05/12/2012 3:01PM

2012 Preakness: Cleaner trip may be all Went the Day Well needs

Barbara D. Livingston
Went the Day Well returns to be unsaddled after a troubled trip in the Kentucky Derby.

Went the Day Well has been playing catch up since he arrived in this country and was remanded to quarantine for nearly two weeks. He has certainly made up for lost time – he nearly gave his connections a second straight victory in the Kentucky Derby on May 5 – and he still appears to have plenty of upside, which is one reason why he is being wheeled back in the 137th Preakness Stakes next Saturday at Pimlico.

Went the Day Well finished fourth in the Derby, beaten just 2 1/2 lengths by the victorious I’ll Have Another, but he certainly encountered 2 1/2 lengths worth of trouble in the race. After getting bumped at the start, Went the Day Well was forced to check a furlong into the race when Prospective veered into his path after Prospective clipped heels, and then Prospective, because of pressure to his outside, tightened things up again on Went the Day Well going around the first turn, causing jockey John Velazquez to check anew.

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On the far turn, Went the Day Well had a fairly clean journey, but he needed to swing wide for racing room. Though 14th at the top of the stretch, he rallied furiously, knifing between Dullahan and Creative Cause in the final yards while missing second place by one length.

“It’s extraordinary to me to think that with a cleaner trip we could have come very close to winning the Derby two years in a row,” said Graham Motion, who trains Went the Day Well for the Team Valor International syndicate and won last year’s Derby with Animal Kingdom. “Went the Day Well is a horse that still hasn’t been completely exposed. He just seems to improve every time I run him. So could he reach the potential of Animal Kingdom? Yes, I think he could. I’m so impressed with how he handled everything on Derby Day, from the crowds and the way he ran, to the way he came out of the race.

“Every time I’ve run this horse, to me he’s improved. Whereas some of the horses going into the Derby perhaps had already been exposed, I think my horse was kind of an up-and-comer, and I just hope that he continues to go that way and obviously I hope he continues to go that way in the Preakness.”

Motion said he believes that Went the Day Well’s trip in the Derby was compromised by getting off a bit slowly, putting him farther back than what was planned. He raced with blinkers for the first time in the Derby.

“Johnny said he was eight or 10 lengths farther back than he wanted to be going into the first turn,” Motion said. “He really wanted to get an inner position, and he just didn’t break sharp, and that cost him.”

Yet despite that tough trip, Motion said he was “really surprised at how well this fellow’s handled it.”

“He’s bounced out of the Derby in great shape,” Motion said.

“I guess,” Motion added, “we underestimate the hardiness of these horses.”

Went the Day Well has been at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland since the day following the Derby. Last year, Motion kept Animal Kingdom at Fair Hill until the morning of the Preakness, in which he finished second to Shackleford. But Motion said he will bring Went the Day Well to Pimlico earlier in the week to get familiar with the surroundings and surface.

* Entries will be taken, and post positions drawn, for the Preakness on Wednesday. A maximum of 14 horses can start, though there will be up to two also-eligibles allowed at entry time, too.

* The only Preakness runner to work Saturday was Teeth of the Dog, who went five furlongs in 1:01 at Fair Hill for trainer Michael Matz.

