Speakerphone moved into serious Preakness consideration yesterday after he worked "brilliantly," according to Daily Racing Form clockers at Laurel Race Course.
The 3-year-old colt, owned by Israel Cohen, chairman and chief executive officer of the Giant Food Company, and trained by Dean Gaudet, ran five furlongs in 59 1/5 seconds and galloped out six furlongs in 1 minute, 12 3/5 seconds.
The move was nearly three seconds faster than any other horse working the same distance. He was ridden by Clarence "Jo Jo" Ladner, his regular jockey who will ride him in the Preakness.
Speakerphone, a son of former leading sire, Fappiano, comes off a wire-to-wire victory in the Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico two weeks ago. The horse cost $375,000 last year at the Florida 2-Year-Old-In-Training sales and has earned $155,375 in 10 starts.
Tim Capps, Pimlico's vice president of racing, has many duties, but even he admits he had to fill an unusual Preakness request.
He spent some time last week trying to round up rice hulls, a type of bedding that Shelley Riley, owner-trainer of Derby runner-up, Casual Lies, uses for her horse.
After contacting feed companies in Kentucky and Ohio, Capps finally tracked down a truck heading north from Louisiana, carrying 50 bags of rice hulls.
Casual Lies is allergic to straw and wood shavings and nearly missed the Derby after he broke out in a rash after being bedded on shavings. Churchill Downs couldn't locate rice hulls, so the horse was bedded on timothy hay.
Pimlico's rice hulls are due to arrive today. Casual Lies ships in tomorrow with Derby winner, Lil E. Tee.
MISCELLANEOUS: Chris McCarron might have the ride on Pine Bluff in the Preakness. He is set to ride Miss Legality for trainer Sonny Hine in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes on Friday. . . .Vice President Dan Quayle will not be coming to the Preakness. Pimlico officials had invited Quayle when it was thought Arazi might be coming to the Preakness. But after the horse flopped in Derby, the Quayle invitation wasn't pursued. Hammer, who owns Preakness entry Dance Floor, and Oprah Winfrey are some of the celebrities expected to attend the race. . . .The Fasig-Tipton Co. conducts two days of 2-Year-Old-In-Training sales at the Timonium Sales Pavilion at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, starting at 5 p.m. today. More than 200 young horses are cataloged for the auction, including a sister to stakes winner Reputed Testamony and half brothers and sisters to Pie In Your Eye, John the Bold, Free At Last, Saturday Affair and Outdoor Celebrity. . . .Best Pal's trainer, Gary Jones, said he likes the chances of Lil E. Tee in the Preakness. "He is an improving horse," Jones said.