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Preakness Stakes News | Joel Rosario To Ride Just Steel
Joel Rosario aboard Just Steel winning the 2023 Ed Brown Stakes (Jessica Morgan/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM)

Preakness Stakes News | Joel Rosario To Ride Just Steel

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas told a national conference call Thursday afternoon that Joel Rosario will take over riding Just Steel in the May 18 Preakness (G1) at Pimlico Race Course.

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Just Steel was part of a swift pace in the Kentucky Derby (G1) before tiring to 17th under Keith Asmussen, who had finished second on the colt in the Arkansas Derby (G1) to earn his first Kentucky Derby mount.

Lukas said Jaime Torres retains the mount on Seize the Grey after winning the Pat Day Mile (G2) aboard the gray colt.

Rosario, in the 2024 class of inductees into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame, has never won the Preakness but has been second four times, including last year with Epicenter.

Lukas said he’s still looking for a rider for Oaklawn Park’s Honeybee (G3) winner Lemon Muffin in the May 17 Black-Eyed Susan (G2). He said he offered the mount back to Asmussen, who had been aboard for the filly’s last three races, including the Honeybee, but that the jockey opted to ride at Churchill Downs that day for his father, trainer Steve Asmussen.

As the conference call was ending, Lukas asked moderator Jim Gluckson the Preakness status of Mystik Dan. Told that Derby-winning trainer Kenny McPeek was going to take his time making a decision, Lukas quipped: “Tell him to make a decision about Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.”

Entries are taken Monday for the Preakness.

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Horsemen will be offered $7.5 million in bonus opportunities as well as two qualifiers for races at Newmarket and Deauville come Preakness Day May 18 at legendary Pimlico Race Course.

In addition to their respective purses, a $5 million bonus awaits the owner or owners of the horse who wins the $2 million Preakness (G1), the $1 million California Crown (G1) Sept. 28 at Santa Anita, and the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park in 2025.

Meanwhile, a $2.5 million bonus awaits the owner or owners of the horse who wins Pimlico’s $500,000 Dinner Party (G3), the $750,000 California Crown John Henry Turf (G2), and $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1).

In addition, the winner of the $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint will receive an automatic entry and travel incentive to run in the July Cup Stakes (G1) at Newmarket on July 13, while the winner of the Gallorette Stakes (G3) for fillies and mares on the turf will receive an automatic entry and travel incentive to run in the Sumbe Prix Jean Romanet (G1) at Deauville Aug. 18.

The Maryland Jockey Club will also offer bonus money totaling $100,000 bonus to trainers who run a minimum of five horses in the stakes races during Preakness weekend, and another $50,000 bonus for trainers with the most points in non-stakes during the weekend.