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Monday, May 16, 2005

Preakness Notes - May 16

- Closing Argument had a sharp work of 4f in :49 this morning.

"He went faster than I thought he would go," [trainer Kiaran] McLaughlin said. "Usually he won't work fast on his own, and I thought he'd go in :51 or :52 this morning. But he worked great and came out of it great. We're ready to go."
"He's been just amazing…..He ran a huge race in the Derby, and since then he hasn't missed an oat. He's just a trier, and he always gives 100 percent.” [Bloodhorse]
Nick Zito was pleased with the works by Noble Causeway (5f in 1:02.20) and Sun King (1:01.20) and at least those two will go. Sun King has little more credibility than virtually anything that comes out of the White House these days. Going Wild, who has even less credibility, worked 5f as well (does it really matter what the time was?) Who knows why Lukas is persisting with this one; we can only hope he survives this ordeal and remains sound.

- Scrappy T is in town, joining Afleet Alex is the only contenders already at Pimlico. Trainer Robert Bailes: “We’ll give him a real easy three furlongs on Wednesday to stretch his legs and let him get a more serious trip over the track." [Thoroughbred Times]

- Tim Ritchey will not give Afleet Alex a formal workout before the Preakness, though he’s still jogging and/or galloping extensively – he did a total of five miles this morning.
"Riders will be much more aware of how fast they’re going, and we won’t see 1:09," Ritchey said. "There will be a full field, though, so we’ll still have to worry about traffic problems, but I expect a more formful race, and I’d like a little more luck than we had in the Derby.

"He has a lot of miles underneath him already…..He’s dead fit and I want the edge in him. He’ll need to be closer to the pace, and I thought that if I breezed him that would take some of the edge off." [Thoroughbred Times]

- A couple of exciting stakes at Hollywood yesterday. In the G3 Jim Murray Memorial, longshot Runaway Dancer did a crack Megahertz imitation, sprinting past the field from dead last at the top of the lane. His sire, 1982 Travers winner Runaway Groom is still standing at Vinery Kentucky for $12,500; he has a solid crop of 54 2 yo’s in this, his 20th crop year. In the G2 Mervyn LeRoy, it was Ace Blue (Coax Me Clyde) edging out Ender’s Shadow and holding off favored Borrego for the win.