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Preakness Contenders

Bridgmohan to ride Griffinite

BALTIMORE - Half of the Great Preakness Jockey Mystery was solved Tuesday morning.

Trainer Jennifer-Leigh Pedersen announced that Shaun Bridgmohan will ride Paraneck Stable's Griffinite in Saturday's Preakness, leaving A P Valentine as the lone Preakness candidate in need of a rider.

Nick Zito, trainer of A P Valentine, said he could have a rider in place for the 2000 Champagne Stakes winner by Tuesday afternoon.

Bridgmohan, 21, won the 1998 Eclipse Award as the champion apprentice rider. Griffinite will be the first Preakness mount for the New York-based rider.

Griffinite continued his preparation for the $1 million Preakness by galloping 1 3/4 miles Tuesday at Pimlico in an effort that pleased Pedersen.

"He looked awesome," said Pedersen, who has been a trainer for all of two months.

Pedersen also expressed delight over the way Griffinite's troublesome feet have been holding up since wedges were added to his horseshoes.

"He hits hard on his inside quarters, so we gave him a regular shoe that has a wedge in both inside quarters. He wasn't pounding the ground properly," Pedersen said.

Griffinite, whose main claim to fame is a victory in the seven-furlong, Grade 3 Lafayette Stakes at Keeneland, figures to be one of the longer shots on the board in the second leg of the Triple Crown. In his last race, the Grade 2 Coolmore Lexington, Griffinite was moved up to second via disqualification, eight lengths behind the victorious Keats. Undaunted by that setback, Pedersen is hopeful that her horse can turn in a solid effort in the most demanding test of his eight-race career.

"This horse has a lot of talent," Pedersen said. "I'm very pleased with the way he's doing."