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Back To Track For Kentucky Derby Hero Mage; ‘So Far, Good’ | 2023 Preakness Stakes News
Mage winning the Kentucky Derby (John Voorhees/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM)

Back To Track For Kentucky Derby Hero Mage; ‘So Far, Good’ | 2023 Preakness Stakes News

OGMA Investments, Ramiro Restrepo, Sterling Racing and CMNWLTH’s Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Mage resumed training Tuesday morning, jogging and galloping twice around Churchill Downs’ mile track in the slop under exercise rider J.J. Delgado.

The chestnut colt had two days off after winning Saturday’s Derby by a length over Two Phil’s.

“So far so good,” said Gustavo Delgado Jr., son of and assistant to trainer Gustavo Delgado. “Everything after the race has been very nice for him. He’s eating everything. He went out for a jog and gallop today, and his way coming back, you could tell he wanted to do more. But so far, he needs to have all things quiet, so we’re going to keep an eye on that so he doesn’t do too much. He jogged one and then galloped one.”

A strong thunderstorm blew through Louisville at 3:30 Tuesday morning, but Mage remained calm, even as other horses became a bit agitated.

“I checked it out on the camera, because we have the CCTV on him,” Delgado Jr. said, adding with a laugh, “That’s what I do now. I’m having dinner and I’ll have my phone on and I put it on there.” 

The elder Delgado said shipping plans to Baltimore have not been finalized for an expected start in the May 20 Preakness Stakes (G1) at historic Pimlico Race Course

“I think we’re going to go day by day,” he said. “I appreciate patience on that. We really don’t want to feel any pressure about going or not going to the Preakness. We’ll let the horse tell us. It’s going to be a huge effort off of two weeks, then put him in a van. We were doing the math about the hours. Even sending him on a plane, it’s about the same (with) taking him to the airport, then the layover. It makes more sense vanning.”

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While short of committing 100 percent, Delgado Jr. said that they’re seeing the right signs to continue on to the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown with Mage, who in his third career start was a close second in the Florida Derby won by 2-year-old champion Forte.

“So far, so good,” Delgado Jr. said. “We’re really happy, and more importantly, he seems to be.”

He doesn’t expect Mage to have a timed workout before the 1 3/16-mile Preakness.

“I don’t think so,” Delgado Jr. said. “We’re of the opinion that he’s fit enough already and it’s very much about keeping him happy at all times.”

Delgado Jr. reiterated what a thrill it was to represent the family’s and jockey Javier Castellano’s home country of Venezuela.

“The whole country, I understand, is in pure joy – and they should,” he said. “For us, we can’t feel more proud. This is for them, pretty much…. I think I’ve watched the race like 400 times already and have at least another 400 to go before Friday.”