Updated on 09/17/2011 2:36PM

Schaefer: Ole Faunty withdraws

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Elliott Walden probably did his training brethren a favor Thursday morning when he decided to keep Ole Faunty in the Pimlico Special instead of scratching the gelding to run instead in the Grade 3 William Donald Schaefer Handicap on Saturday.

figured to be a longshot in the Grade 1 Pimlico Special but looked like the goods in the Schaefer, a 1 1/8-mile race with one-fifth the purse of the $500,000 Special. Walden said he cross-entered Ole Faunty in both races because "I was wanting to see what the weather was going to be like, and some other stuff."

With Ole Faunty out, the Grade 3 Schaefer loses its highweight and favorite but instantly become more competitive. , winner of the Aqueduct Handicap in January, figures as one of a handful of logical contenders, although the 5-year-old horse will have to run better than in his latest start, when he was a poor sixth as the odds-on favorite in the Gulfstream Park Handicap.

Other top challengers among a field that now will max out at 10 starters include The Lady's Groom, winner of the Jim McKay Breeders' Cup here four weeks ago; Cherokee's Boy, winner of the 2003 Federico Tesio at Pimlico; Roaring Fever, a capable sort for the trainer-jockey team of Mark Hennig and Jerry Bailey; and Off the Glass, winner of his last two starts.

The Schaefer is named for the former Maryland governor and Baltimore mayor who now is employed as the state comptroller.