Todd Pletcher has a new shooter for the 2011 Preakness and his name is Dance City.
The 3-year-old son of City Zip probably gets much of his stamina from dam sire Pleasant Colony. He landed the place behind subsequent Wood Memorial runner-up Arthur’s Tale in his December bow at Aqueduct and proceeded to win two straight at Gulfstream Park over the winter, beating the likes of stablemate Cal Nation and Bowman’s Causeway.
Dance City shipped to Oaklawn Park for the Arkansas Derby and gamely finished 3rd after attending the pace throughout. He showed the ability to come again when passed by Cal Nation and Sway Away in his last pair and that tenacity should serve him well in Baltimore.
The Arkansas Derby has already produced Kentucky Derby runner-up Nehro and Peter Pan winner Alternation and Dance City will try to add to the legacy of the Oaklawn Park showcase at Pimlico on Saturday.
Animal Kingdom, the upset winner of the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby, came out of that race in good order and is on his way to Maryland to begin preparations for the 2011 Preakness Stakes.
Trainer Graham Motion will get Animal Kingdom ready for his next test at his Fair Hill Training Center base not far from Pimlico Race Course.
2011 Kentucky Derby show finisher Mucho Macho Man is expected to return in the Preakness, along with Shackleford, Santiva, and beaten Derby favorite Dialed In.
Speaking of Dialed In, the Nick Zito trainee is eligible for Frank Stronach’s $5.5 million bonus if he wins the second jewel of the Triple Crown. He qualified for the bonus by winning the Holy Bull Stakes and Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park.
Numerous new shooters are expected in Baltimore, including Jerome runner-up Astrology, Arkansas Derby show finisher Dance City, and Sway Away. The latter was 21st on the Kentucky Derby graded earnings list and just missed qualifying for the big dance on the first Saturday in May.