Goldencents arrived at Pimlico Race Course last Thursday to get prepared for the 2013 Preakness Stakes. The horse is coming off a very disappointing 17th-place finish at the Kentucky Derby, nearly 50 lengths behind winner Orb, and trainer Doug O'Neill wants to acclimate Goldencents to the track he'll be running on next weekend.
The tactic is one that O'Neill has used before. He sent I'll Have Another to Baltimore early last year, though the horse was coming off a much better race than Goldencents, having won the 2012 Kentucky Derby. Nonetheless, I'll Have Another went on to have a great race, winning the Preakness, and O'Neill no doubt hopes that he'll have similar success with Goldencents.
Kevin Krigger will once again mount Goldencents. Despite the finish, the jockey earned praise from O'Neill for how he handled the horse down the stretch at Churchill Downs. Instead of riding Goldencents hard when it was clear he was fading, Krigger instead eased off. The care that Krigger showed could mean a much fresher Goldencents for the Preakness. O'Neill said that neither jockey nor horse were to blame for the Derby. Via Sporting News:
"I really think it was the footing," O'Neill said. "I know that's a lame excuse, but the last half-mile was in 53 seconds, so it wasn't ideal footing. Fortunately, he came out of the race well. Thank God, Kevin did a smart job taking care of our guy. It shows the horsemanship of Kevin, and the love he has for Goldencents, that once he realized it wasn't his day, he took care of him."