Champion juvenile and Kentucky Derby (G1) runner-up Good Magic got his first feel for the Pimlico main track Tuesday morning, galloping approximately 1 1/4 miles in the mud after the renovation break.
“He handled that track really good, exercise rider Walter Malasquez reported. “He’s still the same horse he was in the Kentucky Derby. Nothing changed. He’s really easy and kind.”
Traveling assistant Baldo Hernandez said Good Magic would gallop again Wednesday, but would likely come out earlier, at 7:40 a.m. (EDT), before the track renovation break. He also indicated Good Magic would have a paddock schooling session on Thursday.
The D. Wayne Lukas-trained Bravazo and Sporting Chance also took a tour of Pimlico Tuesday morning after arriving the previous afternoon.
“We let them stretch their legs,” Lukas said. “I’m going to go light. They are dead fit. That two-week break from the Derby, it isn’t any different from the NBA or the NFL, the recovery is the thing. You’ve got to get that energy level back up. I want them to really have a high energy level on Saturday.”
Kentucky Derby winner Justify, Lone Sailor, and Quip are all scheduled to arrive at Pimlico on Wednesday on a flight from Kentucky. Justify and Lone Sailor galloped Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs, while Quip jogged at Keeneland.
“We went really easy with him today. Yesterday, we gave him a little bit of a stiffer gallop,” said trainer Bob Baffert of Justify. “He looks good. He’s got his bags packed and he’s ready to go tomorrow.”
Also scheduled to arrive Wednesday is Diamond King, who will be vanned from Parx Racing outside Philadelphia. He’s trained by John Servis, who conditioned 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Smarty Jones.
Servis is seeking to become the fifth trainer ever, and the first since Tom Bohannon in 1992-93, to win the Preakness with his first two starters.
“It’s a little different now, obviously, but it’s nice to be back there,” Servis said. “There’s no pressure this time, that’s for sure. It was pretty crazy [with Smarty Jones], but it was fun. I enjoyed the hell out of it.”
The other Preakness candidate, Tenfold, was en route to Baltimore on Tuesday.