If a bettor is seeking a decent long shot to try in the Preakness, he could do worse than to take a stab with Black Cash.
He has a lot going for him.
Like freshness. The No. 2 post position. And tactical speed that fits Pimlico perfectly.
"He shipped well and is coming up to the race in very good shape," said trainer Patrick Byrne. "There are a lot of closers in here, so we're looking for a good inside trip.
"It would not surprise me if he won -- if he has the perfect trip and some other things happen."
Lightly raced, the Stronach Stables colt has been out only once this year, finishing third in the Grade III Derby Trial at Churchill Downs on April 25. It was his first outing in seven months.
The trainer called that mile race "a good steppingstone."
Byrne is now training exclusively for Frank Stronach, receiving Black Cash in January. To take the job, he surrendered the charge of some top-grade horses, including Favorite Trick and Countess Diana.
"I see Baquero going to the lead; then he'll back up. We should be right there behind him," said Byrne. "We're in a good spot."
Black Cash's biggest victory was in the Grade III Grey Breeders' Cup at Woodbine last October. He was rated on the lead, took over completely in the stretch and won by 3 1/4 lengths.
"He's great, a beautiful horse with a lovely disposition," Byrne responded when asked if Black Cash has any peculiarities. "He's smart. When he went in the Derby Trial, there was a big crowd and he didn't blink an eye."
The trainer will not give jockey Shane Sellers any specific instructions but will allow him to adjust as the race develops.
"I never tell Shane what to do. He's a top rider," he said. "With the inside trip and his tactical speed, Shane will be able to adapt."
Black Cash's last work was last Friday in Kentucky, when he went five furlongs in 1 minute, 3/5 seconds, the best work that day.
"That was brilliant over a deep track," said Byrne. "It was a very good move. We feel he belongs with these kinds of horses, so we're going to give this a go."
Originally, he was undecided about the Preakness, "but Mr. Stronach said, 'If you think it's all right, go ahead and take a shot.' "
When the decision to run was announced, Byrne said he wasn't expecting a victory, "but I think he'll run well. I would be very happy if he was second or third."
After the draw, he was a tad more optimistic because Black Cash is likely to run on the rail with the late-running Spartan Cat the only horse inside of him at the start.
"I'm very happy with that position," said Byrne.
Pub Date: 5/16/98