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Preakness field stands at nine - and perhaps rising

Preakness field stands at nine - and perhaps rising

Preakness field stands at nine - and perhaps rising

BALTIMORE (AP) -There will be no shortage of challengers when Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird tries to win the Preakness Stakes.

The field for the second leg of the Triple Crown grew to nine with Musket Man, General Quarters and Terrain the latest confirmed starters for next Saturday's race.

Musket Man was third in the Derby and General Quarters was 10th. Terrain was fourth behind winner General Quarters in the Blue Grass on April 11 in his last start.

The trio join Mine That Bird, Papa Clem, Flying Private, Big Drama, unbeaten Hull and Take the Points. Papa Clem was fourth in the Derby and Flying Private was last of 19. The others are newcomers to the Triple Crown trail.

Derby runner-up Pioneerof the Nile remains a possible starter. Other 3-year-olds under consideration are Friesan Fire, Conservative, Sky Gate and Tone It Down, who finished third in last Saturday's Tesio Stakes at Pimlico.

The Preakness is limited to 14 starters.

Musket Man won five of six starts before finishing about seven lengths behind 50-1 long shot Mine That Bird. The colt has finished in the money in all seven career races for owner Eric Fein.

''I wouldn't go there if I didn't think I could win it,'' Musket Man trainer Derek Ryan said from Monmouth Park in New Jersey after the colt returned from a Wednesday gallop. ''There are easier spots to race, but we think we can win it.''

Plans call for a Tuesday workout at Monmouth before Musket Man is vanned to Pimlico as late as possible, likely next Friday. Eibar Coa has the mount.

General Quarters came out of the Derby in top shape, and galloped Wednesday morning at Churchill Downs. Tom McCarthy's colt will be vanned to Pimlico on Tuesday. Jockey Julien Leparoux has the call.

Terrain was declared in after a 1 1/2-mile gallop at Churchill. Trainer Al Stall Jr. planned to run Terrain in Saturday's Lone Star Derby but changed his mind after the Derby.

''We are not exactly sure what we saw last Saturday,'' Stall said.

Big Drama, who finished first in the Swale Stakes but was disqualified and placed second, arrived at Pimlico on Wednesday after a 19-hour van ride from Calder Race Course in Miami. John Velazquez will be the rider.

''So far he's proven that he can do anything you've asked him to do and handled everything very well,'' exercise rider and wife of trainer David Fawkes said. ''There's no reason why he can't compete against these horses.''

Flying Private is trained by D. Wayne Lukas, the Hall of Famer who has won 13 Triple Crown races, including the Preakness five times.

Mine That Bird, meanwhile, galloped twice around Churchill Downs through a light drizzle Wednesday with exercise rider Charlie Figueroa up.

''He looked super and switched leads perfectly,'' trainer Bennie Woolley Jr. said. ''I was happy with him yesterday (Tuesday). He tried to run off a little bit and that surprised me. I will let him do a little bit more tomorrow.''

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