04/15/2011 3:30PM

Preakness a possibility for Mr. Commons


Mr. Commons, third in the Santa Anita Derby on April 9, may start in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 21, trainer John Shirreffs said.

Mr. Commons does not have sufficient graded stakes earnings to secure a berth in the Kentucky Derby field on May 7 at this point, leaving Shirreffs to point for the second leg of the Triple Crown.

“There are a lot of options for a promising 3-year-olds,” Shirreffs said. He described the Preakness as “possible.”

Shirreffs said that ideally Mr. Commons could have a prep race for the Preakness, but did not mention any specific races.

Mr. Commons made his stakes debut in the Santa Anita Derby, finishing 2 1/4 lengths behind race winner Midnight Interlude after racing as close as second in the stretch.

“That was the first time he was down on the inside all the way,” Shirreffs said. “He got a lot of experience in the Santa Anita Derby. He fought back.”

Owned by Ian Banwell’s St. George Farm Racing, Mr. Commons has won 2 of 4 starts.

Preamble earns stakes shot

Preamble will make his stakes debut at Hollywood Park later this spring after winning his third consecutive race in an allowance race over 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita on Thursday.

Trainer Richard Mandella said that Preamble will be considered for the $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap over 1 1/16 miles on May 7 and the $150,000 Californian Stakes over 1 1/8 miles on June 4.

“I’ll probably look at the Mervyn LeRoy or the Californian or both,” Mandella said on Friday. “I don’t know if I’d want to wait for the Californian.”

Owned by Spendthrift Farm, Preamble won Thursday’s race by two lengths under jockey Martin Garcia. Preamble stalked pacesetter Lucky Primo to early stretch, and took the lead before the eighth pole, finishing 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.98. Earlier this year, Preamble, 4, won a maiden race for sprinters and an allowance race over a mile, both at Santa Anita. “He’s come along a little faster than I expected,” Mandella said.

Familiar faces atop leader board

There is no suspense to the jockey and trainer rankings headed toward Sunday’s final day of the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting.

Through Thursday, with three days remaining, jockey Joel Rosario had 88 wins, 10 more than defending champion Rafael Bejarano. Trainer Bob Baffert had 41 wins, six more than defending champion John Sadler.

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