Jockey Walter Guerra said he was extremely impressed with Dance Floor yesterday morning.
"I think this is the horse to beat in the Preakness," Guerra said after taking the bay colt through a half-mile workout in 47 seconds, a sharp time, but not overly pressing.
The Kentucky Derby's third-place finisher was one of the first horses on the track and went the last furlong in a strong 11 seconds.
"It was a little faster than I wanted to, but it was as easy as he could go," said trainer D. Wayne Lukas. "Anything less, and he [Guerra] would have had to take a hold of him.
"It's Tuesday, and we've got a long way to go. But he might just be telling us how ready he is."
Dance Floor led the Derby for most of the first mile, then salvaged third. Chris Antley will be aboard in the Preakness.
* It was a light day for Derby winner Lil E. Tee, who walked, jogged and broke into a light canter with a pony alongside.
Exercise rider Mike Wayne then sent Lil E. Tee on his own on the backstretch, and the horse galloped through the stretch under snug restraint.
"The horse went good," said trainer Lynn Whiting. "We wanted to get a light training into him and show him the racetrack."
Jockey Pat Day will be at Pimlico today to work the colt a half-mile.
Whiting expects the colt to perform well again, but said Lil E. Tee still has doubters.
"I think this horse will have to go on and prove some more things," he said.
* Trainer Sonny Hine discovered a bruise, perhaps caused by a stone, on Technology's left fore foot after a workout yesterday morning, but apparently it wasn't serious.
Hine said he will change the colt from three-quarter shoes on the front to a full-bonded shoe with a light pad.
"He went the last three furlongs in 35 and change, playing," said Hine. "That's just a gallop for him." Technology went a half-mile in 47 1/5.
The colt showed no ill effects afterward and was walking well.
* Pine Bluff will leave Belmont Park early this morning after going a half in 46 3/5 and galloping out five furlongs in 59 1/5 yesterday.
Trainer Tom Bohannan said: "He's been just fine, eating well and training well."
* Alydeed will have his final major work before the Preakness this morning.
Trainer Roger Attfield will arrive to supervise the training.
His wife, Tracy, is the regular exercise rider for Alydeed. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland and a former exercise rider for Harrison Johnson and Ron Alfano at Laurel and Bowie.
* It's official. D.J. Cat, who has been considered a possible Preakness starter, will not run in the race.
Happy Alter, the horse's owner-trainer, said: "It's too soon to send him the classic distances. I'm going to wait until later in the summer at Saratoga to try those kind of races."
Alter said D.J. Cat is at Calder Race Course in Miami. "I'm going to be looking for distance and grass races for him," Alter said.
* NOTES: Top-weighted Sky Classic (122 pounds) drew the No. 8 post in the 10-horse field for the $150,000 Early Times Dixie Handicap on the turf Friday. Day will ride Sky Classic, who figures as the favorite with the injured Cudas out of the race. . . . Sunny Sunrise turned in what trainer Buddy Delp called "a perfect work" for Saturday's $150,000 Maryland Budweiser Breeders' Cup. "He did it easy," Delp said. "He's dead ready." Sunny Sunrise went a half-mile in 47 3/5 and galloped
out five furlongs in 1:02.