Derby contestants mulling Preakness options
A couple of Derby participants, Normandy Invasion (4th) and Vyjack (18th) were added Monday to the list of candidates for the Preakness.
Trainer Chad Brown said Monday that Normandy Invasion, who finished fourth in the Derby after leading in the stretch, is a possibility for the Preakness.
"Originally, I threw the Preakness out, but he's come out of the race so well that I'm at least going to remain neutral on the topic until I can see the horse go back to the track and get a gauge on his energy level and his soundness," Brown said.
Brown said the colt was scheduled to fly from Kentucky to New York on Monday and that a decision on the Preakness would likely be made by this weekend.
Vyjack, who had a wild trip in the Derby and finished 18th, might join the Preakness field, trainer Rudy Rodriguez said Monday morning. Rodriguez said he will take a close look at the Into Mischief gelding when he returns to his barn at Aqueduct on Tuesday. The Derby was a disappointment because Vyjack lost his composure and dragged jockey Garrett Gomez close to a torrid early pace.
"Garrett told me that the horse ran off for the first five or six furlongs and that he just eased him up. He said he had no control of the horse in the beginning," Rodriguez said. "He said the horse broke well, but he shied away from the crowd and when he took hold of him the horse just took off. He was never able to relax."
Rodriguez said Vyjack came out of the race in very good physical shape.
Other Derby starters confirmed for the Preakness are Goldencents (17th) and the D. Wayne Lukas-trained duo of Oxbow (6th) and Will Take Charge (8th).
Assistant trainer Frankie Perez, who used to work for trainer Frank Brothers, learned long ago that a disappointing finish in the Derby shouldn't eliminate a horse from Preakness consideration. Brothers saddled Hansel for a victory in the 1991 Preakness and Belmont Stakes following a 10th-place finish in the Derby.
"He didn't run any good in the Derby and he ran back (in the Preakness) and won," said Perez, who has worked for Plesa for 20 years.
Mylute, who finished fifth in the Derby, remained a possibility for the Preakness, trainer Tom Amoss said.
"No decision has been made about the Preakness," Amoss said. "He is doing well, has good energy and probably will go back to the track Wednesday and have a very light day."
Bob Baffert-trained Govenor Charlie, the Sunland Park Derby winner, and Bellarmine, one of three winners on the Kentucky Derby Day undercard for trainer Ken McPeek, are also under consideration for the 1 3/16-mile Preakness.
Fear the Kitten is no longer considered a Preakness contender.
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