Updated on 09/16/2011 8:21AM

Count Harlan's Holiday in


CHICAGO - Once, a long time ago, there was a 3-year-old colt that won the Florida Derby, the Blue Grass, and was favored in the Kentucky Derby.

His name was Harlan's Holiday. Ring a bell?

Actually, it's been all of a week since Harlan's Holiday finished an even seventh in the Derby at 6-1, the longest-priced Derby favorite ever.

Harlan's Holiday raced well behind a moderate pace, made a little run around the far turn, and beat 11 horses. Disappointing, yes, but hardly disastrous.

Yet unlike last year, when beaten Derby favorite Point Given rapidly assumed the mantle of Preakness favorite after his defeat in the Derby, no one is rushing to excuse Harlan's Holiday's loss. Friday, after hesitating in the days after the Derby to commit his colt to the race, trainer Ken McPeek said Harlan's Holiday would run back in the Preakness.

"At this point, we're planning on it," McPeek said. "He'll work Tuesday and ship Wednesday."

With Harlan's Holiday in, the prospective Preakness field stood at 13 on Friday. Neither Perfect Drift nor Table Limit, both considered possible starters earlier in the week, will go to the Preakness. If the lineup remains stable, no horses will be excluded from the field, which is capped at 14.

McPeek said Harlan's Holiday returned to training Wednesday when he jogged, and the colt galloped at Churchill Downs on Thursday and Friday.

"He came out of the race fine," said McPeek. "He's no worse for wear at all. He's strong."

McPeek's not surprised Harlan's Holiday has gotten lost in the post-Derby shuffle.

"That's not unlike most years," he said.

But McPeek isn't down on his horse.

"Not at all," he said. "I just think we didn't have any pace to run at. I think our race was lost in the first half-mile," when Harlan's Holiday raced in the middle of the pack, well behind the early leaders. "He has the ability to go 46 [seconds] for a half-mile and keep on going. Maybe we relaxed him too much."

Harlan's Holiday worked slowly the week before the Derby, which McPeek said was by design, but McPeek will look to put speed into Harlan's Holiday in his pre-Preakness work.

McPeek dismissed the notion that Harlan's Holiday's peak form is behind him.

"He's not showing signs he's tired," he said. "He's a very resilient horse. We're not going into this one any different than the last one. It's still a horse race. They've got to run around there."

While Harlan's Holiday is in, Perfect Drift, third in the Derby, is out of the Preakness. Trainer Murray Johnson said he'll point Perfect Drift to the Belmont Stakes.

Said Johnson, "I think he's sitting on a win, whether it's two weeks away or five weeks," the time between the Derby and the Belmont.

Johnson gave Perfect Drift a six-week break between his win in the Spiral Stakes and the Derby.

"We want to continue to space his races," Johnson said. "We want to keep him around a long time. It's a very hard decision to make, since he's good enough to win, but I don't want to knock him out."

Perfect Drift is a gelding, so there's no pressure to enhance his residual value as a stallion by trying to win a Triple Crown race at all costs.

"We've got nothing to prove there," said Johnson. "If he was a colt, we'd have to go for it, but he's not."

Lukas has one bullet

Trainer Wayne Lukas said he has no plans to start either Table Limit or Shah Jehan in the Preakness.

"We have one horse for the race, Proud Citizen," said Lukas.

Second in the Derby at 23-1, Proud Citizen emerged from the race in good order, Lukas said, and will breeze at Churchill on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday before shipping to Pimlico.

No works for War Emblem?

Trainer Bob Baffert has no specific plans to work Derby winner War Emblem before the Preakness, and it's possible, Baffert said Friday, that War Emblem won't work at all.

"I won't know until Sunday," Baffert said. "If I do breeze him, it'll be Monday or Tuesday. I might do it Tuesday if it rains Monday. I'll just have to see how he's doing."

Equality arriving

Tampa Bay Derby winner Equality was scheduled to make a one-hour van ride from Delaware Park to Pimlico on Friday afternoon. Trainer Graham Motion has a string of horses at both tracks. Motion said Equality, who finished second in the Aventura Stakes at Gulfstream in his most recent start, would gallop at Pimlico on Saturday and work on Sunday.

Motion said Equality has trained well and developed nicely since his winter campaign in Florida.

"He's really strengthened up in the last couple months," Motion said.

Ramon Dominguez will be aboard Equality for his work Sunday and is scheduled to ride the colt in the Preakness, Motion said.

* Sunday Break, third in the Wood but excluded from the Derby field because he lacked sufficient graded stakes earnings, remains on target for the Preakness. Trainer Neil Drysdale put the colt through a routine gallop instead of a work Friday. "There's no set formula for these things," said Drysdale, who said Sunday Break would work in the next few days, depending on the weather and on the trainer's instincts. "He's been training very well, and he was training well in Kentucky, too."

* U S S Tinosa, who also was excluded from the Derby field, arrived at Pimlico on Thursday evening and was out for a jog early on Friday morning. He will have one work over the track before the Preakness.

* Trainer John Ward hasn't yet decided when he will work Preakness contender Booklet, but he has a plan for figuring things out. "I'm going to watch and see what Baffert and Lukas do, and then imitate them," said Ward, joking.