REMARKS: Gulch finished sixth, more than four lengths behind Alysheba, in the Kentucky Derby, but trainer LeRoy Jolley wants another chance in this Saturday's Preakness at Pimlico.
Gulch will be part of a probable field of nine and the Wood Memorial winner will have a new-old rider in Angel Cordero. This is the same Cordero whom Jolley said did not fit Gulch because of his aggressive, front-running style. Jolley is a trainer who frequently changes his mind about jockeys and for the Preakness is switching back to Cordero from Bill Shoemaker, who rode Gulch on a wide trip in a tangled Derby.
"My horse came out of the Derby in good shape and after looking at the field, we've decided to run in the Preakness," Jolley said. "The Derby was hard to figure. It was such a roughly run race that you couldn't get a concrete idea about which horses really ran their race."
Stabled at Belmont Park since the Derby, Gulch will be vanned the 200 miles to Baltimore for a five-furlong workout over the Pimlico strip Wednesday.
Besides Alysheba and Gulch, others expected to run in the middle-jewel of the Triple Crown are Derby runners Bet Twice (second), Avies Copy (third), Cryptoclearance (fourth) and No More Flowers (15th), plus Lookinforthebigone, Phantom Jet and Harriman.
Java Gold, Marine Command and Gone West won't run in the Preakness, the first two because of physical reasons, Gone West because Woody Stephens is saving him for the Belmont on June 6, when the trainer will try to win the race for the sixth straight time.
Java Gold, a leading 2-year-old who has impressively won his only two starts this year, had a lingering cough and high temperature that has knocked him out of the entire Triple Crown series. Similar problems just before the Kentucky Derby did the same thing to Santa Anita Derby winner Temperate Sil.
Marine Command beat Harriman by a head last Saturday in the Preakness Prep at Pimlico, but the winner bled in the race. According to Maryland rules, a horse that bleeds in a race within the state is put on a veterinarians' list and is prohibited from running with anti-bleeder medication for 21 days.
Gone West, who didn't run in the Derby because Stephens was overruled by the colt's owner, won the Withers Stakes last Wednesday at Belmont Park. But Gone West struggled, barely holding off High Brite by a half-length in the mile race. The Preakness is 1 3/16 miles.
Phantom Jet, like Harriman, has run a race at Pimlico, but Phantom Jet's appearance came on the turf course in a half-length win in the Woodlawn Stakes on May 2.
Lookinforthebigone, despite having made only four starts, has the kind of speed that can be dangerous at Pimlico. Aloma's Ruler, for example, was not considered a great horse, but he led all the way to win the 1982 Preakness.
Lookinforthebigone led the Santa Anita Derby for six furlongs before finishing fourth. Then in his last start, the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park on April 18, he again was ahead for three-quarters of a mile before running second to Demons Begone.
Career Horse S 1 2 3 Earnings 1.Alysheba 11 2 5 2 $1,041,626 2. Bet Twice 10 6 2 1 914,047 3.Cryptoclearance 11 5 2 1 545,750 4.Demons Begone 10 6 2 0 573,394 5.Masterful Advocate 10 5 2 1 536,425 6.Gulch 12 7 1 1 957,050 7.Gone West 11 5 3 2 478,169 8.Avies Copy 11 2 2 1 104,200 9.Lookinforthebigone 4 2 1 0 165,550 10.Phantom Jet 14 7 0 4 326,037
Advisory panel for The Times' Triple Crown Ratings: Lenny Hale, vice president for racing at Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga; Frank (Jimmy) Kilroe, vice president for racing at Santa Anita; and Tommy Trotter, racing secretary at Gulfstream Park.