05/14/2014 3:48PM

Competitive Dixie tops Preakness undercard

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Michael Amoruso
Up With the Birds is a leading contender in the Grade 2 Dixie field of 10.

BALTIMORE – Up With the Birds, the 2013 Canadian Horse of the Year, is among 10 older horses in a competitive renewal of the Grade 2, $400,000 Dixie Stakes, the lead-in to the Preakness on a 13-race Saturday program at Pimlico.

Trained by Malcolm Pierce, Up With the Birds will be trying to rebound off a subpar effort last month at Keeneland in his only start so far this year. The 4-year-old colt will be ridden by Joel Rosario when breaking from post 8 in the 113th running of the Dixie.

Other logical contenders in the 1 1/16-mile turf race include Charming Kitten, Hey Leroy, Chamois, and Utley.

From the hedge, this is the Dixie field: Fredericksburg, Nutello, Charming Kitten, Roadhog, Hamp, Hey Leroy, Chamois, Up With the Birds, Utley, and Quick Wit.

The Dixie directly precedes the Preakness as the 11th race. First post is 10:45 a.m. Eastern.

In the earlier stakes:

::2014 PREAKNESS STAKES: Latest news, video, and more

** $100,000 Sir Barton (race 10): A field of 11 3-year-olds, all of them eligible for a “non-winners of a sweepstakes” condition, should make for a terrific wagering event. Life In Shambles, Class Leader, and Charge Now look like top contenders in this 1 1/16-mile race, as does Ground Control – although he is cross-entered in two earlier races for 3-year-olds.

** Grade 3, $150,000 Gallorette Handicap (race 9): Graded stakes winners Somali Lemonade, Strathnaver, and Watsdachances are among the 10 fillies and mares in this 1 1/16-mile turf race.

** $100,000 James W. Murphy (race 8): Camden Street, Wallyanna, Thunder Strike, and Ground Control (if he goes) are among the 11 3-year-olds with fine form in yet another good betting race.

** $100,000 Chick Lang (race 7): A well-matched field of nine 3-year-olds (including Ground Control) is entered in this six-furlong race named for the late Pimlico general manager known as “Mr. Preakness.”

** $100,000 The Very One (race 6): An overflow field of filly-mare turf runners makes this race one of the best on the entire card. There are 15 entered; as many as 14 can start.

** Grade 3, $150,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap (race 5): This was the lone stakes disappointment in terms of entries, as just six older sprinters are entered. Lemon Drop Dream and Action Andy are the 115-pound highweights.