05/16/2012 4:13PM

Preakness 2012 notebook: Guyana Star Dweej not entered, may point to Belmont


BALTIMORE - Trainer Doodnauth Shivmangal did not enter Guyana Star Dweej in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes due to the combination of a grabbed quarter and a spate of wet tracks in New York that prevented him from being able to work the horse.

“I don’t like to breeze over a sloppy track,” said Shivmangal, who told Pimlico officials that a grabbed quarter had not sufficiently healed.

Guyana Star Dweej, a maiden winner from nine starts who likely would have been the longest shot in the field, will likely be pointed to the Belmont Stakes, Shivmangal said.

Five first-time Preakness riders

The jockeys of the last eight Preakness winners are all still active, but only one – Kent Desormeaux – has a mount in Saturday’s race. Desormeaux, a two-time Preakness winner, will be aboard Tiger Walk on Saturday.

Five of the 11 riders in this year’s Preakness – led by Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Mario Gutierrez – are riding the race for the first time.

Javier Castellano, who won the 2006 Preakness board Bernardini, will be at Pimlico to ride Saturday, but does not have a mount in the big race.

Preakness-winning riders Jesus Castanon (Shackleford in 2010) and Calvin Borel (Rachel Alexandra in 2009) will be at Churchill; Stewart Elliot (Smarty Jones in 2004) is at Parx Racing, and Jeremy Rose (Afleet Alex in 2005) is at Delaware Park. Robby Albarado, who won the 2007 Preakness on Curlin, was not scheduled to ride Saturday as he has been barred by Churchill Downs pending the resolution of a legal matter.

Collmus back home for Preakness

Race-caller Larry Collmus is back at his old stomping grounds while preparing to call his second Preakness for NBC Sports. Collmus, 45, grew up in nearby Ellicott City and had his first call at the old Bowie in 1985 while working for several years as a press-box go-fer on the Maryland racing circuit.
Collmus, who assumed the Triple Crown reins last year from Tom Durkin, said he thought his call this year for the Kentucky Derby was “pretty good, although when you look back there’s always stuff you would’ve said. That’s why there’s no such thing as a perfect call. I’ll just keep working at it and hopefully get better every time.”

◗ Besides the Pimlico Special-Preakness double and a $200,000-guaranteed pool on the late pick four (races 9-12) on Friday, there also will be two pick four pool guarantees on the Saturday card: $250,000 for races 5-8 and $1 million for races 9-12 (ending with the Preakness).
– additional reporting by Marty McGee