A steady, cool wind swept across the track at the Fair Hill Training Center Friday as two trainers prepared colts to run in next Saturday’s 137th
Went the Day Well, the fourth-place finisher in the
"He looked good, did well," Motion said. "I continue to be impressed with him."
Went the Day Well will continue jogging at Fair Hill until early next week, when he’ll ship to
Teeth of the Dog, a new shooter, likely won't arrive in Baltimore until late next week. Originally entered in Saturday's Grade II Peter Pan, he'll scratch and will run at the Preakness if he stays in the field. He finished third in the Wood Memorial.
"Everything seems fine with him right now," Matz said. "We'll just keep working him toward it."
Teeth of the Dog will work at some point over the next couple of days.
Spending half of the morning with Motion and half with Matz is a study in contrasts. Both are pure horsemen who prefer the bucolic setting and versatility of a training center to the track. But Motion is about the calmest person you’ll ever meet, while Matz is one of the most intense. Their barns are on opposite sides of the track here. Motion has 100
It is, of course, an interesting time to be out at the Fair Hill facility. Not only are we a week out from the state's most important race, but both trainers are welcoming new 2-year-old colts and fillies to their barns.
"You'd be crazy not to think about the possibilities when you see them come in," Motion said from one of his two barns, this one dedicated to Team Valor's horses. "That's what you're hoping for: that one gets to your barn that can win those big races."
But new "babies," as they're called, mean the start of a long, difficult period. Motion and Matz employ riders they know and trust, and often receive the 2-year-olds from trainers they know. But no matter how much information they gather, or how many safeguards they put in place, a new horse is always an unknown. One of Matz's fillies fell Friday and suffered a few minor cuts; a colt in Motion's barn seemed slow to acclimate to his new surroundings.
"This is one of the toughest parts," Matz said. "You just want to make every right move, but there's so much you don't know."
Though I quickly identified the probable
(Really, my definition of promising is: didn't turn and run toward Pennsylvania, or try to eat my notebook. I wish I had a better idea.)
A couple of other notes of interest from the day at Fair Hill:
Sagamore Farm announced former Maryland riding star Kent Desormeaux will ride Tiger Walk in the Preakness. Tiger Walk, who would be
Desormeaux became free for Sagamore because Kentucky Derby third-place finisher
Derby winner I'll Have Another had a "fantastic" gallop at Pimlico, according to trainer Doug O'Neill. "The more we ask him, the more he gives," he said. "His overall appearance and energy level are just sensational."