- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The 130th Preakness Stakes lost two runners yesterday, and a third is wavering.

Beaten Derby favorite Bellamy Road and fourth-place finisher Don’t Get Mad will not run in the second leg of the Triple Crown on May 21 at Pimlico Race Course. Bellamy Road suffered a minor leg injury, while Don’t Get Mad’s connections decided a third race in three weeks was too much.

Plus, trainer King Leatherbury said he might run Malibu Moonshine in the Sir Barton Stakes instead of the Preakness. Leatherbury is concerned the Derby’s long shot one-two finish of Giacomo (50-1) and Closing Argument (70-1) and Bellamy Road’s defection could lead to the first maximum 14-horse Preakness field since 1992. He said that might be too tough for his Federico Tesio Stakes winner.

“I think the Derby outcome really confused the issue,” Leatherbury said. “It just opened the Preakness field right up.”

Bellamy Road will miss two months with a minor splint injury to his left front leg. The inflammation above the ankle isn’t career-threatening. Owner George Steinbrenner’s colt may return for the Travers Stakes on Aug. 27.

Bellamy Road would have remained one of the top Preakness choices despite finishing seventh in the Derby after leading briefly at the top of the stretch. The shorter, 1 3/16-mile Preakness at speed-favoring Pimlico Race Course and the smaller field would have benefited him.

Giacomo, the Derby’s second-biggest long shot to win, remains unconfirmed for the Preakness. However, trainer John Shirreffs said immediately after the Derby that continuing a Triple Crown bid was the “sporting” thing to do.

Derby runner-up Closing Argument and third-place finisher Afleet Alex, who will be the first to arrive at Pimlico today, are confirmed, along with Withers Stakes winner Scrappy T. The entries also will include Hal’s Image, who won his second race in 16 tries with a victory in the Unbridled Stakes on April 30 at Calder Race Course.

Trainer Nick Zito is considering Derby runners High Fly (10th), Noble Causeway (14th) and Sun King (15th) for the Preakness and Andromeda’s Hero (eighth) for the Belmont Stakes on June 11. Wilko (sixth), Flower Alley (ninth), Greeley’s Galaxy (11th) and Going Wild (18th) are possibilities. Trainers Bobby Frankel and D. Wayne Lukas may enter non-Derby runners.

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