Hot Wells, the fourth finisher in the Arkansas Derby, will be the first out-of-town horse to arrive for the 123rd Preakness.
Trainer Tom Amoss said yesterday that the gelding will be at Pimlico tomorrow and is a definite starter.
"He got a wide trip in the Arkansas Derby and still made a race of it," Amoss said. "And he'll be fresher than those horses who ran in Kentucky who are coming back in two weeks."
In Arkansas, Hot Wells finished behind Kentucky Derby runner-up Victory Gallop, Hanuman Highway (seventh in Derby) and Favorite Trick (eighth). His dam, Rekindling, is by Affirmed, the last Triple Crown winner in 1978.
Owned by Baltimorean Mike Lasky and So What's Nu stable, Hot Wells will be ridden by the nation's leading jockey in 1997, Edgar Prado.
"We've double-nominated him [also in the Sir Barton Stakes], but we're going in the Preakness," Amoss said. "Seeing what Victory Gallop did in the Derby, he deserves this shot."
Special showdown possible
Trainer Dick Small prefers to keep the options open, but said yesterday "there is a fairly good chance" that Hot Brush will run against Skip Away in the Pimlico Special on Saturday.
The Broad Brush colt last raced April 11 when he won the Grade III Campbell Handicap by seven lengths in 1: 55 over the 1 3/16-mile distance of the Special.
Small was not overjoyed by the mere 2-pound difference between the impost for his horse (113) and Oaklawn Handicap winner Precocity (115).
"I didn't see quite enough spread," he said. "But I understand the problem with Skip Away in the field."
Hot Brush has done well since his previous outing "and looks like he has an affinity for Pimlico. Just say we're probable."
'Dream Girl' wins feature
Pocho's Dream Girl overtook long-shot Leading Question and favored Nutuhkea in the stretch and won the $36,925 Gala Lil Stakes, yesterday's feature at 1 1/8 miles.
"We let her sit behind horses waiting for an opening," winning jockey Rick Wilson said. "I had a lot of horse left at the three-eighths pole, found a spot at the top of the stretch and she went about her business."
Pub Date: 5/04/98