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Peter Pan is Plan B for Golden Man
BALTIMORE - Golden Man, who failed to make it into the field for Saturday's Preakness Stakes, will most likely make his next start in the $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park on May 28.
Golden Man could not crack the Preakness field because the race is limited to 14 starters and Golden Man ranked last of the 15 prospective entrants on the career earnings list, the last of three criteria used to determine the Preakness field. The connections of Golden Man would have had to pay a $100,000 supplemental fee because the gelding was not nominated to the Triple Crown.
Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr., who claimed Golden Man for $60,000 on Jan. 23, opted not to enter in Saturday's $100,000 Sir Barton Stakes on the Preakness undercard. Dutrow said he preferred the Peter Pan because it's run around one turn and the purse is twice as large as the Sir Barton's.
"I think this horse will be very, very dangerous around one turn," Dutrow said. "When we claimed him he was going seven-eighths, and he ran a big race that day."
In his only start for Dutrow, Golden Man won an entry-level allowance race by three lengths at Gulfstream Park on April 2. That race was run around two turns.
Scrappy T loses two shoes in workout
When Scrappy T left the Pimlico stakes barn on Wednesday morning for his final workout for the Preakness, he was wearing horseshoes on all four feet. When he came back, after breezing three furlongs in 37.60 seconds, his rear shoes were missing.
"I have no idea when they came off," said his trainer, Robbie Bailes. "I didn't notice it until he was back at the barn. It's one of those things that can happen."
The shoes must have come off cleanly, because they did not leave any marks on Scrappy T's rear or front hooves. Bailes said Scrappy T was going to have new rear shoes nailed on Wednesday afternoon. He wears glue-on shoes on his front feet.
New mount for Dominguez after rough Derby
Ramon Dominguez picked up the mount on Scrappy T after being told he was not going to retain the mount on High Limit, on whom Dominguez finished last of 20 in the Derby.
"I won a few races with High Limit, like the Louisiana Derby," Dominguez said. "There's no hard feelings."
Bobby Frankel, who trains High Limit, said his colt emerged from the Derby with cuts on his rear hooves, and theorized that High Limit was stepped on during the race. Dominguez said that might be true, but he didn't feel anything amiss during the race.
"Usually you feel something with their action, but, quite honestly, I didn't feel anything," Dominguez said.
Dominguez, who is based in Maryland, has ridden in the Preakness three times. While he discounts having a home-court advantage, he said riders need to be cognizant of certain quirks at Pimlico.
"Saving ground here is a lot more important here than at Belmont," Dominguez said. "At Belmont, you've got those wide, sweeping turns."
The Preakness field is capped at 14 runners, compared to 20 in the Derby, but Pimlico's track is narrower, so the effect, Dominguez said, is almost the same.
"It's a smaller track," he said. "You don't have the extra six horses that you do in the Derby, but it's still a big field."
McGaughey at son's graduation
Trainer Shug McGaughey has top horses like Daydreaming and Good Reward in stakes races this weekend at Belmont Park and Pimlico, but he won't be at either track. Instead, McGaughey will be in Lexington, Ky., where his son Chip is graduating from high school.
"That'll only happen once in his life, so I've got to be there," said McGaughey, who said his son would attend Lynn University in Florida.
Second of June eyes Foster
Forced to scratch from Friday's $500,000 Pimlico Special, Second of June will now be pointed to the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap on June 18 at Churchill Downs, trainer Bill Cesare said.
Second of June had to be scratched from the Special because he was stabled in one of three Churchill Downs barns that were placed under quarantine on Wednesday for fear of the presence of the equine herpes virus. Horses from those barns were not allowed to leave Churchill.
Second of June was coming off a neck loss in the Oaklawn Handicap and would have had a big chance in the Special. To his credit, Cesare took the situation in stride.
"We were looking forward to it, win or lose," Cesare said. "The horse was, too; he knew something was up. You deal with it and go on. Our main thing is trying to train him.
"These horses, they're wired for sound, you can't keep walking them," he said. "You hate to have a horse not be able to go to the track and train and hurt himself because he feels good."
Cesare had shipped Second of June to Kentucky following the Oaklawn race and had considered running in a couple of spots prior to the Pimlico Special but elected to wait. Cesare had three other horses stabled at Churchill. He had to put down an unraced 2-year-old by Notebook, who became partially paralyzed in his hind end. It was unclear what caused the paralysis.
Guaranteed pools on a quartet of pick fours
Horseplayers will not have any lack of enticing wagering targets this weekend at Pimlico.
Aside from the normal betting menu, the track also is offering the Special-Preakness double and large guaranteed pools on four pick- four wagers.
The Special-Preakness double is a two-day wager that combines the results of the Pimlico Special and Preakness. This is the third year Pimlico has offered the $2-minimum bet. Last year, $475,094 was bet when Southern Image and Smarty Jones combined for a $10.40 payoff.
The pick four guarantees are as follows:
* Friday, races 4-7, guarantee of $100,000 in the pick four pool;
* Friday, races 9-12, $200,000 guarantee;
* Saturday, races 4-7, $250,000 guarantee;
* Saturday, races 9-12, $1 million guarantee.
Friday's guaranteed pick four pools have been doubled from last year. Saturday's $1 million pool has been increased from $750,000, and the $250,000 pool is up $50,000 from 2004.
- additional reporting by Jay Privman and Marty McGee