Updated on 09/16/2011 7:22AM

Quiet time is about to end

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U S S Tinosa and Art Calva on the Pimlico backstretch Monday. One of 13 expected for Saturday's Preakness, U S S Tinosa. may work on Wednesday.

BALTIMORE, Md. - For a place that will play host to the second leg of the Triple Crown in five days, Pimlico Race Course was eerily quiet on Monday morning, more resembling a private training center than a track conducting a live race meeting.

Only four of the 13 horses expected on Wednesday to enter Saturday's 127th Preakness Stakes were on the grounds on Monday, and just one of them worked. When Straight Gin went out for his five-furlong drill just after the mid-morning renovation break, he had the track practically to himself, a sharp contrast from the stampede at Churchill Downs after a renovation break the week of the Kentucky Derby.

"The horses love it," Straight Gin's trainer, Nick Zito, said after his colt covered five furlongs in 1:00.60 under exercise rider Jamie Sanders. "There's no traffic. It's quiet. There's not a lot of hassles."

That will end on Wednesday. War Emblem, the Kentucky Derby winner, is scheduled to fly here from Louisville on Wednesday morning, along with five other Kentucky-based Preakness runners - Booklet, Easyfromthegitgo, Harlan's Holiday, Proud Citizen, and Table Limit. They are on two flights, with Harlan's Holiday, Proud Citizen, and Table Limit scheduled for the first flight.

Crimson Hero, who was scheduled to work here on Tuesday for Zito, is on the grounds, as are Equality, who worked six furlongs Sunday in 1:13.80 with jockey Ramon Dominguez, and U S S Tinosa, who could work on Wednesday after trainer Jerry Hollendorfer arrives Tuesday night.

Medaglia d'Oro, who was fourth in the Derby after a rough trip and seemingly is headed for favoritism in the Preakness, is scheduled to be sent by van from Belmont Park to Pimlico early Saturday morning. Local hope Magic Weisner also will arrive at Pimlico the morning of the Preakness, but he has a decidedly shorter trip from Maryland's Laurel Race Course.

Menacing Dennis, who should be the longest shot in the field, arrived in Baltimore on Monday after a flight from Southern California. His trainer, Jeff Bonde, said local rider Mario Pino would have the mount. Pino, the leading rider this season at Pimlico, won six races here on Saturday.

A more significant riding assignment was confirmed on Monday, when Gary Stevens landed on Table Limit, according to his agent, Brian Beach. Stevens became available when trainer Neil Drysdale on Sunday decided, as expected, to bypass the Preakness with Sunday Break and instead point him for the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont and then the Belmont Stakes there. The last time Drysdale ran a horse here, his 2000 Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus was upset by Red Bullet, and Drysdale that week was horrified by the rat-infested conditions in the barn in which Fusaichi Pegasus resided.

Beach also is the agent for Mike Smith, who is riding Lukas's other, and better-regarded, Preakness runner, Derby runner-up Proud Citizen. Beach, who returned Sunday night from a trip to Singapore with Stevens, said Lukas had left several phone messages for him over the weekend. Monday morning, Beach reached Lukas and accepted the mount on Table Limit for Stevens. Lukas has won the Preakness five times, second-most all time, with a record 26 starters.

Table Limit is one of several Lukas-trained runners who have made dramatic form reversals this spring in Kentucky. After losing his first three starts, all at Santa Anita, by a combined 46 1/2 lengths, Table Limit won a pair of Keeneland sprints by a total of 12 lengths.

The only Preakness runner without a confirmed jockey as of Monday was Straight Gin. Most likely, Robby Albarado, who rode Straight Gin to his fourth-place finish in the Blue Grass Stakes, will get the mount. Zito early Monday said he hoped to get Stevens, but that was before Zito learned Stevens already had taken the mount on Table Limit.

Table Limit's inclusion brought the expected Preakness field to 13. The field for the Preakness, at 1 3/16 miles the shortest of the Triple Crown races, is limited to 14 runners. Barring any Danthebluegrassman-like, last-second entries on Wednesday morning, it appeared no one would be excluded from the Preakness, unlike in the Derby, for which four horses were left on the sidelines when more than the maximum of 20 entered.

The Preakness draw is scheduled to take place at 5 p.m. Eastern Wednesday at the ESPNZone in Baltimore's Inner Harbor area. The Preakness draw is similar to that of the Kentucky Derby, in that it is a two-stage process that eventually allows a representative of each horse to choose a post position.

The long-range weather forecast for Pimlico this week is very unsettled. The National Weather Service predicted thunderstorms, with hail and wind, for Monday evening. Showers are predicted for Tuesday, and afternoon thunderstorms are forecast for Friday. Saturday's Preakness Day forecast is for showers in the morning, with a high of 73 degrees.

The weather in Baltimore usually follows that of Louisville by a day. Because rain was forecast for Sunday night and Monday morning in Kentucky, Lukas worked Proud Citizen on Sunday at Churchill Downs, sending him through a half-mile drill in 47.80 seconds on a fast main track with exercise rider Stacey Maker.

Conditions were sloppy at Churchill on Monday, when Easyfromthegitgo worked five furlongs in 1:02.40 with jockey Donnie Meche. Easyfromthegitgo finished third most recently, behind Proud Citizen and Crimson Hero, in the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland.

Scott Blasi, the Churchill-based assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen, said Easyfromthegitgo finished his final quarter-mile in 24.20 seconds. Easyfromthegitgo worked immediately after the mid-morning renovation break, Blasi said.

War Emblem was scheduled to work on Tuesday at Churchill, as were Booklet and Harlan's Holiday, the beaten Derby favorite. War Emblem had a routine gallop on Monday, with exercise rider Mick Jenner aboard.