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Preakness Stakes News | Just Steel Unlikely To Breeze Before Race
Just Steel (Carlos J. Calo/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM)

Preakness Stakes News | Just Steel Unlikely To Breeze Before Race

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said that he doesn’t think he will breeze Just Steel between his 17th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and his scheduled next start in the Preakness Stakes (G1) May 18 at Pimlico Race Course.

Lukas, 88, has saddled six winners from 46 Preakness starters since 1980 and said he makes his decision on an individual basis on whether to breeze horses between races. Just Steel chased the pace early in the Derby and tired in the stretch. Lukas’ other Preakness horse, Seize the Grey, won the Pat Day Mile (G2).

 “I’ve done it both ways. In my Preakness winners I’ve tried different things,” Lukas said. “You have to read the horses and both of these horses came back very, very well. In fact, Just Steel is actually seems sharper to me this week than he did the prior week to the Derby. So what we’ll do is just monitor him every day. It’s a day-to-day decision when training horses. You read, and see what you think they need and don’t need. So I probably will let him extend himself a couple of days, but I don’t think I’ll work him. I think he had a hard six furlongs in that race. And I think I won’t work him, but he’ll go to the track every day and he is sharp. So we’ll play it day by day.” 

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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.