Circular Quay in Preakness; rider likely Velazquez

The Baltimore Sun

The owners of Circular Quay informed Pimlico Race Course officials yesterday that their horse will run in Saturday's Preakness, bringing the field to nine.

Sixth in the Kentucky Derby, Circular Quay joins King of the Roxy as entrants to be saddled by trainer Todd Pletcher, who has started only one horse in a Preakness, Impeachment, the third-place finisher in 2000.

Bloodstock agent Demi O'Byrne and owners Michael and Doreen Tabor made arrangements for Circular Quay, the Louisiana Derby winner and runner-up to Street Sense in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

John Velazquez, the regular rider on Circular Quay, is expected to maintain the mount while King of the Roxy - whom Velazquez was scheduled to ride - will probably be taken by Garrett Gomez, whose agent, Ron Anderson, said: "I'm on one of them. I'm assuming it is King of the Roxy because we worked him over the weekend, but I haven't been given the final word."

Both horses are scheduled to arrive at Pimlico by van tomorrow.

Street Sense breezes

Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense breezed through five furlongs in 1 minute yesterday in his final workout before the Preakness. Jockey Calvin Borel was aboard at Churchill Downs.

Street Sense is scheduled to arrive in Baltimore this afternoon.

"The horse worked perfect," trainer Carl Nafzger said. "It was a little faster than we wanted, but he was very comfortable and did it well. He did it without any effort. He wasn't trying to work; that's his gait."

Jones' idol moment

Hard Spun's trainer, Larry Jones, will share space in the Preakness barn with his hero, D. Wayne Lukas, when they come in today.

"Wayne Lukas has always been my idol, my hero," Jones said. "This winter, we were both at Oaklawn and we became good acquaintances and friends. I really respect what he's achieved. We share the same birthday, Sept. 2. He's just a year or 21 older than me."

Hard Spun galloped and jogged yesterday at Delaware Park. He will not have an official workout between the Triple Crown races.

Curlin 'a joy'

Curlin, third in the Kentucky Derby, breezed an easy half-mile, then was hand-walked yesterday. He is being handled temporarily by assistant trainer Scott Blasi after Steve Asmussen left to attend the funeral of his grandmother.

"He's been a joy to train," Blasi said. "There's been no glitches in the road yet. All is well."

Et cetera

C P West walked at Belmont Park before shipping to Baltimore today. On Monday, he worked four furlongs in 47 1/5 seconds. ...

Flying First Class worked a half-mile in 49 4/5 seconds at Churchill Downs, exactly what trainer Lukas wanted. ... Locally, Mint Slewlep, the only horse on the grounds, walked the shedrow at Pimlico, taking 59 4/5 seconds to cover five furlongs Monday. "When they start feeding in, he'll already be used to everything," trainer Robbie Bailes said. "That's the one advantage of getting here real early." ...

At Fair Hill, Xchanger walked before "he'll train two more days, then walk on Friday," according to trainer Mark Shuman. He will arrive at Pimlico on Saturday morning.

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