Bad news for one colt under consideration for the Preakness was good news for another.
A Little Warm, the Louisiana Derby runner-up who worked 5 furlongs in 1:01.40 at Delaware Park on Monday, won't run Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.
"He worked fine, but he just didn't scope out good," Spring Hill Farm Manager Chris Baker said after a post-work examination. "We just have to get him well, and hopefully he'll be able to get back to racing in 30 days or so."
The news made it likely that First Dude will have a spot in the 14-horse field for the Preakness. Before A Little Warm's defection, First Dude was ranked 15th on the list of colts under consideration.
"I'm glad we can put this behind us so we can start to make arrangements," trainer Dale Romans said. "We'll just relax and get him ready to run. ... He's such a good horse. ... He's peaking."
First Dude, who will have Ramon Dominguez aboard in the Preakness, has twice finished a close second to Fly Down, who defeated highly regarded Drosselmeyer by 6 lengths to win the Grade II Dwyer at Belmont Park on Saturday. The son of Stephen Got Even finished third in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland in his most recent start.
Romans also had reason for optimism Monday morning with Paddy O'Prado, his third-place Derby finisher.
"Paddy came out of the Derby well. He's sharp," Romans said. "He's ready to go."
Paddy O'Prado closed well after some early trouble to finish third behind Super Saver and Ice Box at Churchill Downs.
"Not taking anything away from Super Saver but, if we switched trips with him, my horse probably would have won the race," Romans said.
First Dude and Paddy O'Prado are scheduled to ship to Pimlico on Wednesday.
Jackson Bend sets pace
Robert LaPenta and Fred Brei's Jackson Bend signaled his readiness for a run in Saturday's Preakness by working a bullet half-mile in :46.60 at Churchill Downs.
The workout was the fastest of 69 at the distance. Working in company and with Stacy Prior in the saddle, Jackson Bend produced fractions of :11.80, :23, :34.80 and galloped out 5 furlongs in :59.80.
"It was really quick, but the good thing about it is that he did it on his own," trainer Nick Zito said. "Stacy was not asking him at all.
"If he has a good week, this is the shot you take. He will get a break after this."
Ike, Albarado teaming up
Hurricane Ike and jockey Robby Albarado had a 7-furlong, get-acquainted session after the renovation break at Churchill Downs.
The John Sadler-trained winner of the Derby Trial on April 24 worked 7 furlongs in 1:25.80 with the final five-eighths clocked in 1:01.40.
"I thought it went well. He hit the ground nice, and I think I am in good shape," Albarado said, adding with a laugh, "I put him in tight next to the fence so nobody can sneak inside of him.
"This work was more for me than for him, to let me get a feel for him. We broke off at the seven-eighths, and I just eased him into the work."
Black-Eyed Susan field set
Tidal Pool is the 8-5 favorite for the Grade II Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, the top race on Friday's card at Pimlico. Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel will be aboard.
No Such Word is listed at 7-2 for Cindy Jones, wife of retired trainer Larry Jones, who saddled Payton d'Oro to last year's Black-Eyed Susan victory.
Also in the field are Harissa, a daughter of 2005 Preakness winner Afleet Alex, and Diva Delite, the leading money-winner in the nine-horse field.