Fluid is the best way to describe the field for the 133rd Preakness, as word came yesterday that El Gato Malo won't enter after all, and Riley Tucker, not previously in the picture, might run.
Recapturetheglory, the fifth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby and possibly the only Derby entry who will advance to the Preakness for a rematch with Derby winner Big Brown, remains an uncertainty.
Co-owner Ronald Lamarque told Pimlico Race Course officials yesterday that he and trainer and fellow co-owner Louie Roussel are "still thinking about the Preakness."
The two appear to be waiting to see just how large the Preakness field turns out to be before making a final decision.
Big Brown's trainer, Rick Dutrow, confirmed that he plans to bring the son of Boundary to Baltimore a week from today on a flight scheduled to land at 5:45 p.m., about the same time the draw for the Preakness will be underway.
Tres Borrachos, third in the Arkansas Derby, is also scheduled on the same flight.
El Gato Malo's connections, who had said he was definite for the Preakness, have reconsidered and decided to run Saturday in the Grade III Lone Star Derby.
"The decision certainly had to do with Big Brown's performance," said Terry Finley, founder and president of West Point Thoroughbreds. "We are probably going to be 8-5 in Texas and 15-1 at Pimlico. He is a gelding, and we are really focused on earning with this horse, so that worked into the decision."
Finley added that Macho Again is possible for the Preakness instead of doubtful, depending on the field size.
And trainer Bill Mott said Riley Tucker, third to Behindatthebar in the Lexington Stakes, also will make the trip to Baltimore.
The first to arrive will be Kentucky Bear, who is expected to come in by van to the stakes barn sometime this evening from Kentucky.