Several trailers full of Preakness hopefuls and their companion horses arrived at Pimlico Wednesday at around 2:30 p.m., hours before their connections would learn their post positions at the 5 p.m. Preakness post draw.
Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah, escorted by five-time Preakness-winning trainer Bob Baffert, was first off the hauler, the horse with cotton in its ears to shield it from the clicking cameras and surrounding crowds.
“They shipped well,” Baffert said of American Pharoah and Dortmund, his two entries into the 140th Preakness. “He was revved up. His motor, I can just feel, shut down. He's a very intelligent horse. This was just a routine walk, a new place and he settled in well."
Baffert said he was keeping American Pharoah out of the traditional end stall that is reserved for the Kentucky Derby winner in the Stakes Barn at Pimlico.
“There's a lot of crowd at the end there,” Baffert said. “The noise sort of gets to them a little bit, so I'm just trying to keep him and Dortmund together.”
The Derby runner-up, Firing Line, also arrived along with the crew from Kentucky.
Trainer Simon Callaghan, who is running his first Preakness, reported no issues from the flight, either.
“The horse arrived in good shape, held really good weight,” Callaghan said. “He looks bright and alert — everything you want to see coming off the van.”