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Mage Gets Boost for Preakness

Forte, Scratched From Derby, Ruled Out of Second Leg of Triple Crown

It appears that Kentucky Derby winner Mage will run in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 20, but a familiar face will not be joining him in the starting gate. Forte, who was scratched the morning of the Derby because of a bruised foot, was placed on a 14-day veterinarian’s list on Monday, ruling him out of the Preakness.

Forte, the favorite in the Las Vegas Horse racing odds when he was scratched, defeated Mage twice in prep races in Florida leading to the first jewel of the Triple Crown.

Mage Gets Boost for Preakness
Kentucky Derby winner Mage - Rob Carr/Getty Images/afp

Mage Poised to Resume Triple Crown Bid

Mage came out of his one-length victory in good order, according to co-owner Ramiro Restrepo. “The horse looks pretty amazing (Sunday) morning, he’s the same cool, calm customer as he’s been from his maiden on through,” Restropo told Bloodhorse. “All indications at the moment are that he’s doing excellent.

Restropo also said that it will ultimately be up to Mage whether he vies for the Triple Crown. “… I know (trainer Gustavo Delgado Sr.) will want to go to the Preakness and all the partners will too, but it’s never going to be at the expense of the horse. But if my guy is feeling the way he’s feeling (now), then it’s on to Baltimore and crab cakes we go.

Mage was let go at 15-1 in the Kentucky Derby when Horse Racing betting online, but he’s sure to be a much shorter price in the Preakness. He likely will be the favorite now that Forte will not run.

Pletcher Endured Tough First Saturday in May

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher had three horses entered in the Derby – Forte, Tapit Trice and Kingsbarn. Tapit Trice (9-2) came from last to finish seventh. Kingsbarns (11-1) pushed a blistering pace and faded to 17th. Tapit Trice and Kingsbarns will not be pointed toward the Preakness, and Monday’s announcement on Forte ended Pletcher’s hopes of winning the second leg of the Triple Crown.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, in a statement on Monday, said“all KHRC veterinary scratches related to soundness” require the placement of a horse on the 14-day vet’s list.

Two Phil’s May Join Preakness Party

Two Phil’s had a two-length lead at the top of the stretch in the Kentucky Derby before Mage ran him down in the final sixteenth of a mile. Two Phil’s, who went off as the fourth choice at 9-1, was part of the early vanguard. He might have paid the price for being too close to a too-fast pace. Trainer Larry Rivelli said the Preakness is under consideration for Two Phil’s, who could be a shrewd play in your Preakness Stakes picks.

Trainer Brad Cox had four horses in the Derby: Angel of Empire, third as the 4-1 favorite; Hit Show (fifth, 24-1); Verifying (16th, 14-1); and Jace’s Road (17th, 33-1). Cox said that it was doubtful any would run in the Preakness. Cox, though, appears to have a runner in Lexington Stakes winner First Mission.

Right now First Mission is our Preakness horse,” Cox told Horse Racing Nation. “I don’t know if we’ll add any of these horses, but we’ll have to make a decision soon. First Mission had a fantastic work Saturday (five furlongs in 59.8 seconds). I’m very happy with what we’re seeing.”Trainer Steve Asmussen said two of his horses – Disarm and Red Route One – are being considered for the Preakness. Disarm ran fourth in the Derby at 27-1.

Other high-profile trainers in Bob Baffert and Chad Brown will be represented in the Preakness. Baffert has National Treasure, fourth in the Santa Anita Derby. Brown will send out Blazing Sevens, third in the Blue Grass. Reincarnate, who was moved from the suspended Baffert barn to Tim Yakteen’s in order to run in the Derby, was 13th after running near the leaders.

Preakness Stakes predictions could go many directions, but it seems that Mage and Two Phil’s are the safest bets.

Castellano Mapped Out Winning Trip in Derby

Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano gave a verbal commitment to trainer Ben Colebrook to ride Raise Can in the Kentucky Derby. But when the opportunity with Mage arose, Castellano jumped at the chance. Castellano rode Mage in the Holy Bull Stakes before Luis Saez took the reins in the Florida Derby. Castellano’s decision turned into his first Derby win in 16 tries. Raise Cain wound up eighth, 10 lengths behind Mage.

I feel like I’m on top of the world,” Castellano told the media. “If one thing has been consistent in my career, I never give up. … I always tried to be positive and tried to find the right horse to participate in one of the biggest races in the world.

Mage has had trouble breaking cleanly from the gate throughout his four-race career, and Saturday was no different. He sat 15th after the first quarter mile of the Kentucky Derby, but luckily for Mage, Verifying and Kingsbarns were zipping through early fractions of 22.35 and 45.73 seconds.

Mage, under Castellano, got a clean ground-saving trip through the first turn and bided his time down the backstretch before swinging wide on the far turn. He engaged Two Phil’s in the stretch before pulling clear in the final 100 yards to score the upset.

Be sure to keep an eye on the Preakness Stakes news before betting online at the racebook prior to the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

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