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There were some anxious moments for Preakness Stakes (G1) entrant Perform is his first visit to the track at Pimlico Race Course Wednesday morning.
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Trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, Perform and exercise rider Noemi Pauquet were scheduled to gallop a mile just after the break.
With Perform standing just after entering the track, a loose non-Preakness horse running at full speed the wrong way came his way.
“It didn’t really bother him, but he got buzzed pretty good,” said Anthony Hamilton, McGaughey’s assistant who witnessed the incident. “It was right as we got on the track. Obviously, it’s not what you want, but Noemi did a great job. The horse was as professional as a horse could be in that situation. He is a feel-good horse and that woke him up a little bit. Then he went out and galloped a mile just like we wanted him to.”
Perform vanned to Pimlico from McGaughey’s base at Belmont Park on Tuesday afternoon.
Owned by Woodford Racing LLC, Lanes End Farm, Phipps Stable, Ken Langone and Edward J. Hudson Jr., Perform has won two of three starts this year, including the Federico Tesio Stakes at Laurel on April 15 in his last start.
The Tesio is a Preakness win-and-in event. The son of Good Magic was supplemented to the Preakness for a fee of $150,000.
McGaughey was scheduled to arrive at Pimlico sometime Wednesday afternoon. Hamilton said Perform would school in the paddock on Wednesday. He said the plans for Perform for Thursday would not be finalized until McGaughey got to town.
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