Preakness Update: Two Phil's Out, Blazing Sevens, Perform and Chase the Chaos In

Two Phil's | Coady

Two Phil's (Hard Spun), a game runner-up in the GI Kentucky Derby, will skip the May 20 GI Preakness S., according to a report from Jim O'Donnell in the Chicago Daily Herald.

“Too soon,” trainer Larry Rivelli told O'Donnell. “Phil came out of the Derby great. We shipped back to Chicago Sunday, but the Preakness is just 12 days away. That's just too soon.”

Two Phil's, coming off a win in the Mar. 25 GIII Jeff Ruby Steaks, was the only runner close to the hot pace to still be around at the wire in Saturday's Derby.

“I'm not a guy who celebrates [second-place finishes], but this was an exception,” said Rivelli told O'Donnell. “So much had to go right for us and all came so close to going perfect. And you have to give major credit to [Jareth] Loveberry for the ride.”

Two Phil's, winner of last year's GIII Street Sense S. at Churchill Downs, opened 2023 with a runner-up effort in the Jan. 21

GIII Lecomte S. and was second in the Feb. 18 GII Risen Star S. before earning his spot in the Derby with his win in the Jeff Ruby at Turfway Park in March.

While the connections of Derby winner Mage (Good Magic) have yet confirm the colt's participation in two weeks, trainers Chad Brown and Shug McGaughey have both thrown their respective hats into the Preakness arena. Brown confirmed that Rodeo Creek Racing's Blazing Sevens (Good Magic), third last out in the Apr. 21 GI Toyota Blue Grass S., will head to Baltimore following one more work at Belmont Saturday.

“If he comes out of the work good, we'll go down to Pimlico either Sunday or Monday,” Brown said Tuesday morning.

After missing the Derby in 2017 with Cloud Computing and again last year with Early Voting, Brown returned to take the second jewel in the U.S. Triple Crown and he hopes to do it again with last year's GI Champagne S. winner.

“[Blazing Sevens] is coming into the race fresh,” Brown said. “He is coming in with a full tank of gas. Off his most recent work I see him moving forward off the Blue Grass. The horse is as good as I have ever seen him. I needed to see the horse really move forward and to see him at his very best. That is what I am seeing.”

Also confirmed for the Preakness, Woodford Racing, Lane's End Farm, Phipps Stable, Ken Langone and Edward Hudson's Perform (Good Magic) has been supplemented for $150,000.

This represents the first Preakness runner for McGaughey since his Derby hero Orb was seen finishing fourth in the 2013 Preakness.

“It's been a while,” said McGaughey. “Just haven't had the horse.”

A winner at Tampa in March, Perform followed up with a victory in the Apr. 15 Federico Tesio S. at Laurel. The colt will be accompanied by Feargal Lynch, who was also aboard in the Tesio.

“Two turns have helped him a lot,” McGaughey said. “Things changed when we started going around two turns. If I didn't think he fit with these, I would not be running him. We will have to wait and see, but his last two races around two turns have been pretty good.”

Perform is scheduled to work at Belmont on Sunday.

Also confirmed to run Tuesday, Adam Ference and Bill Dory's Chase the Chaos (Astern {Aus}) received the green light from trainer Ed Moger Jr. Chase the Chaos earned an automatic fees-paid berth in the Preakness with his victory in the Feb. 11 El Camino Real Derby on his home track at Golden Gate Fields.

Moger said that Chase the Chaos, who will be his first Preakness starter, will work Saturday and ship to Baltimore on Tuesday.

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