Weekend Lineup Presented By Del Mar Ship & Win: Mage Will Face Six In Preakness - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Weekend Lineup Presented By Del Mar Ship & Win: Mage Will Face Six In Preakness

Mage gallops at Pimlico

Mage will be the only Kentucky Derby runner to contest the second jewel of the 2023 Triple Crown. Following the scratch of second choice First Mission on Friday morning, the favorite faces a small field of six new shooters in the 1 3/16-mile Preakness Stakes on Saturday at Pimlico.

Of those six, the top betting choice comes in the form of Bob Baffert trainee National Treasure. Baffert will also saddle the undefeated Black-Eyed Susan favorite, Faiza, as the feature attraction on Friday's card.

Friday's Pimlico card offers six stakes, three graded, worth $1 million in purses on a 14-race program co-headlined by the 99th running of the $300,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) for 3-year-old fillies.

Meanwhile, Saturday's card at Pimlico offers 10 stakes, six graded, worth $2.6 million in purses on a 14-race program headlined by the 148th renewal of the Preakness Stakes (G1), Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. Other graded-stakes on the card are the $200,000 Dinner Party (G3) for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles and $150,000 Gallorette (G3) for females 3 and older going 1 1/16 miles, both scheduled for the turf; $200,000 Chick Lang (G3) for 3-year-olds sprinting six furlongs; and $100,000 UAE President Cup (G1) for Arabian horses.

The only other graded stakes race on offer this weekend is the 1 1/2-mile turf marathon at Churchill Downs, the G3 Louisville Stakes on Saturday afternoon.


5:10 p.m. – Grade 3 Pimlico Special

Grade 1-winning millionaire Rattle N Roll, having won at the distance in his previous start, will go after his sixth career stakes victory and fourth in graded company in the historic $250,000 Pimlico Special (G3). Trained by Ken McPeek, who won the 2020 Preakness with filly Swiss Skydiver, 4-year-old Rattle N Roll exits a 1¼-length victory in the April 22 Ben Ali (G3) at Keeneland. It was his sixth win from 16 lifetime starts at seven different racetracks, pushing his bankroll to $1.21 million.

Clapton comes out of a determined half-length victory over Chilean Group 1 winner O'Connor in the 1 1/16-mile Ghostzapper (G3) April 1 at his home course of Gulfstream Park, where he became a stakes winner in the one-mile Gil Campbell Memorial Handicap against fellow Florida-breds last fall.

Law Professor, bred and owned by Twin Creeks Racing Stable, captured an off-the-turf edition of the Santa Anita Mathis Mile (G2) in December 2021 for previous trainer Mike McCarthy. The 5-year-old Constitution gelding joined trainer Rob Atras last summer, and he won the one-mile, 70-yard Tapit in September on the grass at Kentucky Downs off a five-month layoff.

Representing the home team is Ronald Cuneo's multiple stakes winner Armando R trained by Laurel Park-based Damon Dilodovico, who ran third in the 2016 Special with Warrioroftheroses. The 7-year-old Blame gelding snapped a three-race losing streak with a gutsy head victory in a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance April 20 at Laurel.

Cooke Creek enters the Special having run second by three-quarters of a length March 12 at Gulfstream and third by a neck April 20 at Keeneland, the latter at 1 1/8 miles. A 4-year-old son of champion Uncle Mo, he won the Rocky Run second time out in his stakes debut and ran second in the Nashua (G3) to cap his juvenile campaign. He went winless in five 2022 starts, all in stakes, his best finish a season-opening third in the one-mile Jerome.

Keystone Field, the 2022 Claiming Crown Jewel winner that ran second to Law Professor two starts back in the Excelsior; Kuchar, second in two prior stakes tries including a two-length loss to Rattle N Roll in the American Derby; and Speed Bias, making his stakes debut after hitting the board in six of eight starts, complete the field.

Special Entries

5:44 p.m. – Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico

The undefeated Faiza will try to extend her perfect record and win her fifth graded stakes in Friday's $300,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2). Faiza and regular rider Flavien Prat will start from Post 9 in the field of 12.

Hoosier Philly had a sensational 2-year-old season for trainer Tom Amoss, sweeping three races at Churchill Downs. The gray/roan daughter of leading sire Into Mischief out of the Tapit mare Tapella sold for $510,000 as a yearling. She broke her maiden on Sept. 22, won the Rags to Riches in the slop by 7 ½ lengths and took the Golden Rod (G2) by five lengths. This year, though, her fortunes changed at Fair Grounds. She was third, 8½ lengths behind the winner in the Rachel Alexandra (G2), and fourth, 15 ¼ lengths back in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2).

