Preak­ness fa­vorite Jus­tify takes work­out in stride

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - - NBA - By Childs Walker The Bal­ti­more Sun

BAL­TI­MORE — Preak­ness fa­vorite Jus­tify gal­loped over the track at Pim­lico Race Course for the first time Thurs­day morn­ing, ap­pear­ing com­fort­able de­spite the mud from a re­lent­less overnight rain.

Trainer Bob Baf­fert said he kept the work­out light be­cause of the con­di­tions, though the rain abated briefly as Jus­tify walked from the Preak­ness barn to the track.

“I’m just happy with the way he went around there,” Baf­fert said. “He was just get­ting warmed up. He’s ready to do a lot more, but we just didn’t want him to do too much.”

He con­tin­ued to down­play the fore­cast, which calls for rain al­most ev­ery hour until post time Satur­day evening.

“This track can prob­a­bly take more wa­ter than any track I’ve ever seen,” the Hall of Fame trainer said. “If it just gets a lit­tle wind or some­thing, you’ll be sur­prised how quickly it dries out.”

He re­called the del­uge that swamped Pim­lico just be­fore Amer­i­can Pharoah walked onto the track for the 2015 Preak­ness.

“I’d hate to see some­thing like that, be­cause that’s the worst I’ve ever seen,” he said. “But I don’t re­ally worry about it.”

He joked that his 13-year-old son, Bode, was the only one who cor­rectly fore­cast the driv­ing rain that soaked the Ken­tucky Derby. The bad news is that his am­a­teur me­te­o­rol­o­gist has called for sim­i­lar con­di­tions in Bal­ti­more.

“He fol­lows the Dop­pler,” Baf­fert said. “He told me yes­ter­day it’s go­ing to be raining.”

Me­te­o­rol­ogy aside, he said Jus­tify will go out for a sim­i­lar ses­sion Fri­day morn­ing.

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