Trainer Dallas Stewart and owner Charles Fipke's decision on Tale of Verve's status for the 140th Preakness next Saturday at Pimlico Race Course likely will rest on their analysis of last Saturday's Kentucky Derby. "I talked with the owner last night," said Stewart, aware that the middle jewel of the Triple Crown is likely to attract a number of runners from the Kentucky Derby. "There were a lot of horses that ran bad races [in the Derby] and it wasn't like they were flying home with the last quarter in :26." Tale of Verve, who did not draw into the Derby from the also-eligible list, galloped 1 5/8 miles Friday under exercise rider Cortez Walker. "The longer the better for him," Stewart said. "If he doesn't gallop a long way, he doesn't get a lot out of it." Tale of Verve broke his maiden in his most recent start at the Preakness distance of 1 3/16 miles at Keeneland on April 23 and worked 5 furlongs at Churchill Downs on Monday.
More Preakness: The top three Kentucky Derby finishers — American Pharoah, Firing Line and Dortmund — worked out at Churchill Downs on Friday morning in preparation for the Preakness, all three galloping for the first time since last Saturday's race.
More horse racing: Sagamore Racing will be the named sponsor of the $300,000 Pimlico Special on Friday. The Sagamore Racing Pimlico Special is for 3-year-olds and up at 13/16 miles. The race has a rich history of attracting some of thoroughbred racing's biggest names, including Seabiscuit, Cigar, War Admiral, Invasor, Real Quiet, Skip Away, Criminal Type, Assault and Mineshaft. In addition to sponsoring the Pimlico Special, Sagamore Racing, located in Glyndon, will present a $30,000 check to Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance in the winner's circle after the race.
Former Duke guard Sulaimon visits Terps
Former Duke guard Rasheed Sulaimon visited College Park on Friday, a source familiar with the situation said, and is considering transferring to Maryland next season. Sulaimon, who is set to graduate this summer and would be eligible to play immediately, was dismissed in late January, with coach Mike Krzyzewski saying the onetime starter and NBA draft prospect had "failed to live up to the standard required to be a member of our program." Sulaimon became the first player Krzyzewski had ever dismissed from the program, and about a month later, the Duke student newspaper reported that two female students had made allegations of sexual assault against him. No charges were filed, and the university stopped its investigation after not finding any evidence to support the allegations.
Read more on Sulaimon at baltimoresun.com/trackingterps.
Baseball: Maryland junior pitcher Kevin Mooney (North Harford) earned first-team Academic All-District II honors. ... Hood freshman catcher Josh Gall (Arundel) made the D3baseball.com Team of the Week.
Softball: Rachel Johnson struck out 14 as host and fourth-ranked Salisbury earned a 4-0 victory over McDaniel in the opening game of the NCAA Division III regional.
Texans' Johnson, Vikings' Diggs sign NFL rookie deals
Former River Hill standout and Wake Forest cornerback Kevin Johnson has signed his four-year, $10.049 million fully guaranteed rookie contract, according to a league source. The Houston Texans' first-round draft pick received a $5.5 million signing bonus. The deal includes a fifth-year team option. Johnson was drafted 16th overall.
More NFL: Former Maryland star wide receiver Stefon Diggs signed a four-year, $2.5 million contract Thursday with the Minnesota Vikings. The fifth-round draft pick received a $228,000 signing bonus. ... The Seattle Seahawks have signed former Towson cornerback Tye Smith to a four-year, $2.446 million contract, his agent, Sean Stellato, said late Thursday. The deal includes a $166,252 signing bonus.
Olympics: Paralympic track and field athlete Tatyana McFadden (Atholton) won a Team USA Best of April award, the United States Olympic Committee announced. McFadden won the women's wheelchair division of the Boston Marathon for the third consecutive year, won the women's wheelchair division of the London Marathon/IPC Athletics Marathon World Championships and became the first American to be honored with the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award.