This past week was a relatively quiet one for my stable in the Derbyologist Triple Crown fantasy league. After so many of my horses raced Derby weekend, none of them hit the track this week. However, this weekend will be a big one, with not one but two of my colts headed to the Preakness Stakes, and one of my fillies resurfacing in the Black-Eyed Susan on Friday.
Without further ado, let’s see what the horses of Iron Bard are up to:
- General a Rod – The General’s connections didn’t announce right after the Derby that he was Preakness bound, but Friday his connections announced that he was heading to the Preakness after all. According to trainer Mike Maker he came out of the Kentucky Derby well enough to want to come back in two weeks for the Preakness. He didn’t have the best of trips in the Derby, and hopefully the smaller Preakness field will give him a shot at a better one. He will switch jockeys; Joel Rosario, who rode him in the Derby, is on Ride On Curlin. Javier Castellano, who won the 2006 Preakness on Bernardini, has the mount on General a Rod. He arrived in Baltimore today on a flight with Ride On Curlin and California Chrome, and is settling in at Pimlico. He has the week to get used to the track, and then races Saturday.
- Ride On Curlin – Ride On Curlin was also on today’s flight to Baltimore, hopefully with his warning sign intact. Tomorrow morning, he’s scheduled to be out on the track around 8:30. He has been galloping, and may do a breeze at Pimlico. There isn’t a whole lot of new information about Ride On Curlin, but that’s good news since it means all systems are still go for Saturday’s Preakness.
- Stopchargingmaria – After a couple of disappointing performances in the Davona Dale and the Fantasy Stakes, Stopchargingmaria bypassed the Kentucky Oaks, even though it turns out the points she earned from her fourth-place finish in the Fantasy would have been enough to get her in. She posted another work at the Saratoga training track on May 10th, and it was a bullet: four furlongs in 48.69. Today, she drew into Friday’s Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico. She breaks from the 4 gate in a field of 11 horses. I’m slightly surprised to see her here instead of pointing directly toward the Acorn, given her success as a two-year-old in New York. Hopefully she’ll be back in form third off the winter lay. The oddsmaker must have thought she would be; Stopchargingmaria is the 7-2 morning line favourite.
- Empress of Midway – Empress of Midway returned to the worktab this week after her late scratch in the Kentucky Oaks. She worked six furlongs in 1:13.60 over the Santa Anita dirt. Per trainer Doug O’Neill, if she continues training well, she should be racing at Santa Anita this weekend. (And, yes, she has been doing some more gate schooling.) She was nominated to the Angels Flight Stakes at Santa Anita on May 17; this may be the race O’Neill is talking about. The Angels Flight is seven furlongs over the Santa Anita dirt, which would be a furlong and a half shorter than the distance she went in the Sunland Park Oaks last time out.
- Embellishing Bob – This week, Embellishing Bob returned to the worktab for the first time since the Arkansas Derby. On May 11, he worked four furlongs in 49.60 at Churchill. There hasn’t been any information about his next race. It isn’t likely to be the Belmont, since he is not Triple Crown nominated, but I’m still waiting to see if he is going to possibly turn up in one of the other three-year-old races around Belmont time.
- Conquest Titan – There isn’t any new information on the Conquest Titan front at the moment. He hasn’t returned to the worktab since the May 3 bullet, and there’s no reliable scuttlebutt about where he may be pointing next. There are some folks on Twitter hoping to see him in the Belmont. I wouldn’t complain if he turned up there, given both his off-the-pace style and the fact that he is sired by a Belmont winner (Birdstone), but only time will tell.
- She’s a Tiger – She’s a Tiger has not worked back since her disappointing seventh-place finish in the Eight Belles Stakes last weekend. There has been no reliable information about whether she is pointing to the Acorn or her connections have altered her plans. They have plenty of time to assess and decide; the Acorn is not until Belmont day, June 9.
- Sugar Shock – There’s nothing new from Sugar Shock since her eighth-place run in the Kentucky Oaks. She hasn’t worked back, and there hasn’t been any information about where she is pointing next. After her fade in the Kentucky Oaks, I would not be surprised if whatever race she is pointed to next is shorter than nine furlongs.