Asmussen's Preakness Trio: Pneumatic 'Doing Extremely Well,' Max Player Showing Good 'Energy' - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Asmussen’s Preakness Trio: Pneumatic ‘Doing Extremely Well,’ Max Player Showing Good ‘Energy’

Pneumatic defeats Jesus’ Team in the Pegasus Stakes on Aug. 15

Steve Asmussen's trio of Preakness contenders each had the easy half-mile workout Monday that is typical for the Hall of Fame trainer's horses five days before a race.

Winchell Thoroughbreds' Pneumatic, winner of Monmouth Park's Pegasus Stakes in his last start after finishing fourth in the Belmont Stakes (G1), worked a half-mile in 50.20 seconds over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga. Max Player and Excession each were timed in 49.80 seconds at Churchill Downs.

“It's what we asked for, and they handled it really well,” Asmussen said of the three colts. “Pneumatic is doing extremely well since his win in the Pegasus. We're excited about getting him the opportunity at this level.”

Pneumatic drew Preakness Post No. 10 Monday.

“He had an outside draw in the Pegasus, a little bit shorter field, but an outside draw nonetheless,” Asmussen said. “Joe (Bravo) worked out a really good trip and hopefully he can do the same.”

Max Player, owned George Hall and SportBLX Thoroughbreds, will make his second start for Asmussen, having finished fifth in the Kentucky Derby. Max Player was third in both the Belmont Stakes and Travers when trained by Linda Rice.

Asmussen termed the work “a little leg-stretch,” adding, “I like his energy.”

Max Player drew Post No. 8 for his Preakness start.

“I think that's an excellent draw. I think he'll be able to stay a little closer from there,” Asmussen said. “Very anxious to see how he runs.”

Calumet Farms Excession will be making his first start since he was a fast-closing second at 82-1 odds behind the well-regarded Nadal in Oaklawn Park's Grade 2 Rebel Stakes on March 14. Excession will break on the rail, which Asmussen called “perfect.”

“He can follow the fence and make his late run,” he said.

Asmussen is shooting for his third victory in the Preakness, following Horses of the Year Curlin in 2007 and the filly Rachel Alexandra in 2009.

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