05/19/2011 1:06PM

Pimlico: Stall eyes Schaefer repeat with Apart


BALTIMORE – The 2010 Preakness card produced two of the top contenders for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic nearly six months later: Lookin At Lucky, who won the Preakness, and Blame, who won the William Donald Schaefer Handicap. As most everyone knows, Blame captured the BC Classic at Churchill Downs in an epic triumph over Zenyatta, with Lookin At Lucky finishing fourth.

Al Stall Jr., trainer of Blame, has returned for the Grade 3, $100,000 Schaefer, this time with a 4-year-old colt named Apart.

“I’m not even going to try to compare Apart to Blame,” Stall said. “That’s impossible.”

Nonetheless, Stall said he believes Apart can follow in Blame’s footsteps and prove best Saturday in the Schaefer, which is run at 1 1/16 miles and goes as race 10. Apart was most recently second in the New Orleans Handicap on March 26.

PREAKNESS STAKES 2011: Contenders, odds, video, and news updates

“The race in New Orleans was pretty tough on him, so I gave him a little more time than I normally would have,” Stall said. “This is a nice horse. He’s big, growing, strong. I just want to give him a chance to develop.”

Apart will start from post 2 under Garrett Gomez in a field of nine.

Other top contenders in the 24th Schaefer include Colizeo, a consistent stalker type from the Todd Pletcher barn, and Icabad Crane, a hard-trying New York-bred returning from a layoff for Graham Motion.

One of the longshots in the field is Saratoga Red, whose trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, opted to run the 3-year-old against older horses when it became clear the colt would be excluded from the Preakness. There no longer is a two-turn dirt stakes for 3-year-olds on Preakness Day after the elimination of the Barbaro, formerly the Sir Barton.

The Schaefer is named for the former Maryland governor and Baltimore mayor, who died April 18.