Firing Line walked the shedrow in Barn 42 at Churchill Downs on Monday for about 30 minutes and was declared in great shap for the Preakness Stakes.
The 3-year-old son of Line of David, second in the Kentucky Derby, looked no worse for the wear after a hard-run race. Trainer Simon Callaghan had returned to southern California to check on his stable at Santa Anita.
“He’s doing really well. Even the first day after the race, he was in his stall always looking for something to eat. He never lost his appetite,” said assistant trainer Carlos Santamaria. “For most horses to run that kind of race, it takes them a couple days to recover. With him, it was just another horse race.”
Firing Line, who had finished second behind Dortmund in both the Los Alamitos Futurity and the Robert Lewis before romping to a 14 1/4-length victory in the Sunland Park Derby, loomed as a win threat in the Derby until the closing yards.
"Disappointed? Not for me. Not for us. It's just for the horse. He didn't deserve to lose. Maybe even if the horse, American Pharoah, that won the race were to lose, he wouldn't have deserved to lose because both horses ran a huge race,” Santamaria said. “Too bad we couldn't have two winners in the same race, unless it’s a dead-heat, but 99 percent of the time there is just one winner. We know we have a chance in the next race. We'll see.”
Firing Line is housed in Stall 1 of Barn 42, which has not been the home to any recent Kentucky Derby winners, but in the early 1990s, it was the place to be for the Preakness. Hansel had the stall in 1991 and Pine Bluff was there a year later for the Derby. Both lost in the Derby but won two weeks later in Baltimore.
American Pharoah, Firing Line and Dortmund, the Derby top three finishers, are scheduled to remain at Churchill Downs until flying to Baltimore on Wednesday, May 13.
Stanford Green Light
The owners of Stanford notified Maryland Jockey Club officials that the Todd Pletcher-trained colt will be entered in the Preakness. Stanford was entered in the Kentucky Derby but was scratched Thursday.
According to the Maryland Jockey Club, also under consideration for the 140th Preakness are Danzig Moon, fifth in the Derby; Divining Rod, who captured the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on April 11; Mr. Z, who ran into traffic during a 13th-place Derby finish; International Star, who was scratched from the Derby with a minor foot injury; and Bodhisattva, the winner of the Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico on April 18. Competitve Edge is said by other sources to be under consideration.
Edited Maryland Jockey Club release with additional content by Dick Downey