05/13/2013 8:14AM

Preakness: Mylute, Govenor Charlie, Lukas trio work at Churchill Downs

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Barbara D. Livingston
Mylute, here training before the his fifth-place Kentucky Derby finish, breezed a half-mile in 49.60 at Churchill Downs on Monday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - At Churchill Downs, no fewer than five Preakness hopefuls had their final pre-race workouts Monday morning over a fast track.

Mylute, with Rosie Napravnik up, was among the first on the track before 6 a.m., breezing a half-mile in 49.60 seconds. The gray colt was fifth in the Kentucky Derby and therefore will be the rival who finished closest to Orb in the Derby to return to challenge him again in the Preakness. (None of the respective 2-3-4 finishers – Golden Soul, Revolutionary, and Normandy Invasion – are running Saturday.)

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“He went just as we expected,” said Tom Amoss, trainer of Mylute. “If you’re looking for a work to say ‘wow’ about, he’s not your horse. The work was very typical of how he went before the Kentucky Derby. He showed good energy, and that’s all we were looking for.”

At about the same time, Titletown Five, the first of three Preakness hopefuls trained by D. Wayne Lukas, ended a one-mile gallop at a two-minute lick with a quarter-mile that went untimed. Some 20 minutes later, Lukas had Will Take Charge set down on the rail for a half-mile breeze in 48.20 seconds.

Will Take Charge, eighth in the Derby under Jon Court, will be ridden by Mike Smith in the Preakness.

“He did exactly what we asked him to do,” said Lukas. “After a tough mud race, you’ve got to be careful not to overdo it. Between the Derby and Preakness, I think it’s important to get a good feel for their energy levels and conditioning. The times on these works mean very little. It’s more about how they’ve bounced out of the race and what they’re telling you they want to do next.”

Two hours later, after the regularly scheduled renovation break, Lukas sent out Oxbow and jockey Gary Stevens for a half-mile breeze in 49.80 seconds. Oxbow ran sixth in the Derby with Stevens up.

Just a few minutes after Oxbow breezed, Govenor Charlie worked six furlongs in 1:10.80 while in company with his older Bob Baffert stablemate Fed Biz. Govenor Charlie, with Rafael Santana Jr. up, started about a length behind his workmate and never did quite catch up, staying about a head behind as the pair went under the wire and past the seven-furlong pole to complete the drill.

Baffert assistant Jim Barnes watched the work in close proximity to the Churchill clockers on the frontside.
“Bob told me to give him a stiff work,” said Barnes. “That looked like a stiff work to me. He was under urging to keep up. We’ll see how he is tomorrow.”

The Lukas horses were scheduled to leave by van for Baltimore on Tuesday, along with several of their stablemates slated for other weekend races at Pimlico. Mylute, Govenor Charlie, and Departing – the Al Stall-trained gelding who worked an easy half-mile here Sunday – all are booked on the Tex Sutton equine charter scheduled to arrive early Wednesday afternoon at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.