Eight confirmed for Preakness Stakes

Eight confirmed for Preakness Stakes

Eight confirmed for Preakness Stakes
May 14th, 2007

Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - A much smaller field awaits Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense than the one he faced at Churchill Downs, as eight colts have been confirmed as starters for Saturday's Preakness Stakes.

Along with Street Sense, Derby runners also slated to take a shot at the second jewel of racing's Triple Crown are runner-up Hard Spun and third-place finisher Curlin. The five newcomers are C P West, Flying First Class, King of the Roxy, Mint Slewlep and Xchanger.

Chelokee, third in the Florida Derby, will probably not compete in the Preakness, but is likely to start in the Barbaro Stakes on Saturday at Pimlico. Michael Matz, the trainer of Barbaro, also trains Chelokee.

"Right now, I think that we're leaning toward going in the Barbaro Stakes," Matz said. "I would say unless something happens where some of those top three horses scratch out, we'll probably go in the Barbaro."

Carl Nafzger, who trains the Kentucky Derby champ, has confidence that he can pick up his first Preakness victory.

"I feel good about him," said Nafzger, who had to settle for second with Unbridled in the 1990 Preakness behind Summer Squall. "This is a tough race, though. This is going to be one of the best Preaknesses we've had in a long time."

Hard Spun is trainer Larry Jones' first Triple Crown horse. Jones received some criticism when he allowed the colt to come into the Kentucky Derby with six weeks rest.

"I've always been one of those guys who marches to the beat of his own drummer," stated Jones. "My teachers always complained about that, which is not to say that I was rebellious. I always fly by the seat of my pants. You just do what you think is right."

Lightly raced Curlin, third in the Run for the Roses, suffered his first career defeat on the first Saturday of May. Trainer Steve Asmussen likes what he sees from his colt since that race.

"He came out of the race really well," Asmussen said. "He gave us no signs that he wouldn't come out of it well. But it was curious to see, with him never getting beaten before, how he would go back to the track. He was very patient. That was one thing I was wanting to see, that he didn't tighten up or get nervous or being somebody he hasn't always been."

The post position draw will take place on Wednesday afternoon in downtown Baltimore.

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