By Dick Downey
Per a report by David Grening at Daily Racing Form, trainer Chad Brown said this morning that Good Magic is “looking more and more like a possibility" for the Preakness.
The comment was made after Good Magic galloped for the first time since the Kentucky Derby this morning at Belmont Park. He went a mile and a quarter over the main track. Good Magic jogged on Wednesday and Thursday.
"One day galloping, he couldn’t have done any better," Brown said, adding he wants to see how things go this weekend.
Jockey Go Round
A post very late Thursday night by Jason Frakes at the Louisville Courier-Journal lists Corey Nakatani as Bolt d'Oro's jockey in the Preakness -- if he runs. A tweet by Shelbe Ruis says Nakatani is the horse's next jockey regardless of where and when.
What goes around comes around. Nakatani was Bolt d'Oro's regular rider last year. He was fired by owner-trainer Mick Ruis after a workout early this year, and Javier Castellano replaced him. After two Derby prep races on board Bolt d'Oro, Castellano bailed and took the mount on Audible in the Kentucky Derby. Victor Espinoza, who had worked Bolt d'Oro a few times, accepted the Kentucky Derby mount.
Meanwhile, Frakes' story says Espinoza is listed to ride Tenfold in the Preakness. Enter Nakatani.
Smith Not Suspended for Preakness
Speaking of jockeys, Mike Smith was suspended from riding May 17-20 by California stewards for careless riding on May 6 at Santa Anita. His horse won after drifting out in the stretch, and this happened despite Smith's right-handed whip. The horse wasn't disqualified for interfering with the second finisher because stewards decided the foul didn't change the result. For this, Smith gets days.
Anyway, some Twitter and Facebook users immediately thought the suspension meant Smith couldn't ride in the Preakness. They didn't know the suspension exempted designated stakes races in Maryland. This means Smith can serve the May 19 suspension on another date, and he's set for the Preakness as long as things go well for Justify. Jeremy Balan of BloodHorse reported on this.
Justify Gallop Watch
Things went well for Justify Friday morning. He galloped 1 1/2 mile at Churchill Downs with no issues. This video was shot by Nicole Russo of Daily Racing Form.