Railbirds at Old Hilltop early this morning will see a familiar face working one of the Preakness horses.
Jockey Gregg McCarron, who announced his retirement couple of weeks ago, will be aboard Koluctoo Jimmy Al when he has his last major blowout for the Preakness.
McCarron will work the horse five furlongs.
Even though McCarron originally said he wanted to get awa from the track for a while, he has been working 2-year-olds for trainer Graham Motion at Laurel Race Course.
L "I guess I still like being around horses," McCarron said.
He added that since his brother, Chris, is riding Koluctoo Jimm Al in the Preakness, "I went over to Pimlico the other morning and saw [trainer] Bruce Levine. I used to ride for Bruce in New York. He asked me who he should get to work the horse.
"I said, 'How about me?'
"So that's how it all came about."
Another Maryland jockey, Larry Saumell, will be aboard Persona Hope today when that colt works a half-mile.
"Do you think we should hook up and go head-to-head? McCarron asked.
Not so Special
Waki Warrior, who was among the Pimlico Special preliminary entries, might not start in the race.
"This horse is good right now, but we want to monitor hi another day or two," said trainer Blackie Huffman from Churchill Downs. "He's had two tough races kind of close, but he came out of them fine."
Huffman might decide today if he'll try the Pimlico Special, go in ++ the Maryland Budweiser Breeders' Cup at six furlongs also on Saturday or stay in Kentucky.
Six horses are considered Special definites: highweight Devil His Due, who had a strong workout (seven furlongs in 1:24 4/5) at Belmont Park on Sunday; 1992 winner Strike the Gold, who is looking sensational; Pistols and Roses, due to arrive today from Florida; Conte Di Savoya; and local horses Valley Crossing and Ibex.
Overheard while TV commentator John Buren was taping a segment for Channel 13:
"You know, Wayne [Lukas], one thing I always admired abou you is that watch.
"It's about the best-looking Rolex I've ever seen. Gosh, look a those diamonds falling off of it."
9- Stay tuned for more from Wayne's world.
Kentucky Derby winner Sea Hero galloped over the Pimlico strip for the first
time yesterday. Jockey Jerry Bailey will fly down from New York and work the colt Thursday morning. . . . The weather was so hot yesterday that trainer Mark Hennig went out and bought a fan for Personal Hope. . . . Lukas said that Dance Floor, Hammer's fourth-place Preakness finisher last year, has been retired and is for sale as a stallion prospect. Big Sur, Lukas' 11th-place Preakness finisher in 1992, is scheduled to return to the races soon at Belmont Park. . . . Local horseman Charley Hadry isn't the only trainer to have a horse for actor/playwright Sam Shepard. Levine, who trains Koluctoo Jimmy Al, just received a Phone Trick filly to train for Shepard at Aqueduct. . . . Steeplechase jockey Victoria Schlesinger is working on the Preakness publicity team. Schlesinger won the Tanglewood Cup the Carolinas last weekend on Break Clean. . . . Wild Gale wears an odd-looking fishnet muzzle while he gallops. The device is used to help keep him from throwing his head and to make him work more kindly. His Irish-born trainer, Mike Doyle, said the muzzle isn't sold in the United States and has to be imported from Ireland. . . . Octogenarian owner Adelaide Riggs was at Pimlico yesterday to visit her Preakness hopeful, Woods of Windsor.