- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 14, 2002

After failing to enter the Kentucky Derby, Sunday Break has snubbed the Preakness Stakes.
Trainer Neil Drysdale withdrew Sunday Break yesterday from Saturday's 127th Preakness at Pimlico Race Course to prepare for the 134th Belmont Stakes on June 8. Drysdale said the colt first will enter the Peter Pan Stakes on May 25 at Belmont Park. Ironically, Sunday Break was excluded from the overflow 20-horse Derby because of little graded stakes earnings.
Sunday Break's defection leaves the Preakness, which flirted with the maximum of 14 horses last week, at 12, pending tomorrow's post position draw.
Oddly, Sunday Break has emerged as the fashionable 3-year-old colt. After finishing a close third in the Wood Memorial on April 13, Sunday Break was considered one of the Derby's top choices before he was excluded. One Las Vegas sports book had Sunday Break as an early 5-1 third choice in the Preakness behind Medaglia d'Oro (2-1) and War Emblem (3-1). An expected torrid early pace at the Preakness could have hindered Derby winner War Emblem and set up Sunday Break.
However, a slow workout on Sunday at Belmont prompted Drysdale to remove Sunday Break. The Hall-of-Fame trainer is notoriously conservative he even considered not entering 2000 Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus in the Preakness. The horse ran and wound up finishing second.
Straight Gin works out
Straight Gin became the second Preakness entrant Equality was the first to work over the track and covered five-eighths of a mile in 1:00 3/5. Trainer Nick Zito waited until today to work Crimson Hero in order to avoid having Straight Gin overexert himself against his stablemate.
"If he had gone in company, he would have gone faster," Zito said. "In fact, he probably would have gone too fast if he was in company."
Easyfromthegitgo ready to travel
Easyfromthegitgo worked five-eighths of a mile in 1:02 2/5 over a sloppy Churchill Downs track in Louisville. Easyfromthegitgo arrives tomorrow with Derby champion War Emblem, runner-up Proud Citizen and seventh-place finisher Harlan's Holiday.
"He might have gone a few ticks faster under ideal conditions, but it was a good work," said assistant trainer Steve Blasi.
A long trip
Menacing Dennis arrived from California. Maryland's leading rider Mario Pino gains his first Preakness mount since finishing seventh in 1981.
Tough decisions
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas will decide today whether Table Limit will enter the Preakness or Peter Pan. Jockey Gary Stevens would ride in the Preakness; Lukas is already entering Proud Citizen in the race.


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