Drysdale reserves quieter quarters for favorite `Pegasus'

Stakes barn rejected

Baffert still undecided

Preakness notebook

May 15, 2000|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

After touring Pimlico on "reconnaissance" for his Kentucky Derby winner, trainer Neil Drysdale said yesterday that he will stable Fusaichi Pegasus in a barn away from the other Preakness horses.

Standing next to the stakes barn that traditionally houses horses for the Preakness, Drysdale said that when Fusaichi Pegasus arrives Wednesday from Churchill Downs, he will reside in Barn 7 on the eastern side of Pimlico. The stakes barn is situated behind the grandstand on the western side.

Fusaichi Pegasus would be the first Kentucky Derby winner to run in the Preakness not to stay in the stakes barn since Northern Dancer in 1964. Traditionally, Stall 40 is reserved for the Derby winner.

The Preakness is Saturday at Pimlico.

"There's just a bit more room there," Drysdale said of the eastern side of the stable. "And it looks to be a quieter spot."

Asked whether the more isolated barn was for his benefit or the horse's, Drysdale said: "It's for the horse. It's irrelevant to me."

Fusaichi Pegasus is a good-feeling horse who likes to buck and play. He doesn't seem to mind people, but Drysdale apparently believes a quieter stall will benefit the colt as he seeks to become the 12th winner of the Triple Crown.

Drysdale is a native Englishman who practices caution when talking to reporters. He said he would drive to the stakes barn each morning to conduct news conferences.

Asked how Fusaichi Pegasus has fared since the Derby, Drysdale said: "I think he looks in pretty good order. He's maintained his weight. The weight he lost after the race he's put back on."

Drysdale said that Fusaichi Pegasus would breeze today or tomorrow at Churchill Downs and then be flown Wednesday to Pimlico. The Derby winner will probably arrive late in the morning.

Baffert waits on `Steve'

Captain Steve, eighth in the Derby, will breeze today at Churchill Downs. A decision will be made afterward whether to send him to the Preakness on the same plane with Fusaichi Pegasus."He's doing great. He looks very good," said Bob Baffert, his trainer. "But he's going to have to show me."

What's he going to have to show Baffert during the workout?

"I'll know it when I see it," he said.

`Hope' enjoying himself

Hal's Hope, 16th in the Derby, seems to be thriving at Pimlico. After morning exercise yesterday, he was jumping and bucking.

"He jogged a mile, then galloped a mile and a half," said Harold J. Rose, his breeder-owner-trainer. "Coming off the track, he was bucking like he wanted to do more."

High Yield tune-up

D. Wayne Lukas, trainer of High Yield, 15th in the Derby, plans on breezing his colt today at Pimlico."I don't know how much of a work," Lukas said. "Just a little something to get him to Saturday."

Las Vegas race odds

Las Vegas Sports Consultants has released these estimated odds for the eight horses expected for the Preakness:

Fusaichi Pegasus 1-2, Red Bullet 5-1, High Yield 7-1, Wheelaway 10-1, Captain Steve 10-1, Snuck In 18-1, Hal's Hope 40-1 and Hugh Hefner 75-1.

Lily's Affair rallies

The Preakness horses are getting the attention, but the horsemen who labor day in and day out are still competing in weekly stakes at Pimlico.

Yesterday, Lily's Affair, the 6-5 favorite, rallied from last to win the $75,000 Skipat Stakes. The six-furlong Skipat was the first race in the MATCH (Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championships) series in the sprint division for fillies and mares.

Trained by Michael E. Gorham at Delaware Park, the 4-year-old daughter of Colonial Affair dropped back to last from post No.1. Her jockey, Harry Vega, swung her wide around the turn, and then she outran the 3-1 Elektraline and 3-2 Angelina Capote to the wire.

Elektraline is trained by Richard E. Schosberg at Belmont Park, and Angelina Capota by John C. Kimmel at Fair Hill in northern Maryland.

Lily's Affair competed this winter at Gulfstream Park, where she won two of three races, including a $50,000 stakes for fillies and mares.

Gorham said he would probably keep Lily's Affair running in MATCH races throughout the summer.

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