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Photos courtesy of Tina Hines
Preakness Winner Poll - vote for who you think will win

Dateline: 05/17/01

On Thursday, most of the Preakness field was out on the track for a final tuneup before the big race. All eyes will be on Pimlico in Baltimore this Saturday as the field of 11 attempts to win the second leg of the Triple Crown and the winner's share of the $1 million purse. Photographer Tina Hines is there at Pimlico and captured most of the Preakness horses on the track to give us one last look at them as they prep for Saturday, so enjoy these photos from the backside along with some info about each horse pictured.

Monarchos was out for a 10 furlong gallop under exercise rider Bryan Beccia. His trainer, John Ward Jr., said, "When you win the Derby, there's a big, red X painted on you. We're a target. We're aware of that. He's doing great and we got a great post (7), it could be pretty tough to come through on the inside over this track with some of the speed horses stopping in front of you."

Monarchos also schooled in the infield where saddling for the Preakness will take place. "There is life after the Triple Crown," Ward said. "If he gets beat here Saturday, that doesn't mean we won't go ahead to the Belmont if he's okay and then plan a schedule to get to the Breeders' Cup."

Point Given gallops. Trainer Bob Baffert said, "They talk about the tight turns at Pimlico and that might be a problem, and post 11 might be a problem. But Gary knows what he needs to do and what he shouldn't do. I know one thing -- if the real Point Given shows up Saturday, we'll be all right."

Trainer Bob Baffert sent both Point Given and Congaree (pictured here) out on the track. "The pace had a lot to do with the way they finished [in the Derby]. Nobody expected such a fast pace. Congaree was right up there with the pace. He ran a hard race and got tired. But I'm sure he'll have the lead again turning for home [in the Preakness]. He can't help it."

Elliott Walden sent Mr. John out for a jog and then schooled him on the turf course saddling area. "He's all set. I schooled him out on the turf where they'll saddle Saturday. I did it with both Victory Gallop and Menifee," his two second-place Preakness finishers.

Dollar Bill got his first taste of the Pimlico surface today, having just stepped off the plane. Trainer Dallas Stewart said, "If he gets a good trip in the Preakness, he'll be all right. You know, everybody says he's unlucky because he's been in a ton of trouble every race. But I think maybe he's a lucky horse -- he's come out of every one of them okay, ready to run again."

Dollar Bill's jockey, Pat Day, remains optimistic despite his poor showing in the Derby. "He's shown me a tremendous amount of athleticism. I still believe he's a top colt. If he gets a clear run Saturday, it wouldn't surprise me if we got the job done."

Dollar Bill gives a horse laugh to the competition.

Richly Blended jogged a lap clockwise on Thursday. Trainer Ben Perkins Jr. said, ""He's got a lot of natural speed, but I'm hoping the Withers just two weeks ago took the edge off him and he'll relax a little more here. He'll still be out there, though, because that's his style."

Griffinite's trainer, Jennifer Leigh-Pederson, is only the ninth woman to saddle a Preakness starter.

Percy Hope is running for a $1 million bonus on Saturday. Lone Star Park is offering the bonus if the Lone Star Derby winner also wins a Triple Crown race.

Flame Thrower was also working out today. He is scheduled to start in the Maryland Breeders' Cup at 6 furlongs on the Preakness undercard.

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Photos by author except where noted.

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