Cats Inthe Timber, trained by Brittany Russell, picked up her first stakes victory in the Weber City Miss on April 15 at Laurel. The Haymarket Farm homebred daughter of Honor Code has won three of six career starts and finished off the board just once. Jevian Toledo, who ride in the Weber City, has the return call in the Black-Eyed Susan. He and Cats Inthe Timber drew Post 11.

Trainer Todd Pletcher, a four-time winner of the race, entered two fillies: Frosty O Toole and Miracle, who landed in adjoining stalls. Frosty O Toole and Joel Rosario drew Post 5, while Miracle and jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. will leave from Post 6.

The Mike Maker-trained Pate was not a threat in the Fantasy (G3) at Oaklawn on April 1, her first try beyond six furlongs. The Virginia-bred daughter of Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver is co-owned by Agave Racing Stable and Living the Dream Stables. Maker will also saddle Towhead, who finished second by a nose as a maiden in the Juvenile Fillies at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 3. She was off the board in her two most recent starts, both Grade 3 races, the Honeybee and the Fantasy.

Jose Ortiz will ride Pate for the first time. They will start from Post 3. Towhead and Tyler Gaffalione landed on the outside in Post 12.

Jockey Manny Franco has been up for all three of Balpool's victories in five career starts and will be her pilot in the Black-Eyed Susan. They drew Post 8. Balpool, trained by Rob Atras for Madaket Stable, has won her last two starts, both at Aqueduct, an optional claimer/allowance and the off-the-turf Memories of Silver on April 29.

Black-Eyed Susan Entries


4:53 p.m. – Grade 3 Maryland Sprint Stakes at Pimlico

Grade 3 winner Wondrwherecraigis, with a comeback victory under his belt last month, returns to stakes competition seeking a second graded triumph in Saturday's $100,000 Maryland Sprint. A 6-year-old son of Munnings, Wondrwherecraigis hadn't raced in 208 days when he lined up for a stakes-quality optional claiming allowance April 13 sprinting six furlongs at Laurel Park. He dueled with Grade 1-placed Borracho and Grade 3 winner Chateau through sizzling splits of 21.94 and 44.47 seconds before putting them away, and was able to hold off a late run from fellow multiple stakes winner Witty to prevail by a head.

A solid field was entered for the Maryland Sprint including Grade 3 winner Willy Boi, owned by Lea Farms and trained by Jorge Delgado, the same connections that sprung a 12-1 upset of the 2022 Chick Lang with Lightening Larry.

Russell will have a second Maryland Sprint contender in George Sharp's Maryland-bred Hello Hot Rod. The 5-year-old Mosler gelding began his career with Russell, winning three of four starts including the Jimmy Winkfield at Aqueduct before being sold at auction in February 2021. He went winless in eight starts before notching back-to-back victories last fall at Remington Park.

Godolphin homebred Prevalence is entered looking to snap a five-racing losing streak since capturing the six-furlong Commonwealth (G3) last spring for trainer Brendan Walsh. He has finished off the board in each of those races, three in graded-stakes, including a seventh behind Sibelius in the Mr. Prospector (G3) last December at Gulfstream. He returns to the dirt following a failed turf debut on the Gulfstream course March 4.

Multiple stakes winner Threes Over Deuces and Midwest shipper Full Authority, respectively second and fifth in last year's Maryland Sprint; stakes winner Nakatomi, third in the March 4 Tom Fool (G3) at Aqueduct; Grade 3-placed Straight No Chaser, exiting a 7 ¼-length optional claiming allowance triumph April 1 at Oaklawn Park; multiple stakes-placed Al Loves Josie, sixth in the Whiteley; and multiple graded-stakes placed War Tocsin complete the field.

Maryland Sprint Entries

7:01 p.m. – Grade 1 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico

Mage will be the only Kentucky Derby runner to contest the second jewel of the 2023 Triple Crown, and faces six new shooters in the 1 3/16-mile contest. The Gustavo Delgado trainee and jockey Javier Castellano will have to work out a trip from post three.

Following the scratch of second choice First Mission, the next lowest odds come from Bob Baffert trainee National Treasure, most recently fourth in the G1 Santa Anita Derby. The son of Quality Road will add blinkers for the Preakness Stakes, and be piloted from the inside post by jockey John Velazquez.

Trainer Chad Brown will be seeking his third Preakness victory with a similar pattern: a horse that qualified for the Kentucky Derby, but skipped the first Saturday in May in order to contest the Preakness Stakes instead. This year, it's Blazing Sevens who will leave the starting gate from post position seven under jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr.

Blazing Sevens last raced April 8 when he finished third in the Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland. That came after an eighth-place finish in the Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park in his seasonal debut. In the Blue Grass, Brown equipped Blazing Sevens with blinkers for the first time.

Preakness Entries

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