05/10/2005 11:00PM

Giacomo sharp in a.m. gallop

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Giacomo appears in fine fettle at his Churchill Downs barn Wednesday, four days after his grueling upset victory in Saturday's Kentucky Derby.

John Shirreffs went back to his home base of California on Saturday night, not long after the trainer won the Kentucky Derby. Giacomo has remained at Churchill Downs, getting a few well-deserved days off following his upset victory. Shirreffs returned to Churchill Downs on Wednesday morning, and sent Giacomo back to the track, as the Derby winner began his preparations for the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico, on May 21.

Giacomo jogged in the mile chute at Churchill Downs before coming into the main track to gallop a little more than one mile. His regular exercise rider, Frankie Herrata, returned to California on Saturday night, so in his absence, veteran Kentucky exercise rider Jody Pieper was deputized.

"He was wound up a little bit. He was feeling so good," Pieper said. "He was jumping around so much that I was afraid he was going to step on himself. After I let him loosen up in the chute, we galloped a mile, maybe a mile and a quarter."

Jockey Mike Smith, who watched the colt exercise from a backstretch viewing stand, said, "He wasn't lethargic, that's for sure. He was on his toes, looking around, playing."

Shirreffs was happy with the condition in which he found Giacomo after not having seen him since Saturday night.

"He's eating up," Shirreffs said.

"I thought he went really well this morning. It doesn't look like he dropped too much weight since the Derby."

Giacomo will remain at Churchill Downs until next Wednesday, when he will be flown to Baltimore along with Greeley's Galaxy, High Limit, Wilko, and whichever horses end up representing trainer Nick Zito in the Preakness. Shirreffs said he was not sure if Giacomo would have a workout next week.

"I'll have to wait and see," he said. "The Preakness comes up quickly. I'll have to let the horse dictate what to do. It's probably my preference not to breeze. That would be my first preference. Maybe a two-minute clip, I don't know. Today, it was really kind of humid. You have to be really careful with fluids and those kind of things."

If Giacomo can sweep the Triple Crown, which ends with the June 11 Belmont Stakes, he will earn a $5 million bonus from Visa, which sponsors the Triple Crown.

The list of definite starters for the Preakness grew by one on Wednesday when trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said Golden Man would be supplemented to the race for $100,000 by owners Sandy Goldfarb, Ira Davis, and Michael Dubb. The money goes into the purse for the Preakness, which has a base purse of $1 million.

Golden Man last raced April 2, when he won an allowance race at Gulfstream Park. The third-place finisher in that race, Coin Silver, came back to win the Coolmore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland, and then was 12th in the Derby.

Golden Man worked five furlongs in 59.65 seconds at Aqueduct on Wednesday morning. The time was the best of seven at the distance.

"I'd love for him to draw the one hole, run his race, and pick up a check," Dutrow said from New York. "He's been training like clockwork. He hasn't been showing any signs of the stupidity that he did in Florida. I think he's sitting on another big race, so why waste it in a nonwinners of two?"

Dutrow said he hoped to get Edgar Prado to ride Golden Man, but that depends on whether Sun King, whom Prado rode for Zito in the Derby, returns for the Preakness. If Prado is unavailable, Dutrow said Rafael Bejarano would ride Golden Man.

Also working on Wednesday was Scrappy T, the winner of the Withers Stakes. He breezed a half-mile in 48.40 seconds at Delaware Park with jockey Ramon Dominguez, who will ride Scrappy T in the Preakness.

"He's really doing good. He's training like a monster," trainer Robert Bailes said from Delaware. Bailes said Scrappy T would go to Pimlico on Sunday or Monday and have his final workout for the Preakness at Pimlico on Tuesday or Wednesday.

With Dominguez on Scrappy T, High Limit needs a new rider. Dominguez rode High Limit in the Derby. They finished last of 20. On Wednesday, Bobby Frankel, the trainer of High Limit, said his colt would remain at Churchill Downs with assistant Jose Cuevas and would work there early next week.

"As of now, he's running," Frankel said from New York.

In other Preakness doings:

* Jose Santos has picked up the mount on Hal's Image, the winner of the Unbridled Stakes at Calder. Hal's Image is scheduled to work at Calder on Saturday, then fly to Maryland on Tuesday.

* Afleet Alex, who finished third in the Derby, became the first Preakness horse to arrive at Pimlico after traveling from Churchill Downs.

- additional reporting by Marty McGee and Mike Welsch

Preakness contenders

Horses pointing for the 130th Preakness at Pimlico on May 21. The field will be limited to 14.

HORSETRAINERJOCKEYLAST RACE
Afleet AlexT. RitcheyJ. Rose3rd, Ky. Derby
Closing ArgumentK. McLaughlinC. Velasquez2nd, Ky. Derby
GiacomoJ. ShirreffsM. Smith1st, Ky. Derby
Greeley's GalaxyW. Stuteundecided11th, Ky. Derby
Hal's ImageB. RoseC. Olivero1st, Unbridled
Malibu MoonshineK. LeatherburyS. Hamilton1st, Tesio
Scrappy TR. Bailesundecided1st, Withers
WilkoC. DollaseC. Nakatani6th, Ky. Derby
Possible entrants
A.P. ArrowD.W. Lukasundecided9th, SA Derby
Going WildD.W. LukasJ. Valdivia18th, Ky. Derby
High FlyN. ZitoJ. Bailey10th, Ky. Derby
High LimitR. FrankelR. Dominguez20th, Ky. Derby
Noble CausewayN. ZitoG. Stevens14th, Ky. Derby
Sun KingN. ZitoE. Prado15th, Ky. Derby