Five to go in Black-Eyed Susan

Preakness notebook

Tap Dance likely to be favored

Scoop to make East Coast appearance

Horse Racing

May 18, 2001|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Two years ago, the outstanding filly, Silverbulletday, blazed her way to victory in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, running to within three-fifths of a second of Private Terms' Pimlico track record for 1 1/8 miles.

Today's field does not appear ready to challenge that performance.

Only five fillies will go postward in the Grade II, $200,000 female version of the Preakness, and all have proved vulnerable during their careers.

The only returnee from the Kentucky Oaks field two weeks ago is Tap Dance, the likely post-time favorite after coming to within a neck of the leader and then finishing fifth to Flute at Churchill Downs.

But the most interesting entry may be James Tafel's Scoop, a trainee of Chicago-based Gene Cilio, who rarely ships to the East.

A 2 1/4 -length winner in the National Jockey Club Oaks on April 14 at Sportsman's Park, Scoop is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Gone West out of the stakes-running Temperence Hill mare Til Forbid.

Cilio decided to bypass the Oaks after scoping her before the entry fee was posted. "I thought she was doing great, but they found some mucus and a little infection," he said. "I decided not to enter. You don't go into a race like the Kentucky Oaks if you're not 100 percent. We went ahead and treated her and she's doing great again."

Lightly raced, Scoop is 3-for-7 lifetime with earnings of $152,400.

Vines of Justice was scratched from the Miss Preakness Stakes yesterday; otherwise, the Susan field would have been reduced to four. The others are New York-based Indy Glory and Two Item Limit.

In today's co-feature, the $100,000 Gallorette Handicap for 3-year-old fillies and mares on the turf, Elliott Walden trainee License Fee is expected to go off as the favorite after a five-length score in a Grade III stakes at 1 1/8 miles in her last outing. A familiar campaigner locally who has won three times over the Pimlico grass during the last year, Colstar returns as the defending champion of the race.

Easy day

It was a relatively restful day for the Preakness horses with most confining activity to easy gallops around the track or jogs, mostly to get a feel for the surface.

Monarchos also received some gate schooling and then trainer John Ward reasoned that "he'll be a little closer in this race." Ward also said a defeat in the Preakness does not necessarily mean the Kentucky Derby champion will not run in the Belmont if he's still sound.

The two Bob Baffert trainees, Congaree and Point Given, were sent out to test the track. Baffert has removed the small blinkers from Congaree in an effort to get him "to relax a little" and not tug the jockey toward the front while the trainer simply continued to try to put Point Given's disappointing Kentucky Derby behind him.

Long shot takes stakes

Long shot Flasher came flashing up the inside after the final jump to edge favored Praise The Prince in the Grade I $107,250 Joe Aitcheson Stakes, the second leg of the steeplechase Triple Crown.

It was a remarkable turnaround by the 7-year-old gelding, who finished last, beaten by 28 1/2 lengths, in the first leg, the Hard Scuffle at Churchill Downs. Flasher had consecutive victories over Praise The Prince last year during his first three starts over hurdles.

"He didn't eat or drink anything for three days. He hated the food and water there," winning trainer Jim Day said of Flasher's experience in Kentucky. "He's just a bad shipper. I knew why he ran such a bad race and I was confident he'd run his best today."

Kimbralata wins again

Unbeaten Kimbralata withstood the invasion of several graded stakes winners and scored her fifth straight victory in yesterday's feature, the $100,000 Miss Preakness Stakes at six furlongs.

Owned by Donald H. Mensh, trained locally by Dale Capuano and ridden by Travis Dunkelberger, Kimbralata passed her first serious test and returned $8 to win as the third choice in a field of five. The odds-on favorite, New York-based Gold Mover, finished fourth behind Carafe, who rallied for the place under Gary Stevens, and Stormy Pick.

The winner, whose winning margin was three parts of a length, vied for the lead all the way with Stormy Pick, a Grade I winner last summer at Saratoga.

Around the track

A rebroadcast of the Preakness will be available on the Internet site MSNBCSports.com 30 minutes after the live coverage of the race. The site will also rebroadcast the Belmont Stakes on June 9 a half-hour after its completion. ... Keith Mills of Channel 2 and Jennie Rees of the Louisville Courier-Journal received Old Hilltop Awards at the Alibi Breakfast, and local trainer-breeder J. William Boniface was named the Preakness' honorary postmaster this year.

126th Preakness field

PP Horse ............... Trainer ................ Jockey .............Odds

1. Marciano ...........Tim Ritchey ...........Mark Johnston ........12-1

2. Mr. John ...........Elliott Walden ........Corey Nakatani ........16-1

3. Griffinite ........Jennifer Leigh-Pedersen .Shaun Bridgmohan .....23-1

4. A P Valentine .........Nick Zito ...........Victor Espinoza ........11-1

5. Congaree ............Bob Baffert .......... Jerry Bailey ............3-1

6. Richly Blended ......Ben Perkins Jr. ....... Rick Wilson ...........16-1

7. Monarchos ......... John Ward Jr. .......Jorge Chavez ...........2-1

8. Percy Hope .........Tony Reinstedler ........Jon Court ............30-1

9. Bay Eagle ...........H. Graham Motion .....Ramon Dominguez .....25-1

10. Dollar Bill ...........Dallas Stewart ...........Pat Day ............11-1

11. Point Given .......... Bob Baffert ...........Gary Stevens .........7-2

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