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May 09, 2008

Field for 133rd Preakness Stakes in flux

Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Additions and subtractions continue as the field for this year's Preakness Stakes takes shape. Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown may only see one other starter from the Run for the Roses.

As of Tuesday afternoon there were seven confirmed starters for the 1 3/16 mile race: Big Brown; Behindatthebar; Giant Moon; Kentucky Bear; Stevil; Tres Borrachos and Yankee Bravo. A decision has not been made regarding Recapturethglory, fifth in the Kentucky Derby.

El Gato Malo, a winner of three of five career races, is now being pointed toward this Saturday's Lone Star Derby in Texas. Terry Finley, founder and President of West Point Thoroughbreds, made the announcement Tuesday morning.

"The decision certainly had to do with Big Brown's performance," Finley said. "We are probably going to be 8-5 in Texas and 15-1 at Pimlico. He is a gelding and we are really focused on earning with this horse so that worked into the decision. If he were a colt and eventually a stallion we probably would be headed to the Preakness."

Finley indicated that Derby Trial winner Macho Again is now possible for the Preakness, depending on the field size.

"We'll see how he trains but he seems to have come out of the Derby Trial in fine fashion," added Finley. "It is not out of the question. We'll keep track of the Preakness field."

If he does not run in the second leg of racing's Triple Crown, Macho Again would travel to suburban Cleveland on May 31 for the Ohio Derby at Thistledown.

Lexington Stakes runner Riley Tucker is now a Preakness probable. Trained by Bill Mott, Riley Tucker was third to Behindatthebar in the Lexington. In seven lifetime starts he has been in the money six times. Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado would have the mount on Riley Tucker.

Recapturetheglory's co-owner Ronnie Lamarque said from New Orleans on Tuesday that he and Louie Roussel, the trainer and co-owner, were "still thinking about the Preakness." Like the connections of Macho Again, Lamarque is concerned with the size of the field for the Preakness.

"Louie and Ronnie are still talking about it," said Lara Van Deren, assistant to Roussel who also serves as Recapturetheglory's exercise rider. "They want to see how many horses are likely to be in there before they make a decision."

Lamrque and Roussel won the Preakness Stakes in 1988 with Risen Star.

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