Pimlico Race Course officials confirmed Wednesday there will be nine probable starters for Saturday’s 138th running of the Preakness with the addition of Govenor Charlie, trained by Bob Baffert, a five-time winner of the race.
Baffert had been leaning toward entering the lightly raced colt and gave the final word he would be coming Wednesday. Govenor Charlie is expected to arrive from Churchill Downs in Kentucky sometime on Thursday, according to Mike Gathagan, Pimlico's vice president for communications.
Govenor Charlie, a son of Midnight Lute, won the Grade III, $800,000 Sunland Derby at Sunland Park in New Mexico on March 24, setting a stakes record of 1:47 3/5 for the mile and one-eighth race. He has raced only two other times, both in maiden special races, winning at Santa Anita in mid-February.
Govenor Charlie is owned by Mike Pegram, who was the owner of 1997 Preakness champ Real Quiet and a co-owner of the 2010 winner Lookin’ At Lucky. Baffert also trained 1997 winner Silver Charm, 2001 winner Point Given and 2002 winner War Emblem and was the trainer of last year’s second-place finisher, Bodemeister.
Martin Garcia, Govenor Charlie’s regular rider, has been announced as his jockey for Saturday’s Preakness.
Govenor Charlie worked six furlongs in 1:10 4/5 breezing at Churchill Downs on Monday.
Other starters for the Preakness are Orb (the Kentucky Derby winner), Oxbow, Titletown Five, Will Take Charge, Departing, Goldencents, Itsmyluckyday and Mylute, the latter who, like Govenor Charlie, is a son of Midnight Lute.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times