Chad Brown-trained Risk Taking now aimed for Preakness

Trainer Chad Brown speaks to the media on the backside of Churchill Downs. Brown trained Kentucky Derby hopeful Highly Motivated. April 20, 2021 Af5i6073

He was headed toward Saturday’s Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont as the morning-line favorite, but Risk Taking has been redirected from that $200,000 race and instead will be pointed to the $1 million Preakness Stakes at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course on May 15.

Trainer Chad Brown made the announcement on Friday, and he now has two Klaravich Stables colts aimed for the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Crowded Trade also is set to start in the 1 3/16-mile Preakness, a comfortable destination for Baltimore native Seth Klarman, proprietor of Klaravich Stables.

“After a couple of lengthy discussions with Mr. Klarman, we feel that this horse is better around two turns. That, along with the defections, it just seemed like a good opportunity to take a chance with the horse,” Brown said in a press release.

“I know he is the morning-line favorite for the Peter Pan and we are giving that up, but the reward is, if we are able to get lucky in this race and have him run the race of his life and potentially win or be right there, it’s a huge purse.

“Along with that, it’s a little better for him around two turns with the extra distance. Of course, it’s a tougher race, but it just came down to a risk-and-reward situation and getting the opportunity to try him around two turns.”

Risk Taking had been among the leading contenders on the road to the Kentucky Derby, starting the Wood Memorial as the 2-1 favorite, but he ran seventh and has not started since then.

Brown is eager to take a shot in Baltimore.

“Our optimism is really based on being able to confidently draw a line through the Wood,” Brown said. “If we do that, and if he was to move forward off his previous two races, another step forward, finishing strong at a mile and three-sixteenths, it could potentially put him in the trifecta or maybe better.”

Jose Ortiz will be aboard Risk Taking, a son of Medaglia d’Oro, while Javier Castellano is assigned the task on Crowded Trade, who ran third in the Wood.

Derby winner Medina Spirit worked out at Churchill Downs in Louisville on Friday, and trainer Bob Baffert’s assistant Jimmy Barnes said plans are to van Medina Spirit and stablemate Concert Tour to Baltimore Monday for a Tuesday morning arrival at Pimlico.

–Field Level Media