Cherry Wine, Laoban post final Preakness works
Cherry Wine finished his major preparations for the Preakness (G1) on Saturday by working five furlongs on a fast Churchill Downs track in 1:01.60.
Working on his own and with regular exercise rider Faustino Aguilar aboard, Cherry Wine produced fractions of :24.80, :49.20, 1:01.60 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:14. The work was the 24th fastest of 38 at the distance.
"I thought he worked well," trainer Dale Romans said. "He will ship to Pimlico on Wednesday."
It was the second work for Cherry Wine since finishing third in the Blue Grass (G1) on April 9 at Keeneland. He had worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 at Churchill Downs on April 30.
"He is a light-framed horse and we space his works out," Romans said. "Plus, we had a lot to do last Saturday (with horses in eight races including Brody's Cause in the Kentucky Derby [G1])."
A Preakness victory by Cherry Wine to go along with Shackleford's 2011 triumph would have extra meaning for Romans.
"I trained the sire (Paddy O'Prado), the dam (C.S. Royce) and her mother (Sweeping Story)," Romans said. "It would be special."
Cherry Wine will be jockey Corey Lanerie's first Preakness mount.
Multiple graded stakes-placed maiden Laoban breezed six furlongs in 1:14.40 at Keeneland Saturday morning in preparation for the Preakness.
"I put him three jumps behind the horse I'm bringing in for the Sir Barton, Fearless Dragon. They went off in [:26 1/5] and finished in 24 flat," trainer Eric Guillot said. "It was an easy maintenance work, just trying to get him to relax."
The son of Uncle Mo, who finished third in the Sham (G3) at Santa Anita and second in the Gotham (G2) at Aqueduct, is coming of a fourth-place finish in the Blue Grass (G1), in which he set the pace into the stretch before fading to fourth behind Brody's Cause, My Man Sam and Cherry Wine.
"He's a solid horse. He's getting better. If you look at the Blue Grass he ran a lot better visually than he did on paper. Everything was coming from the clouds that day. The horses came from 14th, 13th, and 11th to beat me," Guillot said.
Laoban worked without blinkers and is scheduled to race without them in the Preakness.
"The trick is to take the blinkers off and try to get him to relax instead of pulling the jock around there," Guillot said.
In other Preakness news:
Kentucky Derby runner-up Exaggerator had his final morning on the track at Churchill Downs Saturday, galloping 1 1/4 miles. Trained by Keith Desormeaux, Exaggerator is scheduled to leave Kentucky at 5 a.m. (EDT) Sunday morning.
"He has been eating; his energy is good...all positive signs," assistant trainer Julie Clark said.
Derby third-place finisher Gun Runner galloped 1 1/4 miles at Churchill while trainer Steve Asmussen and owners Winchell Thoroughbreds, Three Chimneys Farm and Besilu Stables decide his Preakness future.
"It hasn't been ruled out," said David Fiske, Racing Manager for Winchell Thoroughbreds. "He is ready to go, but we have not decided."
Collected came out of his seven-furlong work (1:24.80) at Churchill Friday in good order, reported Jim Barnes, assistant to trainer Bob Baffert.
Fellowship, fourth in the Pat Day Mile (G3) on the Derby undercard, galloped 1 1/2 miles Saturday morning. The Jacks or Better Farm homebred and a contingent of Mark Casse-trained horses are scheduled to leave Churchill Downs Monday afternoon for an overnight excursion to Pimlico with a Tuesday morning arrival anticipated.
Lani, the Kentucky-bred, Japan-based son of Tapit who finished ninth in the Kentucky Derby, is training for the Preakness at Belmont Park. Keita Tanaka, agent/racing manager for owner Koji Maeda, said Lani is slated for a strong gallop to stretch his legs Sunday morning. A five- or six-furlong breeze is scheduled for Wednesday morning.
Lani spent approximately 45 minutes on the Belmont main track Saturday morning when he made four circuits of the track walking and jogging, as well as galloping twice around. He will be shipped to Baltimore Thursday morning.
Uncle Lino is slated to ship from California on Tuesday. He had his final timed work for the Preakness Friday morning at Santa Anita, covering five furlongs in 1:00.80.
Fernando Perez, who has ridden Uncle Lino throughout his career, will be aboard in the Preakness.