By Gene Kershner
We are at the calm before the storm in the middle week between the Derby and the Preakness, but plenty has been going on after the initial aftermath of the Run for the Roses.
- The pace scenario for next year's Preakness should be a little quicker than last year's when Oxbow stole the race going the first half in 0:50 and change. With Social Inclusion, Pablo del Monte and Ring Weekend likely in the field, California Chrome will likely not get away with the moderate pace that was set in the Derby.
- Other Preakness probable starters include 7th place Derby finisher Ride On Curlin, Bob Baffert-trained Bayern and Dynamic Impact, trained by Mark Casse. [UPDATE 9:55 a.m. -- Mike Maker confirmed General a Rod will be a Preakness starter]
- No word from Todd Pletcher as to Danza's status. The more I watch the replay, the more I am impressed with the son of Street Boss who encountered all kinds of bumping and was weaving in and around horses in the stretch to finish third. Hoping he goes to make the race more competitive.
- It looks like the Preakness may have a female entrant in Ria Antonia. The defending Breeders' Cup Juveniles Fillies winner is likely to run according to new trainer Tom Amoss who replaced Baffert after this weekend's fifth-place finish in the Kentucky Oaks. It's the third trainer since November for the daughter of Rockport Harbor. She's no Rachel Alexandra and would be only the second filly since 1905 to win the race.
- Pimlico will be offering a special $0.50 Pick-3 that will include the Pimlico Special (Friday - Black-eyed Susan Day)-Dixie (Turf race on Saturday)-Preakness. Kudos for coming up with a fun multi-day bet for three very good races.
- The Daily Racing Form's Marty McGee is reporting that the big $1 million bet that was placed on Candy Boy shortly before post time was made from an Isle of Man off-shore wagering hub. The big bet lowered Candy Boy's odds from 16-1 to 9-1 shortly before post time.
- The Man O' War Stakes from Belmont Park will be a part of the Fox broadcast on Sunday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. ET. The $250,000 Ruffian and the Grade 3, $150,000 Westchester will both be part of the hour-and-a-half telecast on Fox Sports 1.
- Palace Malice will get a tune up for the Met Mile, to be held on Belmont day for the first time, in the Westchester on Sunday's telecast.