January 18, 2022

Preakness quartet turn in routine Pimlico exercise; six en route to Baltimore

Trainer Todd Pletcher was pleased with Always Dreaming's morning gallop on Tuesday (Jim McCue/MJC)

Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Always Dreaming galloped 1 1/2 miles over the Pimlico main track on Tuesday to the satisfaction of trainer Todd Pletcher.

“I’m really, really pleased with the way he went this morning. Everything went very smoothly — good energy. good controlled gallop, just moving really well,” Pletcher said. “It was, as they say, ‘exactly what we were looking for.'”

Classic Empire, the likely second choice in Saturday’s Preakness (G1), got his first feel of the Pimlico main track on Tuesday, jogging a mile before galloping a mile.

“I thought he was really awesome this morning. I’m always a little apprehensive the first time a horse goes out to a track, especially when you come to a place like Pimlico that has a bunch of tents and a lot of things to look at,” said Norman Casse, the son and chief assistant to trainer Mark Casse. “A lot of times, he can be a little lackadaisical, but he was on the bridle. He looked really good. He had a lot of energy and more importantly, he was moving really good, looking really smooth. All of those are positive signs.”

Also making his first Pimlico appearance on track was Conquest Mo Money, the last-out Sunland Derby (G3) runner-up who galloped a mile.

“The horse is doing great,” jockey Jorge Carreno said. “He felt good today going to the track for the first time. Nothing bothered him at all.”

Meanhwile, Gunnevera jogged a half-mile and then galloped 1 1/2 miles over the fast main track.

“I’m very happy and proud of my horse. He had a very good morning on the track,” trainer Antonio Sano said. “The whole way around he was pulling the rider. He really wanted to gallop faster, but we wanted him to gallop easy. The horse was very excited to go to the track.

“Some horses, after they run in the Kentucky Derby, they are down, but not this horse. He is strong. He has put on weight and is eating more. This horse is doing better than he was before the Kentucky Derby.”

The remaining six participants likely for Saturday’s 1 3/16-mile classic were all scheduled to be on the Pimlico grounds by Tuesday evening. Lookin at Lee, Hence, and Senior Investment were all flying in from Kentucky, while Term of Art was being flown from California. Cloud Computing and Materiality were being vanned from New York and Kentucky, respectively.

The Preakness post position draw is scheduled for late Wednesday afternoon.