When a horse as fast as Coronado's Quest is on the fence for a race as big as the Preakness, one must check which way he leans.
Yesterday, he leaned the same way as the day before.
Stuart S. Janney III, his owner, said he and trainer Shug McGaughey still have not decided whether the colt will run in the Preakness next Saturday or the Metropolitan Handicap on May 25 at Belmont Park.
McGaughey will be here today to saddle Draw for the Pimlico Special.
Halory Hunter arrived yesterday at the Pimlico stakes barn, bringing to two the number of horses here for the Preakness. The long shot Hot Wells arrived Tuesday.
Halory Hunter finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby. He rode by van from Nick Zito's barn at Churchill Downs, leaving about 5: 30 a.m., getting caught in a traffic backup around Hagerstown and arriving at Pimlico about 6: 30 p.m.
Zito, his trainer, followed closely by car.
"I think he was trying to get out [of Churchill Downs] for two days," Zito said.
"Every time a van went by, he started whinnying."
Asked what Halory Hunter has to do to capture the Preakness, Zito replied: "Gain three lengths -- just like he did before the Blue Grass."
Halory Hunter lost the Florida Derby -- the race before the Blue Grass -- by 2 3/4 lengths. Then he won the Blue Grass by 2 1/2 lengths. In the Kentucky Derby, he finished three lengths behind the winner.
L At the Preakness, expect Halory Hunter to be a major player.
Real Quiet real sharp
Kentucky Derby-winner Real Quiet and third-place finisher Indian Charlie are not booked on flights to Baltimore until Wednesday. This morning, in the rain at Churchill Downs, they galloped 1 1/4 miles.
Bob Baffert, their trainer, said both horses looked good in their workouts. But he said Real Quiet looked especially good.
Baffert has changed his tune since after the Derby, when he said Real Quiet might not be able to come back and win the Preakness because he had never put two good races together.
"I might have underestimated him," Baffert said. "Real Quiet is looking like the real thing. He's got Triple Crown written all over him."
Black Cash may run
After ruling Black Cash out of the Preakness earlier this week, Patrick Byrne put him back in the mix yesterday -- at least until further consultation with the horse's owner, Frank Stronach.
Black Cash worked so briskly yesterday at Churchill Downs -- five furlongs in 1 minute 3/5 seconds in the slop -- that Byrne is reconsidering.
In his first race since October, Black Cash finished third April 25 in the one-mile Derby Trial at Churchill Downs.
"He's sitting on a big effort," Byrne said.
With an eye toward Pimlico
The horses listed as possible or probable for the May 16 Preakness, with Kentucky Derby finish in parentheses:
Probable .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..Possible
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)
.. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .Black Cash
Pub Date: 5/09/98