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First Mission ‘Sound, Happy Horse’ For Brad Cox, Godolphin | 2023 Preakness Stakes News
First Mission winning the Lexington Stakes (Jessica Morgan/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM)

First Mission ‘Sound, Happy Horse’ For Brad Cox, Godolphin | 2023 Preakness Stakes News

Keeneland’s Stonestreet Lexington Stakes (G3) winner First Mission continues to train well for the May 20 Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course.

The Godolphin homebred is a son of 2007 Derby winner and Preakness runner-up Street Sense, who stands at Darley America, Godolphin’s Kentucky breeding operation.

In his third lifetime start, First Mission wore down Arabian Lion to win the 1 1/16-mile Lexington by a half-length under Luis Saez on April 15. The dark bay colt worked five-eighths of a mile in 59.80 seconds last Saturday and will work again this Saturday at Churchill Downs.

“First Mission looked very good,” said Jorje Abrego, trainer Brad Cox’s top assistant at Churchill Downs. “He galloped a mile today. The track is sloppy, but he’s a very sound, happy horse. I’m happy the way everything is going with the horse. He’ll go an easy five-eighths on Saturday, like in 1:01.

“Honestly, I watched the Derby and I watched the way this horse ran in the Lexington. I’m not scared of anybody. I’m excited to watch this horse run. I think he’ll put in a big effort in 10 more days,” Abrego added. “He’s a big horse, he covers a lot of ground and has good speed. He won’t be too far behind, might be second or third.”

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