04/05/2010 12:00AM

Caracortado will target Preakness

Benoit & Associates
Because he probably lacks the earnings to get into the Kentucky Derby's field of 20, Caracortado will await the Preakness.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Trainer Mike Machowsky's dream of starting Caracortado in the Kentucky Derby more than likely ended with a fourth-place finish in Saturday's $750,000 Santa Anita Derby. The Preakness dream for Caracortado started with the same result.

Machowsky would like to run Caracortado in the Kentucky Deby, but admits that the gelding's $153,000 in career graded stakes earnings may not be sufficient to gain a place in the field.

If more than 20 horses enter the Kentucky Derby, eligibility is determined by graded stakes earnings. Caracortado is .

"If I can get in the Derby, I'll do it," Machowsky said. "I'll probably freshen him up and wait for the Preakness. He's not a big robust horse and I could have a fresh horse against tired ones in the Preakness.

"We may not have a choice in the matter."

The Preakness Stakes is run on May 15.

Caracortado had a rough trip in the Santa Anita Derby, finishing 7 1/4 lengths behind race winner Sidney's Candy. On the turn, Caracortado was racing toward the back of the 10-horse field when jockey Paul Atkinson had to steady the gelding in reaction to a bumping incident that badly affected eventual third-place finisher Lookin At Lucky, the 4-5 favorite.

"My horse got bothered pretty bad when [Lookin At Lucky] was checked," Machowsky said.

Co-owned by Machowsky and Don Blahut, Caracortado has won 5 of 7 starts and $262,200. He won his first five starts, beginning with a $40,000 claiming race at Fairplex Park last September, before finishing third behind Sidney's Candy in the San Felipe Stakes on March 13. The Santa Anita Derby was the first time that Caracortado finished outside the first three.

"I wish I had a barn full of horses that try as hard as he does," Machowsky said.

:: DERBY 136: