05/06/2007 11:00PM

Top three targeting Preakness

Michael J. Marten/Horsephotos
Calvin Borel helps cool off Street Sense following his victory in Saturday's Kentucky Derby.

Despite running 1 1/4 miles faster than 19 other 3-year-olds Saturday in the 133rd Kentucky Derby, Street Sense went right back to the track Sunday morning at Churchill Downs for a one-mile jog, an atypical move for most trainers, but routine for Street Sense's trainer, Carl Nafzger.

It was the first indication that Street Sense, who got a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 110 in the Derby, is raring to go as he attempts to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. His quest will continue May 19, when he is scheduled to run in the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.

The Preakness, at 1 3/16 miles, is the shortest of the Triple Crown races, but it is only 110 yards shorter than the Derby, and 110 yards farther than Derby preps like the Santa Anita Derby, Wood Memorial, Florida Derby, and Blue Grass. Still, because the Derby is the focal point of the spring, the Preakness line-up will be decidedly different than the Derby. As of Monday, only five of the 20 Derby starters were considered potential runners in the Preakness, and they will be joined by at least five 3-year-olds who bypassed the Derby.

Nafzger admitted that he was one of those who hadn't given much thought to anything past May 5.

"I realized last night," Nafzger said Sunday morning outside his Barn 26 at Churchill Downs, "that I had focused so hard on the Derby that I hadn't looked past it. It doesn't matter because the horse will tell you, the horse will take you to the Preakness. The way he looked this morning, we're on the way."

Nafzger had a routine day Monday. Not so for winning Derby jockey Calvin Borel, who flew to Washington, D.C., after receiving an invitation to a state dinner Monday night at the White House that President Bush held in honor of Queen Elizabeth II of England, who attended the Derby and saw Borel ride Street Sense to victory.

Street Sense will remain at Churchill Downs until May 16 and then will be flown to Baltimore, Nafzger said. Street Sense led a 1-2-3 Derby sweep for horses who had their final Derby workouts at Churchill Downs. Street Sense has been based at Churchill Downs since spending the winter in Florida. He is the third Derby-winning horse in the last five years to have trained during the winter at the Palm Meadows training center.

Hard Spun, who was second in the Derby, and Curlin, who was third, are both potential Preakness starters, along with Derby contestants Sedgefield (who was fifth) and Teuflesberg (17th).

Hard Spun was sent by van Monday from Churchill Downs to Delaware Park, the summer base of his trainer, Larry Jones. Hard Spun also is expected to arrive at Pimlico on May 16, Jones said.

A firm decision on the Preakness status of Curlin will not be made until later in the week, trainer Steve Asmussen said Monday from Churchill Downs. Asmussen said he wants to see how Curlin acts when he goes back to the track to train later in the week. If Curlin goes to the Preakness, he would fly with Street Sense from Kentucky on May 16.

"I was very pleased with his race," Asmussen said of Curlin, who was making only the fourth start of his career. "It's the first time I've run one in the Derby and got money back."

The new shooters for the Preakness are led by Chelokee, who was third in the Florida Derby; King of the Roxy, the Santa Anita Derby runner-up; and Flying First Class, who won the Derby Trial the week before the Derby. Flying First Class is trained by D. Wayne Lukas, who also has Starbase under consideration for the Preakness. One is expected to go in the Preakness, the other in the Barbaro Stakes, a race on the Preakness undercard previously known as the Sir Barton Stakes.

Michael Matz, trainer of Chelokee, said the Barbaro also was under consideration for Chelokee. If Chelokee runs on Preakness Day, it would be a poignant, compelling storyline, since the Matz-trained Barbaro suffered catastrophic injuries in last year's Preakness.

Also under consideration for the Preakness are C P West, the runner-up in the Withers Stakes, and Xchanger, who captured the Tesio Stakes on April 20 at Pimlico.

C P West worked a half-mile in 48.51 seconds Monday at Belmont Park.

Last year, Bernardini won the Preakness after winning the Withers and skipping the Derby.

Xchanger worked six furlongs in 1:13 at the Fair Hill training center in Maryland on Saturday. Mark Shuman, his trainer and co-owner, said Xchanger would work again Saturday and likely would not be sent to Pimlico until the day before the Preakness.

Lexington Stakes winner Slew's Tizzy, who skipped the Derby and was being pointed for the Preakness, instead will run this Saturday in the Grade 3, $300,000 Lone Star Derby in Texas, trainer Greg Fox said Monday.

Fox said Street Sense's convincing victory in the Derby caused him to withdraw Slew's Tizzy from consideration for the Preakness.

"As much as I believe in my horse, I don't want any part of those horses at this particular time," Fox said. He said the Belmont Stakes on June 9, the final leg of the Triple Crown, is a goal for owner Joe Lacombe, who is a native of New York.

Trainer Todd Pletcher will not run any of his five Derby horses back in the Preakness. Instead, he will be represented by King of the Roxy. King of the Roxy worked five furlongs in 1:01 at Keeneland on Sunday morning. On Monday, he joined Pletcher's Derby runners and Kentucky Oaks winner Rags to Riches on a flight to New York.

Pletcher said King of the Roxy would have his final Preakness work this Sunday at Belmont, then travel by van to Preakness no earlier than May 16.

Pletcher's plans for the Belmont Stakes are in flux, but both he and Michael Tabor, the co-owner of Rags to Riches, intimated after the Oaks that the Belmont was possible for her. Rags to Riches is by A.P. Indy, the 1992 Belmont winner, and is a half-sister to last year's Belmont winner, Jazil.

"We'll see how she comes in here. We have plenty of time to make a decision," Pletcher said Monday at Belmont Park. "She's by a Belmont winner out of a mare who produced a Belmont winner, so her pedigree suggests she's bred to get a mile and a half. At the end of the day, she's not a stallion prospect, so there's not much to gain by running against colts other than for the sake of doing it and winning a race. We'll let the dust settle, get her in, and figure it out."

Forty-eight hours removed from a Derby that saw his five horses do no better than sixth, occupy two of the final three spots, and make his Derby record 0 for 19, Pletcher had turned the page.

"It's one race, one day of the year," he said. "We had a great spring - won a lot of preps, made a lot of people happy, the owners were able to bring their horses to the Kentucky Derby. Unfortunately, none of the horses ran well. Period. End of story, we move on. We're 0 for 19 and you'll have to wait about 50 weeks and then start writing about it again."

- additional reporting by David Grening, Marty McGee, and Mike Welsch