Go For Gin solidified his role as Preakness favorite yesterday, running through the mud with machine-like precision in a five-furlong workout at Pimlico Race Course.
The horse showed he is suffering no ill effects after his front-running effort in the May 7 Kentucky Derby and that trainer Nick Zito has been able to maintain the colt in peak condition.
With exercise rider Jose Cuevas aboard, the colt went the distance in 1 minute, 2 2/5 seconds, finishing strong. He was going so fast at the end, that he had trouble negotiating the turn past the finish line, drifting out past the wire.
Zito said the work was "perfect. Just what we wanted. He's like pure olive oil. You can't waste a drop. We're at a disadvantage here because many of the other horses are fresh and didn't just run in the Kentucky Derby. That's why we have to be careful and conserve him."
Although no official line has yet been issued by Pimlico oddsmaker Clem Florio, he probably will make the horse close to
a 2-1 favorite for Saturday's race.
Preakness simulcast plans
Pimlico/Laurel management will offer full-card simulcasts on out-of-state tracks for the first time on Preakness Day in conjunction with its live card, but only at off-track betting locations.
No out-of-state simulcasts will be offered at Pimlico on Preakness Day.
"Number one, because of the size of the crowd, it would be physically impossible to do it," said track owner, Joe De Francis. "Secondly, the people who come to Pimlico come to the Preakness for the color and pageantry of the event and to see the live races.
"However, there is plenty of room at Laurel and Rosecroft and we will offer the multiple signals there, as well as at the other off-track betting locations in the state."
Signals simulcast that day, in addition to the Pimlico live card, will be Churchill Downs and Arlington, Philadelphia and Hialeah parks.
Smilin Singin Sam drops out
Cot Campbell, managing partner of the Dogwood Farm syndicate that owns Smilin Singin Sam, said that the horse will not run in the Preakness, cutting the field to 12 possible starters.
"It's tempting," Campbell said. "But he's a colt who wants considerable time between races and shipping him to Baltimore is, regrettably, not the wise thing to do."
The incorrigible Silver Goblin
Anyone thinking that Silver Goblin might have been a bit tired after his super-quick six-furlong Preakness work on Sunday, would have been amazed to see the horse yesterday at Pimlico.
He had so much energy walking around the shedrow that his trainer, Kenny Smith, decided to send him to the track. Even there, he was a handful for exercise rider Jesse Vega.
Not many horses can work six furlongs in 1:10 1/5 and come back the next day asking for more.