`Point,' `Bob' to skip 2nd leg

Preakness not in Baffert's plans

Tesio winner Ah Day may run

May 14, 2006|By SANDRA MCKEE | SANDRA MCKEE,SUN REPORTER

Trainer Bob Baffert told Preakness officials yesterday that neither Maryland-bred Point Determined nor Bob and John will run in the middle jewel of the Triple Crown on Saturday.

That leaves the Preakness field holding at six entries: Barbaro, Sweetnorthernsaint, Brother Derek, Like Now, Bernardini and Hemingway's Key.

Ah Day, the Tesio Stakes winner, is still a possibility, said trainer and part owner King Leatherbury, after he worked Ah Day yesterday morning. Ah Day traveled five furlongs in 59 seconds at Laurel Park.

"We are leaving the door open, but there are three powerhouses in the race that are better than my horse," Leatherbury told track officials after the workout. "[But] the short field is making us consider the Preakness more strongly. We are handicapping the race to see if we can get a piece."

Jockey Ryan Fogelsonger said the horse took the first eighth easy and then finished strong without being urged.

"He is feeling unbelievable," Fogelsonger said. "I have never been on a horse that improves with each start like he does. He is the best 3-year-old I have ever been aboard, and I honestly think he could pick up a check. I am confident he is capable of competing."

To enter the son of Malibu Moon in the 131st Preakness, a supplemental fee of $100,000 has to be paid because Ah Day was not nominated to the Triple Crown races. Leatherbury has said someone besides him will have to pay the fee, and the Malibu Moon partnership is considering it.

If not, Ah Day probably will run in the $100,000 Sir Barton Stakes on the Preakness undercard.

Leatherbury is third on the all-time training list with 6,134 victories. Ah Day has never finished out of the money in six starts this year and would be Leatherbury's fifth career Preakness starter, after Indigo Star (fifth, 1978), Thirty Eight Paces (fourth, 1981), I Am The Game (fourth, 1985) and Malibu Moonshine (eighth, 2005).

Brother Derek and Hemingway's Key are expected to ship to Pimlico Race Course on Tuesday.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Like Now will ship Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, depending on how many of his entries make the Friday and Saturday racing cards.

smm2me@aol.com

Preakness starters

Confirmed

Horse Last start

Barbaro Ky. Derby, won Brother Derek Ky. Derby, 4th Sweetnorthernsaint Ky. Derby, 7th Like Now Lexington, 2nd Bernardini Withers, won Hemingway's Key Lexington, 8th

Possible

Ah Day Tesio, won

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