By Jarrod Horak
The Preakness 2023 field currently stands at eight after two defections and one addition. Confidence Game is out for trainer Keith Desormeaux. He came out of the Derby with a sore shoulder and will miss the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
In late breaking news, Disarm, most recently seen running fourth in the Kentucky Derby, will not compete in the Preakness. He will target the Jim Dandy and Travers at Saratoga later this summer.
Local hope Coffeewithchris was originally scheduled to compete in the Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth Park last weekend, but he scratched from that spot and will target the Preakness instead. He breezed an easy half-mile at Laurel Park on May 12. He has early-pressing speed and will probably impact the pace.
Kentucky Derby hero Mage arrived at Pimlico on May 14. The Good Magic colt had an uneventful 11-hour van ride from Churchill Downs and is scheduled to make his first trip to the track on Preakness Monday. He has not had a published workout since the Derby but has been energetic in his morning gallops and jogs.
Blazing Sevens is on the grounds as well. Chad Brown’s Good Magic colt fired a five panel bullet at Belmont Park on May 13. The Grade 1 Champagne winner exits an encouraging show finish in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland. Brown saddled last year’s Preakness winner Early Voting, and he also won the Pimlico showcase with Cloud Computing in 2017.
Chase the Chaos had a decent five panel move in 1:00.80 at Golden Gate Fields on the all-weather surface on May 12. He qualified for the Preakness by winning the El Camino Real Derby in February, and was unplaced in his last two stakes attempts.
First Mission, a son of Street Sense trained by Brad Cox, might be the most dangerous fresh face. The Grade 3 Lexington winner has worked three times since that victory including a five furlong bullet in 59.20 at Churchill on May 13. He should be forwardly placed in Baltimore.
National Treasure will look to give trainer Bob Baffert his eighth Preakness victory. He arrived at Pimlico on Saturday and walked the shedrow on Sunday, and is expected to visit the racetrack on Monday. He drilled a six furlong bullet in 1:11.20 at Santa Anita on May 6, and fired a half-mile bullet in 47.40 at that same venue on May 12. He has hit the board in multiple stakes races and is still searching for his first win since graduating in his career debut at Del Mar last summer.
Perform will be supplemented to the Preakness Stakes for $150k. Shug McGaughey’s Good Magic colt is on the improve after dropping his first five decisions. He graduated at Tampa Bay on March 11, and followed that up with a last-to-first score in the Federico Tesio Stakes at Laurel Park on April 15. His final Preakness move was a half-mile breeze in 48.09 at Belmont Park on May 14.
Red Route One is now Steve Asmussen’s lone Preakness hopeful after the defection of Disarm. He earned his way into the field with a late running victory in the Bath House Row Stakes at Oaklawn on April 22. The late striding son of Gun Runner had an easy half-mile move under the Twin Spires on May 14.
As I mentioned in my early Preakness report, the second jewel of the Triple Crown is lacking runners with early-pressing speed, and that is still the case. Coffeewithchris, First Mission, and National Treasure should be forwardly placed, and the other five hopefuls are patient runners. The post position draw will take place on Monday, May 15 at 5:30 p.m. ET.