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I'll Have Another takes it easy Tuesday; team O'Neill, too

You would never know the Preakness Stakes is just four days away.

At Pimlico's Barn D, current base of trainer Doug O'Neill and his team of assistants and workers, Tuesday was as light as could be. A couple of guys set off in the van, only to run out of gas not far from the track. They ended up having to push it to a nearby gas station.

This came only after a long, spirited discussion about who had the keys.

Other highlights of the morning included a visit from the team that cares for the Budweiser Clydesdales, and O'Neill admitting that he's not a big fan of steamed crabs. The crew went out to try Baltimore's signature dish -- is that really the word? -- last night.

When I asked him if he knew how to "pick" crabs yesterday, he replied, "Yeah, go for the biggest ones." When I explained that picking was actually the process of getting into the crab and accessing the meat, he stared at me. Then, he asked if he'd get to use a mallet. He liked that part.

O'Neill and his team are staying together in a house near Canton. They debated how many more people they could fit in their temporary home. Apparently, there's floor space available.

I'll Have Another -- the Kentucky Derby winner and reason O'Neill and his seven helpers are here -- took it easy Tuesday. Rain forced him to stay inside and walk the shedrow.

"That's not a problem at all," O'Neill said. "He's been running so well that a day off can do nothing but help."

While more rain is expected today -- which could hamper O'Neill's plan to throw out the first pitch at Camden Yards, and the Clydesdales' appearance there -- the skies should clear for a mild, dry rest of the week.

Before heading out to the baseball game, O'Neill and his crew were scheduled to stop by the Johns Hopkins Children's Center. They left carrying boxes of hats and other gifts.

"You just gotta build 'em up," O'Neill said. "High energy. We'll give to them what we can. We're going to get a lot from them. Being there reminds you that what you're worried about just ain't that big a deal."

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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