John Servis, trainer of Smarty Jones, said yesterday that "all systems are go" for the Preakness after the Kentucky Derby winner trained in the morning at Philadelphia Park.
Smarty Jones trained in the company of his pony, as he did the previous morning. Today, Servis said, "I'm going to turn him loose and let him gallop without the pony."
Once Smarty Jones begins galloping, Servis said he'll have a better feel for how the undefeated colt emerged from the Derby. Servis said that Smarty Jones is "dead fit" and that he doesn't plan to breeze him before the Preakness. He stressed again that he will run Smarty Jones in the Preakness only if he feels the colt is at his best.
"If my horse isn't 110 percent, he's not going to run," Servis said. "We went into the Derby with a loaded gun. If our gun's not loaded, we're not going to the Preakness."
Philadelphia Park will open its doors to the public tomorrow morning for Smarty Jones' training session. The Derby winner will gallop at 8:30 a.m. Doors will open at 8.
Meanwhile, Smarty Jones' potential opponents in the Preakness in eight days at Pimlico continue biding their time about committing to the race. The only change yesterday was the addition of Little Matth Man as a possible entrant.
129th Preakness Stakes
What: Second leg of thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown
Where, when: Pimlico Race Course, May 15, post time 6:04 p.m.
TV: Chs. 11, 4. Coverage begins at 5 p.m.Probable entries
Horse Trainer Last race
Smarty Jones John Servis 1st, Kentucky Derby
Lion Heart Patrick Biancone 2nd, Kentucky Derby
The Cliff's Edge Nick Zito 5th, Kentucky Derby
Borrego Beau Greely 10th, Kentucky Derby
Eddington Mark Hennig 3rd, Wood Memorial Stakes
Rock Hard Ten Jason Orman 3rd, Santa Anita Derby
Water Cannon Linda Albert 1st, Federico Tesio Stakes
Imperialism Kristin Mulhall 3rd, Kentucky Derby
Read the Footnotes Rick Violette 7th, Kentucky Derby
Tapit Michael Dickinson 9th, Kentucky Derby
Friends Lake John Kimmel 15th, Kentucky Derby
Bornwithit Bob Baffert 1st, allowance
Preachinatthebar Bob Baffert 7th, Blue Grass Stakes
Royal Assault Nick Zito 5th, Wood Memorial Stakes
Sinister G John Toscano Jr. 10th, Wood Memorial Stakes
Sir Shackleton Nick Zito 1st, Derby Trial
Swingforthefences Rick Violette 4th, Wood Memorial Stakes