Imperialism likely to join Preakness field

`Edge' also in line for shot

Tapit, two others are out

`Smarty' training sharply

May 08, 2004|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

The Preakness could showcase the top three finishers in the Kentucky Derby, as well as the Derby's morning-line favorite.

Kristin Mulhall, trainer of Imperialism, a closing third in the Derby, said the 16-race veteran will likely run in the Preakness after returning to the track at Hollywood Park and training aggressively.

Imperialism would join Derby winner Smarty Jones, Derby runner-up Lion Heart and the Derby's morning-line favorite, The Cliff's Edge, who finished fifth after losing both of his front shoes, in the Preakness starting gate.

Meanwhile, three trainers removed Derby horses from Preakness consideration. Maryland trainer Michael Dickinson said Tapit, who was ninth in the Derby, will skip the Preakness and wait for the Belmont Stakes.

John Kimmel said Friends Lake, 15th in the Derby, would remain at Belmont Park, possibly contest the Peter Pan Stakes on May 22 and then compete in the Belmont.

Rick Violette said Read the Footnotes, seventh in the Derby, would skip the Preakness and also possibly run in the Peter Pan. Violette said Swingforthefences remains a long-shot candidate for the Preakness.

Smarty Jones passed a critical test yesterday at Philadelphia Park, galloping alone for the first time since the Derby. John Servis, his trainer, has said he won't send Smarty Jones to Baltimore unless he's 100 percent fit.

"Things are very, very good," Servis said after Smarty Jones' powerful gallop. "He goes out and trains like he wants to be the best there is. He's matured into a quiet, gentle horse, but when you take him out and put that tack on him, he trains like he's going into the last fight of his career. And that makes him a special horse."

Today is the first of three days dedicated to Smarty Jones at Philadelphia Park, his home track in Bensalem, Pa., just north of Philadelphia. At 8:30 a.m., Smarty Jones will gallop before the public. Doors will open at 8.

Tomorrow, Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell will issue a proclamation to Smarty Jones and his connections at 1 p.m. in the winner's circle.

On Monday, Charles J. Cella, owner of Oaklawn Park in Arkansas, will present Patricia and Roy Chapman, owners of Smarty Jones, a check for $5 million for sweeping Oaklawn's Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby and winning the Kentucky Derby.

The presentation will take place at noon in the Pennsylvania Derby dining room.

129th Preakness Stakes

What: Second leg of thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown

Where, when: Pimlico Race Course, next Saturday, 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

Imperialism Kristin Mulhall 3rd, 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

Little Matth Man Martin Ciresa 7th, Wood Memorial Stakes

Water Cannon Linda Albert 1st, Federico Tesio Stakes

Possible entries

Bornwithit Bob Baffert 1st, allowance

Preachinatthebar Bob Baffert 7th, Blue Grass Stakes

Sir Shackleton Nick Zito 1st, Derby Trial

Swingforthefences Rick Violette 4th, Wood Memorial Stakes

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