Mage, Forte Among Those Pointing Towards Preakness

Gustavo Delgado Jr., son of and assistant to trainer Gustavo Delgado, said GI Kentucky Derby winner Mage (Good Magic) has shown all the right signs following his victory in Saturday’s race and will run in the GI Preakness S. May 20 as long as everything continues to go well. The colt is expected to jog around the racetrack Tuesday morning.

“He ate up everything, his feed, he’s feeling good,” Delgado Jr. said.

Forte (Violence), the scratched morning-line favorite from the Derby, galloped at Churchill Downs Monday morning in preparation towards an anticipated run in the Preakness S.

“He looked very good,” said Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher. “He galloped a mile and three-eighths very comfortably. Seemed happy like he normally is. He’ll work probably Friday or Saturday.”

Asked if there was any sign left of the bruise that caused his scratch, Pletcher said, “No, I think that’s completely subsided now. Right now, I’d say we’re looking good to breeze for the Preakness. If we’re happy with that, that’s what we’re thinking.”

Of being scratched from the Derby, “I’m mostly disappointed for the Violas and the Repoles and the horse himself,” Pletcher said, referencing owners Vinnie Viola and Mike Repole and their families. “As we know, you’ve got to be good on the one particular day, and there are no makeups. We’ve just got to adjust, move on and focus on trying to prepare him the best we can for the Preakness.”


Trainer Larry Rivelli said via text Monday afternoon that GI Kentucky Derby runner-up Two Phil’s (Hard Spun) has exited his strong performance Saturday in the first leg of the Triple Crown in good order.

“He’s back home and chilling,” reported Rivelli from his home base at Hawthorne Park.

A firm decision has yet to be made regarding a Preakness start.

Another pair yet to make a final call on the Preakness is National Treasure (Quality Road) for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and 10th-place Derby finisher Confidence Game (Candy Ride {Arg}) for trainer Keith Desormeaux.

“He’s tired, as to be expected,” Desormeaux said Monday morning at Churchill Downs. “He’ll go back to the track tomorrow or Wednesday. We’ll see how he does walking this afternoon. If he’s showing some energy, we’ll train tomorrow. If not, we’ll wait until Wednesday. We’ll make a decision by Sunday whether we’re going to Baltimore or not. He’ll tell us.

Godolphin’s First Mission (Street Sense), winner of Keeneland’s GIII Stonestreet Lexington S. in his last start April 15, jogged at Churchill Downs Monday morning also in preparation for the Preakness while resuming training following a five-eighths of a mile workout in 59.80 seconds May 6.

“First Mission is amazing, he looks very good,” said Jorje Abrego, assistant to trainer Brad Cox. “He’s ready. He’ll gallop (Tuesday).”

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