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'General' joins Preakness mix

5/9/2014

The list of prospects for the upcoming Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course grew to 10 when Jack Wolf of Starlight Racing confirmed May 9 that General a Rod will compete in the middle jewel of the Triple Crown.

General a Rod, trained by Mike Maker, finished 11th in the May 3 Kentucky Derby but showed so much energy in the days following the race that Maker recommended that he go on to the Maryland event.

"The bottom line is that Mike thinks the horse is in good order after the Derby and he thinks the race will suit him," Wolf said of the May 17 Preakness.

"He was full of himself, carrying good flesh, and he didn't get a chance to show his true colors in the Derby," Maker said, "so it's the Preakness and we figured we'd give it a shot."

Javier Castellano, the leading jockey in North America, has the mount in the $1.5 million Preakness. Castellano, who rode Bernardini to a Preakness victory in 2006, will be making his third appearance in Maryland's historic race.

General a Rod is scheduled to be flown from Kentucky to Baltimore May 12 with two other horses that ran in the Derby -- winner California Chrome and Ride On Curlin, who finished seventh in the field of 19. Their Tex Sutton charter flight is due to arrive at Baltimore-Washington International Airport at 1:45 p.m. EDT. Maker, who is making his Preakness debut, said the colt will gallop up to the race.

Starlight and Skychai Racing partnered to purchase General a Rod from his original owner, J. Armando Rodriguez, on April 28.