LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Summer Squall and Unbridled are set to meet for the first time since their 1-2 finish in the Preakness last year -- unless it rains.
Unbridled's trainer Carl Nafzger said at Churchill Downs yesterday that Unbridled won't race against Summer Squall in the Pimlico Special this Saturday on a wet track.
"If it rains, we get the train," Nafzger said.
Unbridled recently finished fifth in the Oaklawn Handicap on a sloppy track.
The horse, who won both the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders' Cup Classic last year, is expected to fly to Baltimore today with a load of Preakness and Pimlico Special horses that have been stabled at Churchill Downs.
Pat Day worked Unbridled at the Kentucky track yesterday. The 4-year-old son of Fappiano went five furlongs in 59 2/5 seconds, indicating his fitness for Saturday's re-match.
Ironically, Day chose to ride Summer Squall in the Pimlico Special. Craig Perret will be aboard Unbridled.
Unbridled is highweighted at 122 pounds, 2 pounds more than Summer Squall. Summer Squall is being asked to go 1 3/16 miles around two turns off of just one sprint prep. He equaled the track record for 6 1/2 furlongs (1:15 2/5) at Keeneland about three weeks ago in his season debut.
His owner, Cot Campbell of the Dogwood Stable, said, "We've been pointing for this race since last winter. We loved his debut and have no reservations as we head into Maryland."
Summer Squall is trained by Neil Howard.
The Pimlico Special once again shapes up as a championship race. It is the first time that both Unbridled and Summer Squall will meet rising new stars of the handicap ranks like Festin, winner of the Oaklawn Handicap; Jolies Halo, winner of the Gulfstream Park Handicap; and Farma Way, winner of the Santa Anita Handicap.
Farma Way and Jolies Halo both drew 119 pounds. Festin, surprise winner on the wet track at Oaklawn, gets 116 pounds.
Also expected to start are Silver Survivor (114 pounds), De Roche (113), Western Playboy (113) and Reputed Testamony (112).
The Pimlico Special is being televised live by ABC on "Wide World of Sports." It is the fourth leg of the inaugural 10-race American Championship Racing Series.