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Rain Factor Won’t Mean Much at Pimlico

Posted by Webster Washington on 5/19/2016 9:50:44 AM

Here are some notes and update for Saturday’s 141st running of the Preakness Stakes:

Wet Track, Timing Factors

It has been raining all week at Pimlico Race Course, and more is expected Saturday. This of course means little to the favorites Nyquist and Exaggerator, since both have won major competitions on sloppy tracks. Awesome Speed and Uncle Lino should also like the wet conditions.

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It’s a short interval of two weeks between the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, but in the big picture, Nyqyuist is still a fresh fresh horse. This will be just his fourth start since the beginning of the year.

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Stradivari continues to be the talk of Baltimore, on the basis of his displays of speed at the allowance level. People have been looking for a hot horse, and he's apparently it. Here's what trainer Todd Pletcher has to say:

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Bob Baffert, Doug O’Neil, Dale Romans and Steve Asmussen have owned the Preakness winners’ circle. The four trainers have trained eight of the last fifteen Preakness winners. Todd Pletcher has never trained a Preakness winner.

Drop/Add

The connections of Gun Runner have decided to drop him from the field. "We’re going to continue to train at Churchill and plan on a serious summer of 3-year-old races with him," said trainer Steve Asmussen. The winner of the Louisiana Derby finished third in the Kentucky Derby.

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Abiding Star is now expected to be at the gate. The quarantine he had been under at Parx Racetrack in Philadelphia, was lifted late Tuesday, so the winner of five straight is on course for Pimlico. This horse has won nothing higher than standard stakes, but he'll be a factor as one who’ll seek the early lead.

Preakness tactically fascinating. Know Abiding Star bursts out. What happens with Nyquist? Stradgets in or not? Think Uncle Linoscrewed.

— Marcus Hersh(@DRFHersh) May 19, 2016

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Lani placed ninth in the Kentucky Derby, but his connections think highly enough of him to give him a shot at Pimlico. The winner of the UAE Derby got a reputation for rowdy behavior at Churchill Downs, so he's been cooling his heels at Belmont Park. Agent Keita Tanaka thinks we'll see a calmer Lani at the Preakness. Lani may need more than two weeks to become a gentle horse, but he should run better at Pimlico. He had an awkwardly wide trip in the Derby.

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