- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 19, 2007

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THE LINEUP

Ryan O’Halloran of The Washington Times breaks down the field for today’s Preakness Stakes.

1. MINT SLEWLEP (30-1)

Trainer: Robbie Bailes (second Preakness)

Jockey: Alan Garcia (first)

Career record: 2-for-7

Last start: Fourth in Withers on April 26 at Aqueduct

Comment: This colt has been around two turns only once, but Bailes thinks he will relish the Preakness distance.

2. XCHANGER (15-1)

Trainer: Mark Shuman (first)

Jockey: Ramon Dominguez (sixth)

Career record: 3-for-8

Last start: Won Tesio Stakes April 21 at Pimlico

Comment: He’s the only horse with a win over the track, and it came in wire-to-wire fashion. That strategy won’t work today because of the added distance and the talent of the field.

3. CIRCULAR QUAY (20-1)

Trainer: Todd Pletcher (second)

Jockey: John Velazquez (first)

Career record: 4-for-8

Last start: Sixth in Kentucky Derby on May 5

Comment: The best closer in the race, he should have a chance to crack the top three if Xchanger and Flying First Class lay down fast early fractions.

4. CURLIN (7-2)

Trainer: Steve Asmussen (third)

Jockey: Robby Albarado (seventh)

Career record: 3-for-4

Last start: Third in Kentucky Derby on May 5

Comment: The Derby morning-line favorite finished eight lengths back of Street Sense; expect him to be closer to the front today.

5. KING OF THE ROXY (12-1)

Trainer: Todd Pletcher (second)

Jockey: Garrett Gomez (third)

Career record: 3-for-7

Last start: Second in Santa Anita Derby on April 7

Comment: He is the freshest horse in the race, but that may mean he wastes all his energy in the opening mile.

6. FLYING FIRST CLASS (20-1)

Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas (22nd. Five wins — 1980 Codex, 1985 Tank’s Prospect, 1994 Tabasco Cat, 1995 Timber Country, 1999 Charismatic)

Jockey: Mark Guidry (first)

Career record: 2-for-5

Last start: First in Derby Trial on April 28 at Churchill Downs

Comment: Lukas has won this race five times, but none was higher than 10-1 at post-time. The colt was great in the Derby Trial race, but that race was only seven-and-a-half furlongs.

7. HARD SPUN (5-2)

Trainer: Larry Jones (first)

Jockey: Mario Pino (third)

Career record: 5-for-7

Last start: Second in Kentucky Derby on May 5

Comment: The colt ran a huge race in the Derby, assuming the early lead before giving it up to Street Sense with a furlong remaining. It would be surprising if he’s up front at the start today, but he won’t be far behind.

8. STREET SENSE (7-5)

Trainer: Carl Nafzger (third)

Jockey: Calvin Borel (first)

Career record: 4-for-8

Last start: Won Kentucky Derby on May 5

Comment: He was great in the Breeders’ Cup and the Derby, but can he duplicate those efforts away from Churchill Downs? Plus, will he flourish if he has to move around horses to get to the front?

9. C P WEST (20-1)

Trainer: Nick Zito (14th. One win — 1996 Louis Quartorze)

Jockey: Edgar Prado (10th)

Career record: 1-for-5

Last start: Second in Withers on April 28 at Aqueduct

Comment: He has never raced this far, and his only other two-turn effort was a disaster (22 lengths back in the Breeders’ Cup).

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