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May 08, 2015

Derby's top three gallop Friday around Churchill Downs


Louisville, KY ( - The first three 3-year-olds under the wire in last week's Kentucky Derby all took gallops around Churchill Downs Friday morning ahead of next Saturday's Preakness Stakes.

American Pharoah, a length winner over Firing Line, galloped as did his stablemate and third-place finisher Dortmund. Derby runner-up Firing Line galloped as well in preparation for the 140th Preakness.

"Everything went very nice and we did exactly what Bob (trainer Baffert) told us to do," said Baffert assistant Jim Barnes who is overseeing American Pharoah and Dortmund. "When they walk for four days, they can get a little quiet. You get them back to the track and they begin to wake up. We didn't do much this morning. Normally we gallop a mile and a half and I would imagine we would be back to that distance soon."

American Pharoah, owned by Ahmed Zayat, had exercise rider Jorge Alvarez aboard and a little later Kaleem Shah's Dortmund galloped with Dana Barnes in the saddle.

Firing Line, owned by Arnold Zetcher and trained by Simon Callaghan, galloped 1 1/2 miles with exercise rider Humberto Gomez.

"For the first day, that was a comfortable gallop," Gomez said. "He is the same as he was before the Derby, which is a good sign. He is what I would call scary calm. He is so professional."

Other Preakness probables who galloped Friday at Churchill were Danzig Moon, fifth in the Derby and Mr. Z, 13th last Saturday.

Tale of Verve, who was an also eligible for the Derby but did not draw in, is still being considered for the Preakness.

"I talked with the owner (Charles Fipke) last night," said trainer Dallas Stewart. "There were a lot of horses that ran bad races (in the Derby) and it wasn't like they were flying home with the last quarter in :26."

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