A probable field of seven is now expected for the Xpressbet.com Preakness Stakes (gr. I) after trainer Todd Pletcher announced that he will not have an entrant in the May 16 race at Pimlico that is the second leg of US racing’s Triple Crown.
Among the Pletcher trainees that had been considered for the race were grade I winner Materiality and Carpe Diem, who finished sixth and 10th, respectively, in the May 2 Kentucky Derby,wityh Mike de Kock’s Mubtaahij one of the runners splitting them.
American Pharoah, KY Derby hero.
“We were considering it very seriously,” Pletcher said of running Materiality in the Preakness. “Basically, it came down to we just felt two weeks was a little bit risky. We felt five weeks to the Belmont would be an advantage for him. He’s been at Belmont since two days after the Derby and has been training well. He’s by a Belmont-winning sire. If you come back in two weeks and you turn out to be wrong, not only could you not run well in the Preakness, it could compromise your chances in the Belmont as well.”
Pletcher, the all-time leading money-earning trainer in Thoroughbred racing, had also considered Competitive Edge and Stanford the Preakness.
Pletcher has had seven Preakness starters, with his best finish the third by Impeachment in 2000.
With no representatives from the Pletcher barn, the Preakness short list of probables consists of the top three from the Derby – American Pharoah, Firing Line and Dortmund – as well as Bodhisattva, Danzig Moon, Divining Rod and Tale of Verve.