The 131 St Field

May 20, 2006|By KEN MURRAY AND SANDRA MCKEE | KEN MURRAY AND SANDRA MCKEE,SUN REPORTERS

ENTRY INFORMATION COMPILED BY KEN MURRAY

SUN REPORTER

RACING COMMENTS BY SANDRA MCKEE

SUN REPORTER

1 - LIKE NOW

ODDS 19-1

COLOR BAY

JOCKEY - Garrett Gomez -- Replaced regular rider, 18-year-old Fernando Jara, at the request of the owner. Ranked fifth in the nation in purse earnings last year with $14,221,321 and his 245 wins led all Southern California riders.

TRAINER - Kiaran McLaughlin -- Lexington, Ky., native who got his start under D. Wayne Lukas and established himself in Dubai. His main client is Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum's Shadwell Farm.

OWNERS - John J. Dillon -- A Villanova graduate and former Air Force officer, Dillon helped establish a corporation that sponsored Joe Frazier as a young fighter. Is licensed in five states.

BREEDING - Breeder -- John Dillon Jr. (Fla.)

Bloodlines -- Jules out of Can't Bluff Me

Foaled -- April '03

RECORD - 2006 -- 4 starts, 3 wins, 1 place ($253,457)

2005 -- 4 starts, 1 win, 1 place ($25,475)

Comment -- McLaughlin could have chosen to run Like Now in the Kentucky Derby, but he didn't. Now, he has a fresh horse with sprinter's speed. Like Now has won three of his four races as a 3-year-old and was second to Showing Up with a gritty performance in the Lexington Stakes in the one he didn't win. He won the Gotham, beating Keyed Entry and Sweetnorthernsaint, by going to the front and staying there. McLaughlin would like to do the same today.

2 - PLATINUM COUPLE

ODDS 28-1

COLOR GRAY/ROAN

JOCKEY - Jose Espinoza -- Started out riding in rodeos and on quarterhorses. Has won several New York stakes. Brother Victor also is a jockey.

TRAINER - Joe Lostritto -- Entered the longest shot in the race. Never won a graded stakes, but has won a few listed events in New York.

OWNERS - Tri Star Stables -- Never won a Triple Crown event. Cultivated the colt's family line, including a relation to stakes performer Dance Away Capote.

BREEDING - Breeder -- Tri Star Stables (N.Y.)

Bloodlines -- Tale of the Cat out of Ingot's Dance Away

Foaled -- April '03

RECORD - 2006 -- 4 starts, 1 place, 1 show ($42,734)

2005 -- 5 starts, 2 wins, 1 show ($82,723)

Comment -- He won twice as a 2-year-old, but hasn't won in four starts at age 3. And he hasn't been around two turns yet. He's one of the longest shots in the field. Espinoza, who rode him to victory as a 2-year-old, has the ride, and the Lostritto family has great faith in the horse. Their favorite song is "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." They think this could be the somewhere. "Long shots do win," Lostritto said. "I think we'll be a contender."

3 - HEMINGWAY'S KEY

JOCKEY

Jeremy Rose -- Rode Afleet Alex to Preakness and Belmont victories last year. Raced in Maryland, but moved to Gulfstream Park for the winter and the mid-Atlantic the rest of the year.

TRAINER

Nick Zito -- Saddled five colts in the 2005 Kentucky Derby, none of whom finished higher than seventh. Did not race in this year's Derby, and despite suspect record of Hemingway's Key, opted for Preakness.

OWNERS - George Steinbrenner -- Has bred and/or raced more than 30 stakes winners. The New York Yankees owner has a breeding operation at his 750-acre Kinsman Farm near Ocala, Fla.

BREEDING - Breeder -- Ocala (Fla.) Stud Farm

Bloodlines -- Notebook out of Whirl's Girl

Foaled -- Jan. '03

RECORD - 2006 -- 4 starts ($10,000)

2005 -- 2 starts, 2 wins ($39,498)

Comment -- Zito, who won the 1996 Preakness with Louis Quatorze, says that, on paper, Hemingway's Key doesn't look like he belongs in this field. He's 0-for-4 as a 3-year-old and hasn't finished higher than sixth in those four races. But Zito said: "You can't even lose if you don't play the game." The son of Notebook is fiery with energy. The question is: Can he put his game together under the guidance of Rose, who will be riding him for the first time?

4 - GREELEY'S LEGACY

ODDS 38-1

COLOR DARK BAY/BROWN

JOCKEY

Richard Migliore -- Has won 12 New York riding titles and more than 4,000 races. The best of his four Preakness finishes was in 2002 aboard Magic Weisner, finishing second to War Emblem at 45-1.

TRAINER - George Weaver -- Learned under D. Wayne Lukas and Todd Pletcher before breaking away in 2002. His 40-horse operation splits time between New York (Saratoga and Belmont) and Florida.

OWNERS - Donald Flanagan -- Racing in his first Preakness.

BREEDING - Breeder -- Select Broodmare Fund (Ky.)

Bloodlines -- Mr. Greeley out of Deceit Princess

Foaled -- April '03

RECORD - 2006 -- 5 starts, 1 win ($59,900)

2005 -- 6 starts, 1 win, 2 shows ($37,791)

Comment -- Migliore has the ride on this colt whose trainer believes is ready for a big race. Greeley's Legacy clocked 58.69 seconds over five furlongs last Saturday, pushing Weaver to enter him. Greeley's Legacy ran a closing fourth in the Gotham and was fourth again in the Lexington. But he has won just twice in 11 starts. He has had four weeks' rest and Weaver says the stars have aligned: "I think he fits this race, the timing is right and the horse is right."

5 - BROTHER DEREK

ODDS 7-2

COLOR CHESTNUT

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