Justify Continues Triple Crown Bid at Pimlico for Preakness
Justify was a most impressive winner of the 144th Kentucky Derby, and he’ll head to Pimlico for the Preakness Stakes May 19. The Preakness field won’t have the star power of the Kentucky Derby, and most of the better horses are skipping the Preakness with a few considering a shot at Justify again in the Belmont Stakes.
Here’s a look at some of the Derby runners and other 3-year-olds that could end up racing in the Preakness and other plans in the months ahead.
- Good Magic, who ran a good but futile second in the Derby, is on the fence for the Preakness. Trainer Chad Brown knows his sire Curlin won the Preakness after finishing 3rd in the 2007 Kentucky Derby, but chances are Good Magic will pass on the Preakness.
- Trainer D. Wayne Lukas likes the Preakness and is expected to take Bravazo, who finished sixth in the Derby, and Sporting Chance to Baltimore for the Preakness.
- Quip, who qualified for the Kentucky Derby but whose trainer Rodolphe Brisset believed he needed more time, is now scheduled to run in the Preakness Stakes.
- Diamond King, who won the Federico Tesio Stakes at Laurel, is also possible for the Preakness.
- Trainer Todd Pletcher hates running in the Preakness on short turnaround with his Derby runners, unless he has a Kentucky Derby winner. That means Audible (3rd in the Derby), Magnum Moon, Noble Indy and Vino Rosso are out at Pimlico. Vino Rosso will run in the Belmont Stakes and Magnum Moon is out of training for at least a few months.
- My Boy Jack, a fast-closing 5th in the Kentucky Derby, is headed back to Santa Anita following three tough races in six weeks. The Belmont Stakes is on trainer Keith Desormeaux radar.
- Hofburg is likely out of the Preakness, and trainer Bill Mott says he ‘naturally’ has to think about the Belmont Stakes. Look for Hofburg to make a run in the 1 ½ mile Belmont.
- Solomini, another Baffert runner in the Derby, is also being ticketed for the Belmont.
- Instilled Regard was a surprising 4th in the Derby at 95-1 odds with top young jockey Drayden Van Dyke aboard. The horse is headed to Taylor Made Farm for a 30-day freshening, and may be slated for the Haskell and Travers.
- Bolt d’ Oro is also headed back to Santa Anita, ending his Triple Crown run. Trainer Mick Ruis has set the Pacific Classic at Del Mar as his goal.
- Enticed is out of the Preakness, and is being pointed towards the Travers by trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. The Belmont Stakes is still a possibility.
- No word from trainer Dale Romans on plans for Promises Fulfilled and Free Drop Billy.
- Canadian-bred Flameaway may be headed to Woodbine, where he’ll make a start before running in the Queen’s Plate for trainer Mark Casse.
- UAE Derby winner Mendelssohn was a major disappointment in the Kentucky Derby, but he suffered a troubled trip and was bumped and squeezed early in the race. He’s returned to Ireland but will be back to Churchill Downs in November for the Breeders’ Cup Classic if his connections continue to see progress.
Skipping the Preakness after the Kentucky Derby is hardly rare, as trainers often are hesitant to send their horses out only two weeks after a major race or have plans to point them toward other races down the line. Of the 29 Preakness entries over the past three years, only 12 ran in the Kentucky Derby. Nevertheless, only four horses have won the Preakness having not run in the Kentucky Derby over the past 34 years.