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Derby winner will face fewer foes in Preakness

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro will face
several familiar rivals in the Preakness on May 20, including
Arkansas Derby winner Lawyer Ron.

Steppenwolfer, who finished third in the Kentucky Derby on
Saturday, will be pointed to the Belmont, trainer Dan Peitz said.
Lawyer Ron and Steppenwolfer both have trainers with Arkansas
ties. Lawyer Ron is trained by Bob Holthus, a Hot Springs, Ark.,
resident. Peitz was born in Conway, Ark.
Sweetnorthernsaint, the beaten favorite in the Kentucky Derby,
will give it another go in the Preakness, along with Brother Derek,
who finished in a dead heat for fourth with Jazil.
Jazil, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, is possible for the 1
3-16-mile race at Pimlico.
New horses expected for the second leg of the Triple Crown
include Gotham winner Like Now, Withers winner Bernardini and Simon
Pure, who finished fourth in the Arkansas Derby for trainer D.
Wayne Lukas.

The Derby winner has gone on to win the Preakness six times in the last nine years. A win by Barbaro would set the stage for a seventh Triple Crown try in the last 10 years in the Belmont Stakes on June 10.

Trainer Bob Baffert said he'd wait a few days before deciding
whether to send any of his three Derby starters, Point Determined
(ninth), Sinister Minister (16th) and Bob and John (17th).
Steppenwolfer was second in last month's Arkansas Derby. He lost
three times to Lawyer Ron in Arkansas, but Peitz pledged during
Kentucky Derby week that it wouldn't happen again.
Steppenwolfer, the colt named for the 1960s rock band
Steppenwolf, got Peitz off the hook with a third-place finish.
Lawyer Ron was 12th.
Steppenwolfer, as usual, dropped far back before making his
move. He finished 8 1/2 lengths behind Barbaro.
"I thought he ran his race," Peitz said. "Barbaro ran out the
bridle. We weren't going to beat him."
As the field for the Preakness takes shape, Barbaro was being
vanned to his home base at Fair Hill, Md., about 60 miles from
Pimlico.
Barbaro came out of the race in great shape, trainer Michael
Matz said Sunday.
"It was a tremendous race for him," Matz said. "He trained
well for the race and we're glad he didn't disappoint us."
Derby runner-up Bluegrass Cat was unlikely for the Preakness,
trainer Todd Pletcher said. He added that his last-place finisher,
Keyed Entry, most likely would make his next start in the Riva
Ridge on the Belmont Stakes undercard.
The Derby winner has gone on to win the Preakness six times in
the last nine years. A win by Barbaro would set the stage for a
seventh Triple Crown try in the last 10 years in the Belmont Stakes
on June 10.
The last non-Derby starter to win the Preakness was Red Bullet
in 2000. The Preakness is limited to 14 starters.

Preakness Stakes television coverage begins Saturday, May 20 at 5 p.m. ET on NBC Sports.