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California Chrome, four others, gallop at Churchill ahead of Preakness

California Chrome continues to please his connections leading into the Preakness (Matt Wooley/EquiSport Photos)

The five horses under consideration for next Saturday's $1.5 million Preakness Stakes stabled at Churchill Downs galloped Friday morning.

Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome galloped 1 1/2 miles over the fast track on the warm Friday morning with exercise rider Willie Delgado aboard.

"He was strong this morning," said Alan Sherman, assistant to his father, trainer Art Sherman. "The track was a little cuppy this morning."

Rain began falling after training hours Friday and sporadic showers were expected to continue through the day and night and into training hours Saturday. Prior to the Derby, California Chrome trained on a sealed track the first two days after his arrival.

"We'll play it by ear tomorrow," Alan Sherman said. "If the track is in good shape, I don't mind training on it."

California Chrome stood quietly for seven minutes at the five-furlong gap before his morning activity and calmly walked back to the barn with Delgado all smiles.

"He is much stronger now than he was after (his 5 1/4-length victory in) the Santa Anita Derby," Delgado said. "I used to give Alan a thumbs-up when I came off the track, but now I just smile. He can tell how (California Chrome) is doing by how much I sweat."

Upon his arrival at Pimlico California Chrome will be bedded down in Stall 40 in the Preakness Stakes Barn, which is traditionally reserved for the Kentucky Derby winner.

Dynamic Impact (outside) is currently riding a two-race win streak (Four Footed Fotos)

Illinois Derby hero Dynamic Impact galloped 1 1/2 miles before the morning renovation break under the Twin Spires with exercise rider Marco Cano aboard. Now riding a two-race win streak, the Tiznow colt is scheduled to work Saturday morning with jockey Miguel Mena up.

"He will be in the 6 o'clock (EDT) set," said Norman Casse, assistant to his father, trainer Mark Casse. "I don't like to work on a wet track, so we will see how it is. We may wait (until Sunday to work)."

Ride On Curlin galloped 1 1/8 miles under exercise rider Bryan Beccia for trainer Billy Gowan after the morning renovation break at Churchill Downs. Seventh in the Kentucky Derby last Saturday, the bay son of Curlin returned to the track Wednesday and has followed a similar exercise for three consecutive mornings.

"He just ran a mile and a quarter and he is coming back in two weeks," Gowan said. "He doesn't need to do much."

Gowan has Ride On Curlin scheduled for a two-mile exercise Saturday and the prospect of an "off" track is not a deterrent.

"He is going to go slow anyhow, so the track doesn't matter," Gowan said.

Ride On Curlin was purchased for $25,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September sale. His dam is the Grade 2-placed Storm Cat mare Magical Ride, making his second dam the Grade 1-scoring Seeking the Gold mare Victory Ride.

Ria Antonia could take on the boys in the Preakness (Rickelle Nelson/Horsephotos.com)

"I liked his looks and that pedigree...when I saw that, I had to go in," Gowan said. "How did I get him for $25,000? I don't know. Ask the other buyers."

Canadian champion Ria Antonia, sixth in the Kentucky Oaks in her most recent start, galloped 1 1/2 miles at Churchill with Maurice Sanchez aboard for trainer Tom Amoss. The Rockport Harbor filly arrived in the Amoss barn on Monday, and Friday marked the fourth time Sanchez had been aboard.

"She has a beautiful way of going," said Sanchez, who was the exercise rider for Mylute, the third-place finisher in last year's Preakness. "All I have to do is keep her safe."

Bayern visited the starting gate and then galloped 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Jorge Alvarez on Friday morning at Churchill. Never off the board in four starts for trainer Bob Baffert, the Offlee Wild colt is scheduled to work Monday and ship to Baltimore on Wednesday.

In other Preakness news:

Pablo del Monte's connections bypassed on the Derby and now have a fresh horse for the Preakness (Keeneland/Coady Photography)

New shooters Pablo del Monte and Kid Cruz galloped on their home tracks Friday morning as they moved toward final works for the Preakness.

Pablo del Monte, third in the Blue Grass Stakes in his last race, galloped at Keeneland for trainer and co-owner Wesley Ward. Ward decided to scratch and wait for the Preakness rather than start the Giant's Causeway colt from post 20 in the Derby. Jockey Jeffery Sanchez will ride the chestnut in the Preakness.

Kid Cruz is scheduled to be shipped from New York to Baltimore on Monday. The son of Lemon Drop Kid galloped over the muddy training track at Belmont Park on Friday morning. Julian Pimentel, who has ridden Kid Cruz to a pair of stakes wins in Maryland including a 3 1/2-length victory in the Federico Tesio, will be back aboard in the Preakness.

Ring Weekend is scheduled to breeze at Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton Maryland Saturday morning. The Tapit gelding captured the Tampa Bay Derby in early March and is exiting a runner-up effort in the Calder Derby on April 5.

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