Horses to watch on Preakness Day undercard

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

May 15th, 2015

As promised, here’s a look at some non-favorites I’ll be taking a look at in some of the Preakness Day undercard stakes at Pimlico on Saturday.

Sir Barton (Race 7) – Conquest Bigluck E was precocious enough to win at first asking last June going 4 1/2 furlongs, and returned five months later to win an allowance at Keeneland going six furlongs. He suffered his first career defeat last time in the Woodstock S. at Woodbine, finishing third by five lengths, in his first start on a synthetic surface. Back to dirt today, he stretches out over a track that was kind to his father (2010 Preakness [G1] winner Lookin at Lucky), and his dam is a half to a Cotillion (G2) winner. The added distance doesn’t appear as if it will be a problem, he’s working well (near bullet half-mile at Churchill last week), and doubt the capable Mark Casse has scratched the surface on this promising colt.

Gallorette Handicap (Race 9) – Token of Love finished 11th in her only prior graded attempt, the Sceptre S. (Eng-G3) at Doncaster last September, but don’t be fooled by this. One race earlier, she took the Dick Hern S. at Haydock by 2 1/4 lengths over Lady Lara, who you might remember as the winner of the Pebbles S. at Belmont and Honey Fox (G2) at Gulfstream since her importation last summer. In other words, Token of Love fits very well class-wise against this field. According to BRIS stats, new trainer Graham Motion has won with 33 percent of his starters making their first start in North America over the past two years.

Chick Lang (Race 10) – Last fall Hebbronville could have been characterized as an up-and-coming sprinter, especially after finishing less than a length behind the highly-regard Blofeld in the Futurity (G2) at Belmont Park. His stock has declined a bit since then. He was eased in the Nashua (G2) won by Blofeld, finished out of the money stretching out to a mile in the Smarty Jones S, and then finished a non-threatening third in the Gazebo S. and Bachelor S., both six-furlong sprints. If it was simply a matter of him not caring that much for the Oaklawn surface, perhaps the Lynn Whiting trainee can give a good account of himself here from off the pace in a race loaded with speed.