05/14/2016 11:23AM

Preakness: Cherry Wine, Laoban put in final works

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Lauren King/Coglianese Photos
Cherry Wine most recently was third in the Blue Grass Stakes on April 9.

At Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Preakness hopeful Cherry Wine breezed five furlongs in 1:01.60 on a windy and unseasonably chilly Saturday morning.

Churchill clocker John Nichols caught Cherry Wine and exercise rider Faustino Aguilar in splits of 24.80 and 49.20 seconds, then out six furlongs in 1:14 over a fast track.

Trainer Dale Romans said afterward he is very happy with how Cherry Wine has trained since the colt finished third in his last race, the April 9 Blue Grass Stakes.

“Any horse that breaks its maiden by nine lengths at Churchill Downs in the fall, wins a Gulfstream allowance in January, and runs third in the Blue Grass is a good horse,” said Romans. “He deserves a chance.”

Cherry Wine, who was scratched as an also-eligible from the Kentucky Derby, will be ridden by Corey Lanerie in the Preakness.

• At Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., Preakness hopeful Laoban breezed six furlongs in 1:14.40 over a fast track Saturday with trainer Eric Guillot watching.

Guillot, best known for his work with the $2.99 million earner Moreno, has named Ricardo Santana Jr. to ride Laoban in the Preakness. Santana, 23, has been the leading jockey at Oaklawn Park in each of the last four years (2013-16).

Laoban, a maiden in five starts, now has breezed four times at Keeneland since finishing fourth in the Blue Grass. The Uncle Mo colt is booked on an equine charter that will leave Louisville early Tuesday afternoon for Baltimore. A second Louisville-to-Baltimore charter is scheduled for Wednesday.

• David Fiske, racing manager for Winchell Thoroughbreds, reiterated Saturday that no decision has been reached on the Preakness status of Gun Runner, the third-place finisher in the Derby.

Florent Geroux, the regular rider for Gun Runner, was named Friday by Guillot to ride Laoban in the Preakness with the stipulation that Geroux would still ride Gun Runner if he goes. Some 24 hours later, Guillot firmed up Santana to ride.