05/08/2013 1:18PM

Preakness Stakes: Smith to ride Will Take Charge; Leparoux to ride Titletown Five

Barbara D. Livingston
Will Take Charge, who finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby under Jon Court, will have Mike Smith aboard for the May 18 Preakness Stakes.

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas has named Mike Smith to ride Will Take Charge and Julien Leparoux on Titletown Five for the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 18.

Smith, who rode Palace Malice in the Kentucky Derby, will replace Jon Court, who had been aboard Will Take Charge in six of his eight starts. Will Take Charge finished eighth in the Derby after having to check at the three-sixteenths pole behind a tiring Verrazano.

“With a race of this magnitude and Mike being available, and I’ve had a good rapport with Mike over the years, I thought we’d try it,” Lukas said by phone from Kentucky.

Leparoux becomes the sixth rider on Titletown Five in what will be the son of Tiznow’s eighth career start. Titletown Five, owned in part by Pro Football Hall of Famer Paul Hornung, finished fourth in the Grade 3 Derby Trial under Gary Stevens, who will ride Oxbow for Lukas in the Preakness.

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“Leparoux has always been able to relax a horse, and I think this is a very talented horse,” Lukas said. “If he’s able to settle him and Leparoux is able to find some room, I think he can make some noise.”

Lukas said all three of his Preakness horses could work at Churchill Downs on Monday and would van to Baltimore on Tuesday.

Others still under consideration for the Preakness as of Wednesday were Mylute, Itsmyluckyday, Goldencents, Departing, Govenor Charlie and Street Spice.