Preakness Contenders Get Acquainted With Pimlico

GI Kentucky Derby champion Mage (Good Magic) stretched his legs around Pimlico Race Course Monday morning in preparation for a start in Saturday’s GI Preakness S.

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.”

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

“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,”

Bob Baffert’s National Treasure (Quality Road) got a feel for the surface and a look around when he went out for his routine daily exercise at 6 a.m.

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

Red Route One (Gun Runner), who earned a fees-paid spot by virtue of his win in Oaklawn’s Bath House Row S., will be the sole representative for owner Ron Winchell and trainer Steve Asmussen in Saturday’s Preakness S., with stablemate Disarm (Gun Runner) now pointing toward Saratoga’s GI Travers S.

“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.”

At Churchill Downs Monday morning, First Mission (Street Sense) jogged once around the track on his first morning back training after working five-eighths of a mile Saturday in :59.20 seconds in preparation for the Preakness. First Mission and trainer Brad Cox’s other horses headed to Baltimore for Preakness Weekend were scheduled to leave Churchill Downs at 9 a.m. Monday.

Perform (Good Magic) continues to perform the way trainer Shug McGaughey wants the 3-year-old colt to as he heads into the Preakness. He had his final breeze Sunday, working a half-mile in :48.09 seconds, the second-fastest clocking of 42 works at the distance.

“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.”

Bill Dory and Adam Ference’s Preakness candidate Chase the Chaos (Astern {Aus}) 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 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.

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