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BALTIMORE, MD – In a late change of plans, the well-named colt Risk Taking will be entered Monday for the May 15 Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course, trainer Chad Brown said Friday.
Rather than run in the one-turn 1 1/8-mile Peter Pan (G3) Saturday at Belmont Park, Risk Taking will join his Klaravich Stables stablemate,Crowded Trade, in the 1 3/16-mile $1 million Preakness. Baltimore native Seth Klarman is the proprietor of Klaravich Stables, which was the co-owner of Brown’s 2017 Preakness winner Cloud Computing.
“After a couple of lengthy discussions with Mr. Klarman, we feel that this horse is better around two turns. That, along with the defections, it just seemed like a good opportunity to take a chance with the horse,” Brown said. “I know he is the morning-line favorite for the Peter Pan and we are giving that up, but the reward is: if we are able to get lucky in this race and have him run the race of his life and potentially win or be right there, it’s a huge purse. Along with that, it’s a little better for him around two turns with the extra distance. Of course, it’s a tougher race, but it just came down to a risk-and-reward situation and getting the opportunity to try him around two turns.”
The Preakness will be Risk Taking’s first start since he disappointed as the 2-1 favorite in the Wood Memorial (G2) on April 3 at Aqueduct. He was a well-beaten seventh of nine horses. Prior to the Wood, he broke his maiden on Dec. 13 and won the Withers (G3) on Feb. 6, both at 1 1/8 miles.
“Our optimism is really based on being able to confidently draw a line through the Wood,” Brown said. “If we do that, and if he was to move forward off his previous two races, another step forward, finishing strong at a mile and three-sixteenths, it could potentially put him in the trifecta or maybe better.”
Jose Ortiz will ride the son of Medaglia d’Oro in the Preakness.
Brown plans to work Risk Taking and Crowded Trade on Saturday morning at Belmont Park.
Risk Taking Rallies to Take Withers
Zedan Racing Stables’ Medina Spirit and Gary and Mary West’s Concert Tour both galloped under exercise rider Humberto Gomez at Churchill Downs Friday morning. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is scheduled fly in from Southern California Saturday to be on hand for more serious training moves on Sunday.
Assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes said current plans are to van the horses to Baltimore Monday evening for a Tuesday morning arrival at Pimlico.
“I was very happy with what we saw out there this morning,” Barnes said. “Both horses are fresh. This cool weather kind of makes them a little happier also. They galloped their regular gallops, a mile and a half. Exact same thing tomorrow and then Bob will take over on Sunday.”
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