A peek at the weather, plus a few notes

May 14, 2011|By Chris Korman

Is it ever too early to look ahead at what the weather might be like on Preakness Saturday?

Yes. Yes it is.

Let's do it anyway.

According to The Weather Channel, it will be be 76 degrees and rainy a week from today.

AccuWeather predicts pretty much the same: 79 degrees with a chance of thunderstorms.

Though I've never before taken part in the revelry that is the infield at Pimlico on the biggest racing day of the year, but guess is that a little rain won't dampen spirits. Or lead to any less consumption of spirits.

What I'm trying to say is that people will like playing in the mud, if it comes to that.

It's unclear which horse will enjoy -- or benefit from -- it the most.

Speaking of horses, these notes are courtesy of Mike Gathagan, the Maryland Jockey's Club's vice president for communications. He's doing fine work keeping us updated on the potential field.

  • Sway Away, who had insufficient graded stakes money and barely missed a spot at the Kentucky Derby, will have a spot at the Preakness due to the defection of Santiva. Sway Away, son of Afleet Alex (2005 winner of the Preakness and Belmont), will be ridden by Garrett Gomez.
  • Animal Kingdom continues to take it easy at Fair Hill. He jogged a half mile and galloped a mile. By the way, if you haven't checked out Mike Klingaman's story on Fair Hill, which almost went bankrupt 15 years ago but is now the center of the horse racing world's attention, you should.
  • Kentucky Derby runner-up Nehro jogged on Saturday, but his status for the Preakness remains uncertain."He came out of the race well, but he's run three races in six weeks and he delivered for us in each of them," assistant trainer Scott Blasi said. "Now we'd be asking him to come back in just two weeks. It'll probably be a game-time decision as to whether we run in the Preakness."
  • Trainer Eddie Gaudet still isn't sure if he'll run Concealed Identiy, son of Smarty Jones (winner of the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness). "I'll see how many horses are in there before I enter," he said. "If there's 15 in there, I wouldn't enter if I thought I might scratch."
  • Bob Baffert will not run The Factor at Preakness, but he's considering entering Santa Anita Derby winner Midnight Interlude (16th at Kentucky Derby.)
  • Bowie based trainer Chris Grove -- be sure to read the story Sandy McKee wrote about him -- said that his first Preakness entry, Norman Asbjornson, came out of his workout at Pimlico Friday in "super" condition. Grove will continue to school Norman in gate etiquette; the son of Real Quiet (winner of the 1998 Derby and Preakness) has already been scratched once for misbehaving. "We've worked and worked and worked with him at the gate, and he just doesn't seem to get any better about it," Grove said. "But he did make a turn for the better at the game this week and started relaxing.
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