Triple Crown first: 3 female trainers

Albert, Mulhall, Pedersen vie to be 1st woman to win

no decision yet on `Edge'

Notebook

Preakness Stakes

May 14, 2004|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

For the first time in a Triple Crown race, three female trainers will saddle horses tomorrow in the Preakness - Linda Albert (Water Cannon), Kristin Mulhall (Imperialism) and Jennifer Pedersen (Song of the Sword).

Albert trains at Bowie, and Mulhall, based in California, has been at Pimlico Race Course since Tuesday. Pedersen is due to arrive today from Aqueduct.

Mulhall, 21, was one of the top stories at this year's Kentucky Derby, more for her age than her gender. She would have been not only the first female trainer but also the youngest trainer to win the Derby.

No female trainer has won the Preakness or Belmont, either. Women have trained 13 horses in the Derby, 12 in the Preakness and seven in the Belmont Stakes. Four times, two female trainers have saddled horses in the same Triple Crown race.

"Women can train horses just as well as men can," said Mulhall, who grew up riding show horses. "Sometimes it's hard to get the opportunity. Owners want to give their horses to trainers who are accomplished. It's tough to find someone who will give you a chance, like Steve [Taub] did with me."

Taub, 49, who owns a large car-leasing company in California, met Mulhall when she was a 19-year-old exercise rider. He was so impressed with her ethics and horsemanship that he gave her horses to train. He owns Imperialism.

Albert, 45, has trained horses for 15 years, all at Bowie. She said it means nothing to her being a female trainer in the Preakness. She used to want to be the first female trainer to win the Kentucky Derby, she said, but she's come to realize she's probably never going to get the horses for that.

"I'd settle for being the first to win the Preakness," she said.

`Edge' still limping

Nick Zito, trainer of The Cliff's Edge, said yesterday that he wants to observe the colt's sore foot one more day before deciding whether to scratch him from the Preakness. The Cliff's Edge has an abscess in his right front foot, probably from a stone bruise, Zito said.

With a rider on his back, The Cliff's Edge walked under the shedrow yesterday morning. He was noticeably limping.

Today at the track

The Pimlico Distaff Breeders' Cup and Adena Stallions' Miss Preakness Stakes today will be televised on ESPN2, beginning at 3:30 p.m.

That will be followed by the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes and Pimlico Special on ESPN, beginning at 5 p.m.

The Pimlico Special lost its featured attraction yesterday with the scratch of Funny Cide because of the heat. That leaves Dynever and Southern Image to vie for favoritism.

Southern Image has won five of six races, most recently the Santa Anita Handicap. Dynever, who hasn't won a stakes bigger than Grade III, is seemingly always on the verge of a break-out race.

The $500,000 race also includes Grade I winner Evening Attire and last year's Preakness runner-up, Midway Road.

Baffert in Black-Eyed

Bob Baffert, the California trainer, doesn't have a horse in the Preakness for the first time since 1995. However, he trains Yearly Report, the 4-5 favorite in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. She has won three of four races.

The top local hope is Pawyne Princess, who raced against males last month in the Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico. After leading by three lengths, she lost by a neck to Water Cannon.

Et cetera

Controversy continues over account wagering, and betting on the Preakness by telephone and computer will be limited, for the most part, to XpressBet. Magna Entertainment Corp., parent company of the Maryland Jockey Club, operates XpressBet. ... Trainer D. Wayne Lukas will not be at Pimlico for the Preakness for the first time since 1979. From 1980 to 2003, Lukas started 30 horses in the Preakness, winning five. He didn't participate in the big race in 1982, 1984, 1997 and 2001 but saddled horses on the undercard. ... The Maryland Jockey Club dubbed yesterday's third race the "first running of The Cicada Special [Next Running in 17 Years]."

Field for the 129th Preakness

PP Horse Jockey Trainer Record Odds

1 Lion Heart Mike Smith Patrick Biancone 6-3-3-0 3-1

2 Borrego Victor Espinoza Beau Greely 8-2-3-0 15-1

3 Little Matth Man Richard Migliore Martin Ciresa 12-3-1-2 50-1

4 The Cliff's Edge Shane Sellers Nick Zito 9-4-2-1 8-1

5 Song of the Sword Jorge Chavez Jennifer Pedersen 6-3-1-1 30-1

6 Sir Shackleton Rafael Bejarano Nick Zito 4-3-1-0 30-1

7 Smarty Jones Stewart Elliott John Servis 7-7-0-0 8-5

8 Imperialism Kent Desormeaux Kristin Mulhall 16-5-4-2 5-1

9 Eddington Jerry Bailey Mark Hennig 6-2-2-2 8-1

10 Rock Hard Ten Gary Stevens Jason Orman 3-2-0-1 6-1

11 Water Cannon Ryan Fogelsonger Linda Albert 11-5-2-1 30-1

*-Starts-1st place-2nd place-3rd place

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