UAE Derby (UAE-II) winner Lani, who finished ninth in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) after a wide trip, is under consideration for a start in the May 21st Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico,
According to a Churchill Downs press release, trainer Mikio Matsunaga said that Lani emerged from the Derby in good shape. “He is not too tired this morning,” Matsunaga said. “He will go to Belmont Park tomorrow and the Preakness is still possible. There is no change in our plan.”
Regarding Lani’s performance in the Derby, Matsunaga said “I think he was a little fresh early and strong the first furlong. Then he was one-paced in the stretch.
“I was very much impressed by the atmosphere yesterday,” Matsunaga added. “I talked with Mr. (Bob) Baffert and he said to enjoy the best race in the world.”
Lani marked Matsunaga’s first starter in the Kentucky Derby, but it’s possible that the Japan-based trainer could return in the future. “Yes [I would like to be part of the Derby again], but with a different type horse,” Matsunaga said. “I would want one that is tough, very capable and possibly a front-runner … and easier to handle.”
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