday morning at 8 and van to Baltimore. McGaughey will arrive on Wednesday.

Perform had his final Preakness breeze on Sunday, working a half-mile in 48.09 seconds, the second-fastest clocking of 42 works at the distance.

Perform winning the Federico Tesio April 15 giving him an automatic birth in the Preakness. (Jim McCue/MJC)

“I thought his work was excellent,” McGaughey said. “I thought it was the best I had ever seen him go. His work last Sunday (five furlongs in 1:00.56) was good, but this one was better.”

The son of Good Magic will be making his graded-stakes debut in the Preakness. In his last start, he overcame a stumble at the break and made up 10 lengths to win Laurel’s Federico Tesio Stakes on April 15 by a head under jockey Feargal Lynch.

That was the first time Lynch, a Maryland veteran, was aboard Perform. He will ride the horse back in the Preakness.

When asked if he thought the game Tesio performance, a Preakness win-and-in event, was a confidence builder for Perform, McGaughey chuckled.

“I don’t know about the horse, but it made me feel like he overcame a lot and still won,” he said.  “He had to wind his way through those horses and ate the dirt. I think that all kind of contributed to why we are going there.”

Perform has two wins in seven career starts along with a second- and third-place finish. In three starts this year, he has two wins. He was supplemented to the Preakness for a fee of $150,000.

Chase the Chaos Slated to Ship Tuesday

Bill Dory and Adam Ference’s Preakness Stakes (G1) candidate Chase the Chaos came out of his final timed work in good shape, trainer Ed Moger Jr. said and will ship from Northern California to Baltimore on Tuesday.

Chase the Chaos winning the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields for an automatic berth in the Preakness. (Vassar Photography)

Chase the Chaos worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 on Friday, walked Saturday and went back to the track Sunday.

“He couldn’t be better,” Moger said.

Chase the Chaos earned a fees-paid berth in the Preakness with his victory in the El Camino Real Derby on Feb. 11. Moger said the gelding will leave his barn at Golden Gate Fields near San Francisco at 5 a.m. Tuesday for a flight to Newark, N.J.  He will compete the journey to historic Pimlico Race Course with a van ride.

@jonathanstettin great wrap up to the weekend. Had a $20 double to close SA with your picks!

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