05/06/2014 10:21AM

Preakness: Ria Antonia to take on boys

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Barbara D. Livingston
Ria Antonia, shown training at Churchill Downs ahead of her sixth-place finish in the Kentucky Oaks last Friday, is being pointed to the Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Kentucky Oaks winner Untapable’s connections have resolutely declined to try her against males in the Preakness Stakes, but it appears that the Preakness will have a feminine touch nonetheless.

Ria Antonia, who finished sixth in the May 2 Kentucky Oaks, is being pointed to the Preakness on May 17 at Pimlico, owner Ron Paolucci said Tuesday.

“That seems to be the plan so far,” said Paolucci.

Paolucci said he has moved Ria Antonia from trainer Bob Baffert to trainer Tom Amoss, the second time this year Paolucci has changed trainers with the filly. Ria Antonia, who was moved up from second to first in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies when She’s a Tiger was disqualified, shipped from New York to New Orleans in December and made her first 2014 start – a fourth in the Feb. 22 Rachel Alexandra Stakes – for trainer Jeremiah Englehart. Englehart had taken over Ria Antonia’s training last year after the filly raced three times at Woodbine for Ricky Griffith, and it was for Englehart that she won the BC Juvenile Fillies.

Paolucci already had a half-dozen horses under Amoss’s care. He described his parting with Baffert as amicable and said he planned to campaign Ria Antonia in the Midwest and East this spring and summer. Paolucci is an Ohio native and said he wants to win the Ohio Derby on July 19 at ThistleDown with Ria Antonia.

::2014 PREAKNESS STAKES: Latest news, video, and more

Shortly after the Rachel Alexandra, Paolucci shipped Ria Antonia from Fair Grounds to Santa Anita, where she took up residence with Baffert’s string and finished second in the Santa Anita Oaks. In Friday’s Kentucky Oaks, Ria Antonia stalked a moderate early pace and failed to quicken with the top finishers, checking in almost 16 lengths behind Untapable. The prospect of facing Untapable again in a race like the Acorn Stakes at Belmont is less appealing than making a run at the Preakness, said Paolucci, noting California Chrome’s slow Kentucky Derby-winning time of 2:03.66.

“Here’s the thing: Untapable is the best 3-year-old in the country, boy or girl, in my opinion. California Chrome is a great horse, but I believe if Untapable was in the Derby, she’d have won.” Paolucci said. “With Social Inclusion going, Bayern going, I think there’s going to be a lot of speed in the Preakness, and it could really set up for her.”

Ria Antonia wore blinkers in the Oaks but would race without them in the Preakness, Paolucci said. Mike Smith rode the filly last weekend, but Paolucci said he had not yet contracted a rider for the Preakness.

Five fillies have won the Preakness, including Rachel Alexandra in 2009, the most recent filly to contest the race.

California Chrome to jog Wednesday

California Chrome was hand-walked around the Barn 20 shed row at Churchill Downs for the third straight morning since his Kentucky Derby victory, with exercise rider Willie Delgado having the honor Tuesday. The colt was scheduled to return to light training Wednesday for a light jog sometime before 7 a.m. Eastern. He will be flown Monday to Maryland.

– additional reporting by David Grening and Marty McGee

Forego137 More than 1 year ago
REALLY, something is amiss w/this owner, he would rather face C.C. in the Preakness than Untapable in the Acorn??? Does it really matter where this filly runs??? She is good but not as good as the owner envisions her to be, she is a big cut below the best out there and he is really doing a good job in miss managing this filly, this is the 3rd trainer he has given this filly too because as an owner he is trying to be the trainer,jockey and I wouldn't be surprised the vet as well. Must be nice to have money and not know how to act and make a fool of yourself. I wish him well and feel sorry for the filly who has to endure an owner suchas hers.#clueless
sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
This is still happening? Thought the owner would have woken up by now. Good luck pal.
noalaistoday More than 1 year ago
As I stated in the past.....this guy is a boorish idiot!!!! I can't believe Amos would allow him to run her under his name. Seems he must need the income from the other 6 horses in his barn. I am sad to see he can be bought so easily
tim More than 1 year ago
Two words....Finger Lakes
david More than 1 year ago
It's a shame horses don't get to pick their owners.
Pom DeTerre More than 1 year ago
What a joke!! This filly got very lucky in one race- on a disqualification, no less- which just happened to be the BC Juvie for fillies. Any of you who are interested, go to Bloodhorse and watch the post race press conference; Paolucci is an absolutely brazen poster child of bad taste. This blowhard "owner" (who does have a partner, from whom he had to borrow the $$$ to buy her- notice how he keeps forgetting that there is another person there) is a crude braggert who wouldn't let either his partner or trainer J. Englehart get a word in edgewise. ( Note how he vows his endearing, unwavering support and love of Englehart.) Next out she runs poorly, so he switches trainers- now that he's got some money- to Baffert. All for effect. No wins after 2 or 3 starts, so now Amoss?? The dude needs to take a look in the mirror and then a look at the filly (she is good, but no Untapable, and she certainly isn't in Rachel's league) and thank his lucky stars that he got the million dollar win he managed to scrape by with on the DQ in the BCJF and head for the hills (or "bank", as he refers to)- or rehire Jeremiah. He is NOT doing what's best for the filly. She's been over raced since then, and to put her in the Preakness is only taking up space, creating a potential risk for all other horses and jocks and (thru the press and TV coverage) satisfying his own ego gratification.
Roy Wilkinson More than 1 year ago
Paolucci would get points for this if this were directly after the Breeder's Cup. Doing this after getting pounded in the Rachel Alexandra and the Kentucky Oaks and a beaten favorite 2nd finish in the Santa Anita Oaks is just plain stupid. Some owners know where to point horses (Fink and Lopresti with Wise Dan) and some do not. Horses only have so many races in the tank. Have a feeling Ria Antonia is going to have a tough summer/fall.
Dylan More than 1 year ago
Ok, great that this guy has the opinion that Untapable is the best 3yo in the country. What he doesn't see is the fact that his filly finished 16 lengths behind her, that's at least 3 seconds slower, no way would she have made an impact in the Derby, which I remember reading was his initial target with her, at that pace. She could have a shot in the Ohio Derby, unless an unforeseen A-list horse shows up, but the Preakness, 2 weeks removed from that effort seems a bit of a stretch. Her kick wouldn't keep up with Chrome's. Also of note is how he isn't noting about beating Untapable in the BC, given Untapable's eventful trip in that race.
Gerry Whited More than 1 year ago
Preakness Stakes:It would be good for the sport that a full house is avail to take California Chrome down!!??
Marc Strews More than 1 year ago
well u say and I say I love deep impact to win going away
Anna Montanucci More than 1 year ago
I hope you mean Dynamic Impact, not Deep Impact. Although to think of it, Deep Impact probably would be able to take a break from his stud duties in Japan and fly over here and beat most of the horses slated to run in the Preakness. ;-)