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The 2023 Kentucky Derby (G1) champion Mage stretched his legs while jogging and galloping at Pimlico Race Course` Monday morning in preparation for a highly anticipated start in Saturday’s 148th running of the Preakness Stakes (G1).
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The Gustavo Delgado-trained 3-year-old, who went to the track shortly after 8:30 a.m., jogged in the company of a pony once around the mile oval before galloping once around under exercise rider J.J. Delgado.
“He looked good, quiet, relaxed,” said Gustavo Delgado Jr, his father’s assistant. “There were only one, two, three horses on the track the same time he was. He was getting to know the track mainly.”
Mage, who will be installed as the Preakness favorite following the post-position draw late Friday afternoon, arrived at Pimlico early Sunday morning following a van ride from Churchill Downs.
The son of Good Magic, who is owned by OGMA Investments LLC, Ramiro Restrepo, CMNWLTH and Sterling Racing LLC, rallied from 16th in a field of 18 under a masterful ride by Hall of Famer Javier Castellano to register a length victory in the May 6 Derby while making only his fourth career start.
His connections waited until Friday to commit Mage to the Preakness, in which the lightly raced colt will run in the 1 3/16-mile Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown off just two weeks rest. Mage is expected to be the only Derby competitor to be entered in the Preakness.
“Personally, I think he came back from his last race in better shape than his previous race,” Delgado Jr. said.
2023 Preakness Stakes
Just a year ago, Delgado Jr. and Restrepo ventured to the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds-in-training sale at nearby Timonium, MD, where they purchased Mage for $290,000.
“It’s amazing when you look back, but right now I’m just trying to be not too high, not too low, in emotions. We have a big race coming. We just want to focus on the horse and make him the happiest he can be,” Delgado Jr. said.
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