Brown Aims to Return to Preakness With Crowded Trade

Brown Aims to Return to Preakness With Crowded Trade

Four years after securing his first victory in a Triple Crown race in the Preakness Stakes (G1), trainer Chad Brown is aiming Crowded Trade  for Pimlico Race Course‘s signature event May 15.

Cloud Computing  , a 13-1 long shot co-owned by Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence, won the 2017 Preakness by a head over Classic Empire  . Klaravich is the sole owner of Crowded Trade, who has been on course for the Preakness since finishing third in the Wood Memorial Stakes Presented by Resorts World Casino (G2) April 3 at Aqueduct Racetrack

Brown told Maryland Jockey Club media May 5 that Crowded Trade is scheduled to work this weekend, probably Saturday, weather permitting. 

“Assuming he works well, I’m planning on coming to Pimlico and trying the Preakness,” Brown said. 

Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano is booked to ride the More Than Ready   colt in the Preakness.

Brown’s only other Preakness starter was Good Magic  , who ended up fourth in a tight finish of the fog-shrouded 2018 running won by eventual Triple Crown champion Justify  .

Crowded Trade is a work in progress for Brown. After breaking his maiden racing six furlongs on debut Jan. 28 at Aqueduct, he finished second by a nose to Weyburn  in the March 6 Gotham Stakes (G3) before going on to the Wood.

“He’s got to step up off his last race and prove he can get the distance,” Brown said. “In both of his last starts, as we have stretched him out, he has come up a little short through the stretch. He makes a good move and he sort of hung a little bit in both starts. The distance is definitely a question mark, but he seems like a horse that’s improving.”

Although Crowded Trade had enough qualifying points to make it into the May 1 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), Brown opted to skip the 1 1/4-mile classic and wait for the 1 3/16-mile Preakness.

“We specifically sat out the Derby to try to give him a little bit more time in between starts and try a slightly shorter distance than the Derby,” Brown said. “As of right now, we’re still following that thought process to give it a try.”

Medina Spirit , Midnight Bourbon , and Keepmeinmind —first, sixth, and seventh, respectively, in the Kentucky Derby—all returned to the track for the first time Wednesday as they prepare for potential starts in the Preakness.

Zedan Racing Stables’ Medina Spirit went to the track at Churchill Downs pre-dawn and jogged a mile under exercise rider Humberto Gomez. Bob Baffert’s assistant Jimmy Barnes was on the pony accompanying the Protonico   colt around the track.

“Very pleased with what we saw,” Barnes said. “He was moving very well and very happy. That’s the main thing. It’s kind of a cool morning, so that’s a good training day for a horse.”

Barnes also expressed pleasure with Baffert-trained Concert Tour ‘s morning gallop around the Churchill track under Gomez.

“He was strong,” Barnes said. “I like what I’m seeing. I’ve always liked Concert Tour. By not running in the Derby, he’s real fresh now. He’s had plenty of time between races.”

Gary and Mary West’s Concert Tour captured the Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park but skipped the Derby after sustaining his first loss when third in the Arkansas Derby (G1). 

Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Midnight Bourbon jogged around the Churchill Downs track under exercise rider Wilson Fabian for a possible start in the Preakness. Trainer Steve Asmussen said it was premature to make a final decision but that he’s pleased with what he’s seen so far from the Tiznow  colt since the Derby.

Midnight Bourbon - April 26
Photo: CN Photography

Midnight Bourbon trains April 26 at Churchill Downs

“I’m happy with how he went back to the track,” Asmussen said. “The racetrack is a little bit wet this morning, but he handled it nicely. There’s no reason to make the decision today. There’s no upside.”

If Midnight Bourbon runs in the Preakness, he’ll need a new rider with Mike Smith riding Concert Tour for Baffert. That is not among Asmussen’s worries.

“There are six less riders in the Preakness than there is the Derby,” he said. “Somehow you figure it sorts itself out.”

Cypress Creek Equine, Arnold Bennewith, and Spendthrift Farm’s Keepmeinmind jogged two miles at Churchill Downs. Trainer Robertino Diodoro said a final decision on running in the Preakness will be made by Saturday but that the Laoban   colt is likely to start in the race.

“We’ll give him a couple of days of going back to the track to make sure everything is OK, and we’ll discuss it with the owner group and make a decision by Saturday,” Diodoro said. “A guy never wants to be happy with seventh. But if you really watch the replay close, he was one of the few horses, maybe the only one, running at the end. He did get fanned out into the middle of the racetrack at the top of the lane. I think the track was starting to get very dry, and I think that’s why he was one of the few horses running at the end. And he had a strong gallop-out.”

Diodoro said jockey David Cohen will be back aboard if Keepmeinmind runs in the Preakness.

Rombauer , Unbridled Honor , and France Go de Ina are also expected to run in the middle jewel of the Triple Crown. Mandaloun , Caddo River , and Ram  are on the list of possibles.

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