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Mage’s Status Likely To Be Decided Friday, May 12 | 2023 Preakness Stakes News
Mage (Scott Serio/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM

Mage’s Status Likely To Be Decided Friday, May 12 | 2023 Preakness Stakes News

A final decision on Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Mage’s status for the May 20 Preakness Stakes (G1) at historic Pimlico Race Course is expected to be made Friday, according to Gustavo Delgado Jr, son of and assistant to trainer Gustavo Delgado Sr.

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Delgado Jr. said the hesitancy to fully commit to the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown is to make sure Mage is up to running back two weeks after wearing down Two Phil’s to win the Derby by a length. The triumph gave Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano, who, like the Delgados, is from Venezuela, his first Kentucky Derby.

Mage is owned by the Delgados’ OGMA Investments LLC, Ramiro Restrepo, Sterling Racing and the CMNWLTH micro-shares partnership. Each of the four entities own 25 percent, though some have other partners, including the Delgados, the son said. Delgado Jr. said the final decision, which he expects to be made Friday, will be made by his dad.

“Before we make the decision, we’re going to recheck him again with our vet here,” Delgado Jr. said at Churchill Downs. “Make sure everything goes right, that he feels good again. We still have to discuss a couple of things with the partners we have. But pretty much everything seems to be in good order.”

The only reason not to go would be “if he gets sick, if he doesn’t eat well, that sort of thing,” Delgado Jr. said. 

Mage, who had prepped for the Kentucky Derby with a gutsy second-place finish behind Forte in the April 1 Curlin Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park, had another routine gallop at Churchill Downs Thursday morning.

“A little bit more than a mile and a half,” Delgado Jr. said. “Good tempo. Not too much, not too little. Energy-wise he looks great. We go pretty much with the route he had previous to the race, previous to the Florida Derby. I don’t think we’ll breeze him. It’s more about keeping him happy.

“He’s not a big horse. He’s not a small horse, either. He’s got a good size to him. But we’re of the opinion we can’t do too much for weight maintenance…. He looks great. He doesn’t seem tired at all.”

Delgado Jr. said Mage’s disposition changes once he gets on the track.

“He’s one horse here in the stall, walking the shedrow,” he said. “And it’s another horse when he gets to go to the track. Two different personalities. Like ‘game time.’ On the track you’ll see he’s pretty active. Here, he’s more laid back.”

Mage’s shipping plans may have hinged on whether a Pimlico allowance race for the Delgados’ 3-year-old filly Isabel Alexandra drew sufficient entries when drawn Thursday to be used on Sunday’s card. The race did fill.

If Mage continues to show all the right signs, the Florida-based Delgados’ three-horse mini-stable in Louisville likely will ship to Baltimore Saturday, Delgado Jr. said. The third horse is O Captain, who was scheduled to run Thursday evening in a Churchill Downs allowance race.