Preakness Profile: Pneumatic
In the days leading up to Saturday’s 145th Preakness, usracing.com will be publishing profiles of the 11 horses entered in 2020’s final leg of the Triple Crown.
By Ed McNamara
He didn’t make his career debut until Feb. 15 at Oaklawn, where he won his first two races and created a lot of buzz. In only his third career start, Pneumatic ran a creditable third behind standouts Maxfield and Ny Traffic in the Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs. A decent fourth-place finish in the Belmont Stakes preceded a 2 1/4-length win in the Pegasus at Monmouth Park three weeks before the Derby.
He’s a son of one of the world’s top sires, Uncle Mo, whose progeny often win first time out and excel as 2-year-olds. Pneumatic is an exception to that trend.
“He’s just been a late-maturing horse,” said Scott Blasi, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. “This race being later in the year has allowed him to come along and come around at his own rate. It just seemed like a good spot after the race at Monmouth.”
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Post position: No. 10
Jockey: Joe Bravo
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Owner: Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC
Career record: 5-3-1-0
Career earnings: $256,850
Pedigree: Uncle Mo-Teardrop, by Tapit
Color: Dark bay
Running style: Stalker
Notes: Turned in a 5-furlong bullet work of 1:00.85 over Saratoga’s deep Oklahoma training track on Sept. 21. “On this track that’s about as good as horses work,” Blasi said. “He’s trained really good since the Pegasus. We expect a big effort in the Preakness.” … Hall of Famer Asmussen, 54, won the Preakness with Curlin (2007) and the filly Rachel Alexandra (2009). He recently surpassed 9,000 wins and trails the all-time leader, the late Dale Baird (9,445).
|2||Mr. Big News||Gabriel Saez||12-1|
|3||Art Collector||Brian Hernandez Jr.||5-2|
|4||Swiss Skydiver||Robby Albarado||6-1|
|5||Thousand Words||Florent Geroux||6-1|
|6||Jesus’ Team||Jevian Toledo||30-1|
|7||NY Traffic||Horacio Karamanos||15-1|
|8||Max Player||Paco Lopez||15-1|
Ed McNamara is an award-winning journalist who has been writing about thoroughbred racing for 35 years. He has handicapped races for ESPN.com, Newsday and The Record of New Jersey. He is the author of “Cajun Racing: From the Bush Tracks to the Triple Crown” and co-author of “The Most Glorious Crown,” a chronicle of the first 12 Triple Crown champions.