Preakness crowd may halt 'Quest' Decision may come today; 'Trick' remains doubtful; 'Hunter' due in tomorrow


A decision on whether Coronado's Quest will challenge Kentucky Derby-winner Real Quiet in the Preakness probably will be made today when the owner and trainer of Coronado's Quest confer at Belmont Park.

Stuart S. Janney III, who lives in Butler and owns Coronado's Quest, said yesterday that he plans on visiting the colt's trainer, Shug McGaughey, this morning and likely settle the issue of the horse's next race.

McGaughey has said he is leaning toward the one-mile Metropolitan Handicap on May 25 at Belmont. The 1 3/16-mile Preakness is May 16 at Pimlico. Janney gave no indication which race he prefers.

Although Coronado's Quest has trained splendidly and behaved perfectly since returning to New York from his frazzled winter in Florida, his behavior in front of a large, loud crowd on Preakness day remains a concern.

Meanwhile, Hot Wells, the only Preakness horse at Pimlico, is scheduled to work this morning. His trainer, Tom Amoss, flew to Baltimore yesterday to supervise.

The next Preakness horse scheduled to arrive is Rick Pitino's Halory Hunter, due in tomorrow afternoon. Real Quiet and Indian Charlie, first and third in the Kentucky Derby, and Cape Town, fifth in the Derby, are not due until Wednesday.

Favorite Trick, the 1997 Horse of the Year, remains doubtful for the Preakness. Bill Mott, his trainer, could not be reached for comment yesterday. But the colt's owner, Joe LaCombe, said he and Mott would talk soon to map out Favorite Trick's schedule.

Neil Howard, trainer of Louisiana Derby winner Comic Strip, said he and the colt's majority owner, Will Farish, have decided not to send Comic Strip or Parade Ground to Baltimore. Comic Strip was slow to bounce back from his third-place finish in the Flamingo Stakes.

"He's just getting back to where he was," Howard said. "We know what kind of colt he is, and we want to have him around this summer and next year. We don't want to do anything now to jeopardize that."

The trainers of Black Cash, Super Jet and Old Trieste said yesterday their horses won't be coming to Baltimore. And Thomas Jo, winner of the Federico Tesio Stakes, will race on Preakness day, but not in the Preakness. He'll compete in the Sir Barton Stakes.

Elliott Walden, trainer of Derby runner-up Victory Gallop, said: "We're still up in the air." He said the horse will fly Wednesday from Churchill Downs to either Baltimore or New York. A decision will be made by Monday, he said.

With an eye toward Pimlico

The horses listed as possible or probable for the May 16 Preakness:

Probable (Derby fin.) .. .. .. .. .. .. ..Possible (Derby fin.)

Cape Town (5th) .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..Basic Trainee (15th)

Classic Cat .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ...Chilito (11th)

Halory Hunter (4th) .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .Coronado's Quest

Hot Wells .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..Monk's Falcon

Indian Charlie (3rd) .. .. .. .. .. .. ...Spartan Cat

Real Quiet (1st) .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .Victory Gallop (2nd)

Pub Date: 5/07/98

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