Eight days prior to the 138th Preakness Stakes, Kentucky Derby winner Orb continued to gallop at Belmont Park. Trained by Shug McGaughey, the 3-year-old colt galloped 1 1/4 miles with exercise rider Jenn Patterson.
"I was pleased with everything I've been seeing," McGaughey said. "He's filled out so much physically. I look at him and I can't believe what I'm seeing from last November to now. Mentally, everything's come together. He was a bit difficult at the gate all of his 2-year-old year and that's all behind him. I couldn't be more pleased with his development."
Also galloping at Belmont was Normandy Invasion, fourth in the Run for the Roses. A decision on the colt's status for the Preakness will be made by trainer Chad Brown over the weekend in consultation with owner Rick Porter.
Of the new shooters expected to run in the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, Illinois Derby winner Departing is the most highly regarded. Trained by Al Stall Jr., the colt galloped 1 1/2 miles on Friday morning at Churchill Downs.
Owned by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider, Departing will remain at Churchill where he will work Sunday morning, walk Monday and train the next two days before shipping to Pimlico on Wednesday.
Trainer Tom Amoss had Mylute, fifth in the Kentucky Derby, gallop 1 1/2 miles at Churchill. After the colt trains Saturday, Amoss will speak to the owners, GoldMark Farm and Whisper Hill Farm, on whether to ship to Pimlico.
"He trained well this morning and showed good energy. I was satisfied with what I saw and passed that on to the owners," Amoss said. "After he trains in the morning, I'll call the owners at 7 and we will make a decision on the race."
D. Wayne Lukas had his three Preakness hopefuls, Oxbow, Titletown Five and Will Take Charge. gallop Friday at Churchill.
Taking a 1 1/2-mile turn at Churchill was Sunland Derby champ Govenor Charlie, trained by Bob Baffert for Mike Pegram.
At Pimlico, Santa Anita Derby winner Goldencents galloped Friday with his regular jockey Kevin Krigger in the saddle. The colt jogged a half-mile and galloped about six furlongs.
"This is the first time I've ever been able to gallop him and I got what I was looking for out of him - a pretty good relaxed gallop," Krigger said. "He stayed relaxed and that's basically what I'm focusing on, letting him achieve the workouts that he needs, not be rank doing it and be comfortable and relaxed. I got that out of him this morning."
Jack Sisterson, assistant to trainer Doug O'Neill, was also pleased with Goldencents' Friday work.
"He's one horse that gets a lot out of his training," Sisterson said. "We wanted to see how he would come out of the Kentucky Derby (17th-place) and he's bounced out of it with high energy. He moved over the track well and Kevin was really happy with him this morning."
Over at Monmouth Park, Itsmyluckyday, second to Orb in the Florida Derby and 15th in the Kentucky Derby, galloped for trainer Ed Plesa Jr.
"He looked as good to me as he did in Kentucky (before the Derby)," Plesa said. "His gallop today was very, very well into the bit. He's just feeling very good."
Owned by Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa, Itsmyluckyday will have a workout Saturday at Monmouth to avoid rain on Sunday.
"I'm hoping to work him the next couple days. We're expecting rain up here. I was initially going to work him Sunday, but I've moved it up to Saturday," Plesa said. "We'll see what it looks like tomorrow. I can work him as late as Monday. If something happens and it's still raining on Monday, which it could be, I don't have to work him, but my preference would be to work him."
The Holy Bull Stakes winner is set to arrive at Pimlico on Tuesday.