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Since shipping Coffeewithchris from Laurel Park to Pimlico Race Course Wednesday to finish preparations for Saturday’s 148th Preakness Stakes (G1), trainer John Salzman Jr. has been surprised by the media coverage of the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.
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“It’s been crazy. It’s a lot more than I expected, especially being a longshot. I figured I’d just come in and fly under the radar. That’s didn’t work out,” Salzman said. “I guess being a Maryland-bred has added to the hype. We’re rooting for him and hoping for the best. He’s a nice horse. He’s done everything I’ve asked him. We’re just looking for a good, safe trip. He’ll give his all.”
Coffeewithchris, a multiple stakes-winning Maryland-bred who is owned by John Salzman Sr., Fred Wasserloos and Anthony Geruso, is rated at 20-1 on the morning line.
The son of Ride On Curlin has taken to his new surroundings well, Saltzman said following training hours Thursday morning.
“He galloped off from the quarter pole to the wire and then galloped about a mile and a half. He handed it well, He did everything we asked,” Salzman said. “He trained good. I was very happy with him.”
Salzman hasn’t made a firm decision on whether Coffeewithchris will be saddled in the paddock or in the saddling area on the turf course.
“I’m leaning going into the paddock, where it’s a little quieter. My horse isn’t familiar being out there with the crowd and all the people, so I’m going to keep him as calm, cool and collected as possible,” Salzman said.
Maryland-based Jaime Rodriguez has the mount on Coffeewithchris.
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