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Barbaro set to arrive for Preakness on Friday

5/16/2006

ELKTON, Md. - Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro won't arrive at
Pimlico until Friday, a day before the Preakness Stakes.
Since Barbaro is training just 60 miles from the track, Michael
Matz wants to keep his 3-year-old colt at Fair Hill Training Center
as long as possible. He also considered waiting until Saturday
morning to send his colt by van.
"I didn't want to run into traffic or for something to happen
on the way down Saturday," Matz said Tuesday. "I'd like him to
stay in his own stall here, but he's got to give up a little bit,
too."
Matz said Barbaro would settle into his new stall at Pimlico
late Friday, then go for a prerace gallop Saturday morning.
"Hopefully, he will run his race on Saturday afternoon," Matz
said.
Matz has about 50 horses at Fair Hill, a plush 350-acre facility
in the woods with a mile dirt track and a seven-eighths-mile track
made of wood chips. There are no set training hours as there are at
race tracks.
"He relaxes here," Matz said, looking over at Barbaro grazing
about 50 yards away after a morning 1 1/2-mile gallop. "I think he
will recuperate here better."
Barbaro, who has won all six of his races, is used to arriving
late. In his first five victories, the bay colt showed up on the
day of the race. He spent a week at Churchill Downs before winning
the Derby by 6 1/2 lengths on May 6.
He was shipped from Fair Hill to Delaware Park and Laurel for
his first two wins, then from Palm Meadows Training Center in
Boynton Beach, Fla., to Calder and Gulfstream Park for his next
three victories.
While Pimlico officials would have preferred the Derby winner to
spend the week at the stakes barn, Matz has the luxury of a short
commute.
"We might as well take advantage," Matz said. "For him to
stay at the track down there when he can have a place like this for
a the next couple days is a little bit ridiculous."

Preakness television coverage begins Saturday, May 20 at 5 p.m. ET on NBC Sports.