Dwayne Williams More than 1 year ago
Went The Day Well had a considerable amount of trouble in the derby if he takes to Pimlico race course he should be right there at the finish. just has to close a little sooner.
Dwayne Williams More than 1 year ago
Went The Day Well had a considerable amount of trouble in the derby
Dipak Roy More than 1 year ago
i saw the races ran by WENT THE DAY WELL in UK in video, although he cams 2nd on both run, it was very imprressive run, and also in the kentucky derby he came from far behind despite troubles in the begining, i am not counting him down to win the 2nd leg of the triple crown, although my selections are I'll Have Another and Bodemeister , i will add Went The Day Well aswell.
Peter Siipola More than 1 year ago
if they all had a clean trip it may have been a 20 horse dead heat
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WTDW...Will have no pace to run at in the Preakness.As of today...The only real speed is Bodie...The others have scratched. We will see what kind of a horse WTDW really is in this race.Right now I'm looking at short prices on IHO and Bodie. Hell...At the top of the stretch,it should be a two horse race.
Rob Beaudoin More than 1 year ago
This horse ran arguably the best race in the derby. I think 5 or 6/1 will be a gift on this horse. I look for him to run down bodemeister in mid stretch. Gonna bet this horse big.
Kathy Busch More than 1 year ago
I was really hoping Creative Cause would bypass the Preekness & stay for a vacation until the Belmont goes. But hey the older the trainer, the wiser they are.Harrington in his 70's is no newbie to the seen. Just ask the bald eagle aka the late Charlie Wittingham when he started to catch stride. Betting Creative Cause like there is no tomm. Win or or lose Harrington will keep the colt east after the race and get the money in the Belmont.
Rob Beaudoin More than 1 year ago
Not sure what you've seen from him that makes you think 1.5 miles will be to his liking. I believe he is a very good 9f type horse. He ran pretty well in the Derby but no better than the 4th or 5th best race. im willing to bet he doesn't even run in the Belmont.
Chris Jones More than 1 year ago
I agree - Creative Cause does not want any part of 1 1/2 miles. But he may do well at 1 3/16. I think 1 1/8 is his best distance, but according to Trakus, he did run farther than any other horse in the race, and all those who believe Went The Day Well had a tough trip should take heed. I still like I'll Have Another in the Preakness, but Creative Cause looks like he will be the forgotten horse and could float up to 8-1 or 10-1 and might be worth a play.
Monty Fisher More than 1 year ago
I really like him W.T.D.W. and his chances in the Preakness, with 6 less horses to maneuver around ! I bet on him in the Derby, and hope to again Sat. especially if his odd's are 6-1 or greater, which they probably will be ! It should be a 3 horse race with the obvious other other 2 I'll have Another and Bode ...
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
WTDW traveled 33ft less than Creative Cause and beat him by 4ft. CC has the speed figure edge, massive class edge and distance Tomlinson# edge. They both should be vying for 3rd choice at about 8- to 10-1. Any real handicapper would bet WTDW over CC only if his price is at least double or higher, and those with experience would not touch him, the classic previously unheralded Derby starter who made an eye catching run at the end would end up way overbet in the next Triple Crown race and never failed to disappoint.
Rob Beaudoin More than 1 year ago
if i was gonna bet a horse to show it would be CC, if you want a horse that can win bet WTDW. CC reminds me of Mucho Macho Man. He will not the punch in the stretch to win any of these TC races. You forget to mention anything about the trip advantage that CC had. He may have been a little wider but broke better and didn't encount have the trouble WTDW did. He may end up being overbet but I'd rather cash a 15$ win mutual rather than ripping up my tickets like you will be.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
In the 20H field era, late running too little too late Derby longshots do not hit the board in the Preakness. Go back and look, you cannot name one that hit the board, so let's not talk about winning. 33ft is not just a little wide. The distance Tomlinson Figure is 303 for CC vs 150 for WTDW. MMM did not have the speed figure, class nor the breeding of CC. MMM had an almost perfect trip yet finished 3rd, beaten 3L just like CC who traveled 29ft further than IHA, 70ft more than Bode, 35ft more than Dullahan and 33ft more than WTDW. In comparison, MMM traveled 52ft less than AK and 79ft less than Nehro. MMM had finished behind Nehro twice, and AK once. CC splits 2 races with Bode and has beaten IHA once and lost twice. Factoring in ground loss, the 2012 Kentucky Derby top 5 in terms of average velocity is: CC, IHA, Dullahan, WTDW, Bode. Who said anything about betting CC? I'm a chalk eater. Will bet IHA to win, with CC exacta.
Eric Singer More than 1 year ago
he does not have to be that far back and he will beat tired old Creative Cause like he is standing still. if he wins or runs well he may go right back in the Belmont. Lightly raced and trained by an excellent trainer - he would not be running unless it would be good for him. Motion is not a grinder like Baffert of Lukas - it's the horse first.
Kelsey More than 1 year ago
Your comment regarding 'Motion is flawed. Running Animal Kingdom in the Belmont on an off track made no sense and nearly cost the horse his career.
KeenelandCapper More than 1 year ago
i dont like this decision to run this horse in preakness...he is a big horse who can run all day long..he is a BELMONT horse...agree with some on here that think he is the "wiseguy" horse in preakness..he wont be able to handle the tighter turns at pimlico....i see another 4th place at best...he wont beat creative cause or IHA....