The high weight of 126 pounds might be enough to scare champion mare Paseana out of the Pimlico Distaff on Saturday.
Trainer Ron McAnally is mulling over whether or not to fly her here from California and is expected to make the final decision today.
The Distaff, run last year in June, was moved to the Saturday before the Preakness after the Pimlico Special was shifted to Preakness Day.
In her last start, Paseana won the Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park under 124 pounds, defeating Looie Capote by 3 1/2 lengths.
Paseana is asked to give 9 pounds to recent Snow Goose Handicap winner Low Tolerance; 12 pounds to Deputation, who won a Maryland Million race over this track last fall and posted a victory last week in a $32,000 allowance race at Churchill Downs; and 13 pounds to the Bed o'Roses Handicap winner, Lady D'Accord.
All of the latter three fillies and mares will compete in the Distaff whether or not Paseana shows up.
* There was a flurry of excitement at Pimlico yesterday when a preliminary list of vanning arrangements showed Louisiana Derby winner Dixieland Heat, who finished 12th in the Kentucky Derby, and Lexington Stakes winner Grand Jewel as imminent Preakness ship-ins.
But Gerald Romero, trainer of Dixieland Heat, said that the horse will be given 60 to 90 days of rest on a Kentucky farm and definitely is not coming to Baltimore.
Neil Howard, trainer of Grand Jewel, said there is a 50-50 chance his horse could make the Preakness, but the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park is also a possibility.
Storm Tower, 16th in the Kentucky Derby, arrived at Adelaide Riggs' Happy Retreat Farm in Woodbine yesterday. He had his shoes pulled and will be turned out for some rest and relaxation before heading to Monmouth Park in a couple of weeks to resume training.
* Terri Poole, manager of the Cracked Claw off-track betting outlet in Urbana, said yesterday that business has exceeded expectations after opening for business five days ago.
"I promoted two people today because I told my father [proprietor John "Pappy" Poole] I can't keep working these 15-hour days," she said.
"We had a big day Saturday because of the Derby, but then Sunday was good, too. I thought it would die down today [yesterday], but we've been busy."
A total of $116,260 was bet on the thoroughbreds at the Cracked Claw on Saturday afternoon; $48,682 on Sunday and about $50,000 yesterday.
Meanwhile, handle has increased slightly at the tracks since full-card simulcasts from Churchill Downs and Hollywood Park began last Thursday.
General manager Jim Mango said he is not doing a full-scale analysis until after the Preakness. Full-card simulcasts from Belmont Park begin tomorrow.
NOTES: Omar Klinger, a 26-year-old Panamanian jockey, performed some noteworthy acrobatics in the seventh race yesterday when he nearly fell off his mount, Genes Count. Klinger clung to the filly's side, scrambled back on while the horse was in mid-run and ended up finishing ninth in the 10-horse field. . . . Jockey Joe Rocco has been suspended seven days for his ride on Jazzy One in the Jacob France Handicap on Sunday that resulted in the filly's disqualification from first to sixth.