April 22, 2024

Energy level ‘great’ for Always Dreaming; Hence joins Preakness cast

Flight plans for Always Dreaming have him arriving in Baltimore on Tuesday (Coady Photography)

Kentucky Derby (G1) Always Dreaming is scheduled to fly to Baltimore-Washington International Airport early Tuesday morning and then transported to Pimlico in advance of his tilt in the May 20 Preakness (G1).

Always Dreaming will leave Churchill Downs between 6 and 6:30 a.m. (EDT) for a short van ride to Louisville International Airport. The flight, conducted by Tex Sutton Forwarding Company, is expected to land in Baltimore at 9:30.

“So far I’ve been amazed at how well he came out of the race,” said trainer Todd Pletcher at Churchill Downs Monday. “His energy level is great. He walked the shedrow with a purpose this morning, ate all his dinner last night. Really, really pleased with the way he’s come out of it so far.”

After speaking with owner Oussama Aboughazale Monday morning, Pletcher officially ruled out a Preakness run for Rebel (G2) winner Malagacy.

Sunland Derby winner Hence will be Calumet Farm’s only Preakness starter (Coady Photography)

Trainer Steve Asmussen revealed Monday that Sunland Derby (G3) winner Hence, who ran 11th in the Kentucky Derby after a troubled trip, is “probable” to join stablemate and Derby runner-up Lookin at Lee in the Preakness lineup.

“He came out of the race really well. He didn’t run hard enough to be tired, I know that,” Asmussen said of Hence. “He was pretty overwhelmed, I think, just by the kickback and stuff. He never leveled off, definitely came out of it feeling good. So I don’t think he ran hard. Off a hard race, spacing is required. But off an easy one, it’s more like a work.”

Lookin at Lee is expected to fly out of Louisville on May 17, Wednesday of Preakness week.

“I’m just very happy with the way he came out of the race,” said Asmussen of Lookin at Lee. “We’ll give him another day off, just walk the shed, and we’ll go to the track on our normal schedule. He’ll probably have one easy [half-mile workout] before we head up there.”

Trainer Antonio Sano told Pimlico publicity that Fountain of Youth (G2) winner Gunnevera was only “50-50” to start in the Preakness following a seventh-place effort in the Derby. However, the Sano Racing Stable Twitter account late Monday morning had the colt confirmed for the Baltimore classic with Mike Smith replacing Javier Castellano.

Sano said Gunnevera will van to Baltimore from Churchill Downs early next week.

Illinois Derby (G3) winner Multiplier worked at Keeneland on Monday for the Preakness (Four Footed Fotos)

Illinois Derby (G3) winner Multiplier worked four furlongs in :50 3/5 at Keeneland on Monday. Track clockers caught the Brendan Walsh trainee galloping out five furlongs in 1:03 3/5 after breezing in company with Golden Domer.

“We worked fine for him,” Walsh said. “He’s not a great work horse, but he worked good and we’re happy with him. We are pointing (to the Preakness) right now, I think. If everything is well in the next week or so, there’s a strong possibility we will run.”

Walsh said the work showed “just that he’s in good order and in good terms with himself after the run in Illinois. He’s not a spectacular worker. He does what he needs to do and that’s it. He’s moving well and it seems like he’s in a good mindset. So it’s all systems go.”

Walsh said Multiplier would ship in the middle of next week following another possible work on Sunday.

Lexington (G3) winner Senior Investment also worked at Keeneland on Monday for the Preakness (Coady Photography)

Also working at Keeneland Monday was Lexington (G3) winner Senior Investment, who covered five furlongs in 1:00 2/5. The gallop-out time for six furlongs was 1:13 4/5.

“He worked super,” trainer Kenny McPeek said. “He’s pretty consistent. We didn’t do anything special, but he’s on his game right now. We’re going to work him again next Sunday and then work on travel plans.

“It was a maintenance breeze. I told (exercise rider Danny Ramsey) to break him off, sit still and let him do his own thing down the lane. He pretty much hit 12s (per eighth-mile) the whole way.”

Channing Hill will have the mount on Senior Investment.

Grade 3 winner Royal Mo, third in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), walked at Churchill on Monday, a day after working five furlongs in 1:05. He is scheduled to arrive in Baltimore on Tuesday.

Other Preakness candidates include Conquest Mo Money, who has been supplemented to the Preakness, and Cloud Computing.