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Kentucky Derby winner Mage’s team settles into Preakness routine

Horse Racing: Preakness-Workouts

May 17, 2023; Baltimore, MD, USA; Preakness Stakes contender Mage trains Wednesday morning at Pimlico Race Track. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

BALTIMORE -- Preakness favorite Mage took to the track for his most significant workout since winning the Kentucky Derby as his team focused on finding their routine.

Mage opened this week as the 8-5 favorite to win the Preakness in Baltimore and keep alive the possibility of a Triple Crown champion.

Co-owner Ramiro Restrepo, assistant trainer Gustavo Delgado Jr. and his father have focused on Mage, who seems happy and healthy.

“Everything is just routine,” Restrepo said. “That’s the most important thing right now, just keeping him on his routine. He’s on schedule. He’s feeling good. Couldn’t be happier.”

Mage’s team has settled in to a relatively quiet rhythm at Pimlico.

With Forte not at the Preakness, Mage is favored in a field of eight horses that also includes Bob Baffert-trained National Treasure and Brad Cox’s First Mission. They’ve also arrived at Pimlico, but Mage basically had the track to himself for a 1 1/2-mile gallop.

“The track itself being so quiet, a few horses at the same time, that helps,” Gustavo Delgado Jr. said. “He thinks it’s some sort of spa for him at the moment. That’s good.”

Delgado said Mage continues to look “professional” on the track. Restrepo said nothing prep-wise is being done differently than the Derby, when Mage won as a 15-1 long shot.

“He’s just sticking to the program,” he said. “The horse is just a really smart horse and is just doing everything right right now.”