Thursday, May 17, 2007

Will Street Sense Win Preakness

Larry Jones, trademark Stetson in place, led the best horse he has trained off a van and into the stakes barn at Pimlico Race Course yesterday, took two laps around the shedrow and introduced the Kentucky Derby runner-up to the stall in which he will await the chance to turn the tables on Street Sense in Saturday's 132nd Preakness.

"Easy haulin'," the one-time Kentucky farmer said after the 90-minute ride from Delaware Park, where his stable is based. Ten days after a grueling 10 furlongs at Churchill Downs, there was spring to Hard Spun's step as he surveyed the unfamiliar terrain. "Don't even need a bath," Jones said.

The 50-year-old Jones, who came into racing as owner of a horse he bought out of a $2,000 claiming race in 1980 and eventually gave up commercial farming to launch a training career, was largely unknown outside Kentucky before Hard Spun. Until moving to Delaware last year, he raced primarily in Kentucky and Arkansas, where he gained a reputation for finding inexpensive yearlings at auction and developing them into productive racehorses and for his unconventional approach to training. Hard Spun is an example.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Preakness Stakes

A much smaller field awaits Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense than the one he faced at Churchill Downs, as eight colts have been confirmed as starters for Saturday's Preakness Stakes.

Along with Street Sense, Derby runners also slated to take a shot at the second jewel of racing's Triple Crown are runner-up Hard Spun and third-place finisher Curlin. The five newcomers are C P West, Flying First Class, King of the Roxy, Mint Slewlep and Xchanger.