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Derby Winner Mage Confirmed for Preakness

Preakness Stakes 2023
Kentucky Derby winner Mage will run in this year's Preakness Stakes (Photo: Maryland Jockey Club).

Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Mage was officially confirmed Friday morning for a start in the May 20 Preakness Stakes (G1) at historic Pimlico Race Course.

After trainer Gustavo Delgado and his son and assistant Gustavo Delgado Jr. were satisfied with how Mage galloped and cooled out Friday morning at Churchill Downs, they had their two partners on hand to share the news with media members.

“We’re thrilled to announce that Mage is headed to the 148th running of the Preakness Stakes,” said Chase Chamberlin, the Cincinnati-based co-founder and director of racing for the CMNWLTH micro-shares partnership that owns 25 percent of the Kentucky Derby winner.

“We’re very excited. He’s had a magnificent week of training,” said Ramiro Restrepo, who also owns 25 percent and put the ownership group together after he and Delgado Jr. purchased Mage at Fasig-Tipton’s Timonium 2-year-old sale just days following last year’s Preakness. “Gustavo is really pleased and over the moon with how he’s come back. He’s shown all the positive signs, so it’s on to Baltimore — and crab cakes here we come.”

Restrepo said exercise rider J.J. Delgado, who is no relation though from the same Venezuelan town as the father-son training team, was extremely pleased with how Mage has come out of his Derby score.

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“He said he hasn’t lost any luster from his pre-Kentucky Derby training. He feels a lot of horse under him. The horse is just thriving right now. J.J. – who we trust so much because he’s the F1 practice driver; he’s in the cockpit – feels the horse is just full of himself. He hasn’t missed any meals. He hasn’t missed any shredded carrots or mints. Everything you could ask for he’s given us all the green lights.”

Mage Wins Kentucky Derby

Mage is scheduled to train again early Saturday morning at Churchill Downs before vanning that afternoon to Baltimore with his stablemates, the filly Isabel Alexandra, who is scheduled to run in a Pimlico allowance race Sunday, and O Captain, who ran fifth in an allowance race Thursday evening at Churchill Downs. Restrepo said the horses should arrive early Sunday morning at Old Hilltop, with Mage likely to train Monday.

National Treasure Set for Preakness Run After Sharp Breeze

After watching National Treasure turn in a sharp workout Friday morning at Santa Anita Park, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said that the colt will run in the 148th Preakness Stakes (G1) on May 20 at Pimlico Race Course.

National Treasure had a listed time of :47.40 seconds for a half-mile, the fastest at the distance. It was his fourth timed work since he finished fourth in the April 8 Santa Anita Derby (G1). On May 6, the son of Quality Road breezed six furlongs in 1:11.20, also the fastest at that distance that morning.

“I was happy with him,” he said. “It was serious but not as serious as last week’s. He went nice. I was happy with it.”

National Treasure and three other graded-stakes performers that worked Friday for Baffert will ship from California to Maryland Saturday to be prepared for Preakness Weekend stakes: Michael Lund Peterson’s unbeaten filly Faiza for the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) on Friday, May 19; and Havnameltdown for the Chick Lang (G3) and Arabian Lion for the Sir Barton on the Preakness program on Saturday May 20.

With Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez up, National Treasure will be Baffert’s 25th Preakness starter. He is tied with 19th century trainer R. Wyndham Walden with a record seven victories. His most recent victory was in 2018 with Triple Crown winner Justify.

National Treasure is owned by SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Robert E. Masterson, Stonestreet Stables LLC, Jay A. Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital LLC and Catherine Donovan. He has one win in five career starts but has three graded-stakes placings.


McGaughey: Preakness ideal fit for Perform

Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey feels that the 148th Preakness Stakes (G1) is an ideal fit for Perform, who will be making his graded-stakes debut in the May 20 Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown at Pimlico Race Course.

The Good Magic colt, who is co-owned by Woodford Racing LLC, Lanes End Farm, Phipps Stable, Ken Langone, and Edward J. Hudson Jr., has won his last two races around two turns after not delivering in sprints. Following a workout after he won the 1 1/8 miles Federico Tesio by a head on April 15 at Laurel under Feargal Lynch, his owners decided to pay the $150,000 supplemental fee to enter him in the Preakness.

“I think the distance is a big thing and the two turns is a big thing,” McGaughey said. “Obviously, we hope we’d get a little speed in front of us, which we probably will. In these races, they usually do. I hope we’re finishing with Mage and can outkick him. But I think that just the two turns on the dirt, the distance, the mile and three-sixteenths, the timing is pretty good. We’ve got plenty of time in between races. He had a good work here last Sunday with Lynch on him and, that’s what made up my mind that, along with his owners to say, ‘let’s give it a chance.’”

McGaughey said that Perform will probably work a half-mile at Belmont Park on Sunday morning and will ship to Pimlico on Tuesday or Wednesday.

First Mission scheduled for Saturday Breeze

In preparation for a planned start in the May 20 Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course, Godolphin’s First Mission is scheduled to breeze at Churchill Downs Saturday morning.

Trainer Brad Cox said the Stonestreet Lexington Stakes (G3) winner will likely go to the track for the work as soon as it opens at 5:30 a.m.

Also at Churchill Downs, Preakness candidates Red Route One and Confidence Game had routine gallops Friday morning.

Red Route One, who earned a free spot in the Preakness starting gate by virtue of winning Oaklawn Park’s Bath House Row Stakes, is scheduled to work Sunday, with stablemate and Kentucky Derby fourth-place finisher Disarm set to breeze Monday. Both colts are trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen for owner-breeder Ron Winchell.

Trainer Keith Desormeaux has said that a decision on running Confidence Game, 10th in the Kentucky Derby in his first start in 10 weeks, likely will be made Sunday. Desormeaux, who flew back to California to oversee his main operation, said he does not plan to work Oaklawn’s Rebel Stakes (G2) winner before the Preakness.