A few quick thoughts from Pimlico on the Tuesday before Preakness ...
Graham Motion had hoped to ship his Preakness entrant, Went the Day Well, to Pimlico Tuesday morning.The torrents of rain falling across Maryland convinced him otherwise. The Fair Hill-based trainer will instead bring the Kentucky Derby's fourth-place finisher to Baltimore on Wednesday morning.
D. Wayne Lukas, who is tied with Bob Baffert and T.J. Healey for the second-most Preakness wins with five, is expected to roll into town at about 3 p.m. today. He’s looking to saddle Optimizer, a late entrant into the Derby who finished 11th. Jockey Corey Nakatani will take over the ride from Jon Court. Lukas last won here in 1999.
The barns at Pimlico remain sparsely populated. Of the 12 horses being listed as possibles by track officials, only I’ll Have Another and Zetterholm, trained by Maryland native Rick Dutrow, are here. Zetterholm, winner of his last three races, jogged at 7 a.m. Tuesday under exercise rider Mario Madrid.
"Mario said he felt fine and everything was good," assistant trainer Blake Dutrow said. "He cooled out good and he's a happy horse in his stall."
Daddy Nose Best, the Steve Asmussen colt who finished 10th at the Derby, was confirmed for the Preakness Tuesday by owner Bob Zollars. There's a jockey change here, too, from Garrett Gomez to Julien Leparoux.
Maryland-based trainer Chris Grove also confirmed that his horse, Pretension, will race. Owner Irving Kidwell, from Annapolis, was in the hospital and did not want to run his colt unless he could be there. It now looks like he'll be able to make it.
Reporters from national outlets have started showing up here, and the work being done to ready the track has reached a furious pace. Wires are being run all over the place. Giant television trucks are crowding the parking lots. This corner of Baltimore is getting ready for its weekend in the national spotlight.