Preakness Stakes Notes: Lukas’ Market King Confirmed for 2nd Jewel

(Trainer D. Wayne Lukas confirms that Market King will run in the Preakness Stakes / Photo Courtesy of Churchill Downs)

From the Pimlico Media Team:

Robert C. Baker and William L. Mack’s colt Market King is headed to Saturday’s 144th Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Sunday.

Market King, most recently 11th in the Blue Grass (G2) on April 6 at Keeneland, is the 12th confirmed starter prospect for the Preakness. If all start it will be the largest field since a full field of 14 went to the post in 2011.

Lukas recommended to the owners that they consider the Preakness after he posted two sharp five-furlong works in the past week. The son of Into Mischief, purchased by Baker and Mack for $550,000 as a yearling, breezed in 1:00.20, the second-fastest of 27 at the distance at Churchill Downs, on May 7 and came back four days later with a 1:00.40 clocking, third-fastest of 31, on Saturday.

“He’s training excellent,” Lukas said.

Market King broke his maiden on Feb. 9 at Oaklawn in his first race being sent around two turns. He was a close third in the Rebel (G2), beaten by one length, in an optional claimer allowance on Feb. 24. He finished third behind Omaha Beach, the morning-line favorite for the Kentucky Derby (G1) before being scratched from the race, and Game Winner.

Lukas, 83, has saddled a record 43 horses in the Preakness and has won the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown six times. In last year’s cloud-shrouded Preakness, the Lukas-trained Bravazo came within a half-length of upsetting eventual Triple Crown champion Justify while finishing second. The Hall of Fame trainer’s first Preakness starter, Codex, won in 1980. He was followed by Tank’s Prospect (1985), Tabasco Cat (1994), Timber Country (1995), Charismatic (1999) and Oxbow (2013).

Last year, Baker and Mack’s Sporting Chance finished sixth in the Preakness.

(Anothertwistafate in the Lexington Stakes / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

‘All Systems Go’ for Anothertwistafate for Middle Jewel of Triple Crown

Peter Redekop B. C. Ltd.’s Anothertwistafate came out of Saturday’s sharp six-furlong breeze in fine shape, trainer Blaine Wright said Sunday. The Scat Daddy colt is scheduled to fly to Baltimore from Oakland on Tuesday.

Anothertwistafate turned in the fastest of eight six-furlong workouts on the synthetic surface at Golden Gate Fields in Albany, Calif. while covering the distance in 1:14.20. Wright flew home to Seattle to be with his wife and mother on Mother’s Day and said the reports from the track on the colt were all positive.

“My vet called me earlier this morning and said he jogged great,” Wright said. “My assistant said he ate up; he’s feeling good; and all systems are go. We’re coming.”

Anothertwistafate will be Wright’s first starter in a Triple Crown race. Wright, the son of retired jockey and trainer Richard Wright, has been training on his own since 2006. He operates stables at Golden Gate Fields and at Emerald Downs in his home state of Washington.

Redekop, a member of the British Columbia Horse Racing Hall of Fame, is a perennial leading owner at Hastings Race Course in Vancouver. He has had one previous starter in a Triple Crown, Cause to Believe, 13th in the 2006 Kentucky Derby (G1), with partner Andrew Abruzzo.

Anothertwistafate won the El Camino Real Derby by seven lengths on Feb. 16 to earn an automatic berth in the Preakness, then was second by a neck to Cutting Humor in the Sunland Derby (G3) and second by 1¾ lengths in the Lexington (G3) at Keeneland on April 13. He was 23rd in the Kentucky Derby points list and Wright took him back to California to prepare for the Preakness.

(Improbable / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

Baffert Slated to Reunite with Improbable Monday

Arkansas Derby runner-up and Grade 1 winner Improbable, the anticipated Preakness favorite who was placed fourth from fifth in the Kentucky Derby, galloped a mile and visited the starting gate for a routine schooling session at Churchill Downs Sunday morning.

Trainer Bob Baffert is scheduled to arrive in Louisville Sunday evening to oversee Monday’s training session. Assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes said that training session could include a timed workout or simply picking up the pace of his gallop.  Improbable will fly to Baltimore on Wednesday’s scheduled Tex Sutton flight.

Baffert will saddle Improbable Saturday in a quest to break a tie with R.W. Walden for most Preakness wins for a trainer. Walden saddled seven winners in 1875-1888. Baffert has scored Preakness victories with Justify (2018), American Pharoah (2015), both of whom went on the sweep the Triple Crown, Lookin At Lucky (2010), War Emblem (2002), Point Given (2001), Real Quiet (1998) and Silver Charm (1997).

(War of Will at Churchill Downs / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

Preakness Notes: The Mark Casse-trained multiple graded-stakes winner War of Will had another lively gallop under exercise rider Kim Carroll after the Churchill track opened at 5:30 a.m. Assistant trainer Allen Hardy said the Kentucky Derby seventh-place finisher will get a day off of training on Monday and van to Pimlico.

Oaklawn Invitational winner Laughing Fox galloped at Churchill Sunday and will have the easy half-mile workout Monday that is standard for trainer Steve Asmussen horses the week of a race. Asmussen has saddled a pair of Preakness winners: Curlin (2007) and Rachel Alexandra (2009).

Florida Derby (G1) runner-up Bodexpress, trying to become the first maiden to win the Preakness since 1888, also galloped at Churchill Sunday and, if the track is in good shape Monday morning, “might be doing a little more,” said Gustavo Delgado Jr., who is the son of and assistant to his father. The elder Delgado is expected to arrive in Louisville Sunday. Bodexpress will be on the Tuesday Tex Sutton flight to Baltimore from Lexington, Ky.

The Brad Cox-trained Preakness duo had a scheduled walk day after Lexington (G2) winner Owendale worked five-eighths of a mile Saturday in a “bullet” 59.20 seconds and Oaklawn Park allowance winner Warrior’s Charge went the same distance in 1:00.80. Both horses are scheduled to fly from Louisville to Baltimore on Wednesday on the Tex Sutton flight out of Louisville.

Also getting a day off from training was the Kenny McPeek-trained Signalman, the Blue Grass (G2) third-place finisher who worked a half-mile in 47.60 seconds in company at Churchill Downs Saturday. Signalman will ship to Baltimore on Tuesday.

Win Win Win, who finished 10th and was placed ninth in the Kentucky Derby, galloped 1 ½ miles at Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md. Sunday. Live Oak Plantation’s homebred son of Hat Trick will have routine gallops into the Preakness.

“He won’t breeze because of the two-week turnaround,” trainer Michael Trombetta said.

Win Win Win is scheduled to ship to Pimlico Thursday.

Other Preakness candidates include Alwaysmining, who is riding a six-race winning streak; and Bourbon War, who finished fourth behind Maximum Security in the March 30 Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream in his most recent start.

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds

More From The Pressbox Staff