BALTIMORE — Let it rain again on the Preakness. Team Nyquist doesn't seem concerned.
A driving rainstorm didn't faze American Pharoah as he splashed his way to victory in the second leg of the Triple Crown last year, and it appeared Friday that Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist would face the same conditions today in a bid to set up another Triple try in the Belmont Stakes.
The National Weather Service issued a forecast calling for a nearly 100 percent chance of rain beginning early today and continuing throughout the day, with as much as three-quarters of an inch expected. Temperatures were predicted to be in the mid 50s with wind gusts up to 20 mph.
"With a horse like Nyquist, I'm not overly concerned about the weather," his trainer, Doug O'Neill, said on a bright, sunny Friday morning. "As far as rain or shine, we're not going to change anything shoeing-wise He's going to wear the same shoes he's got on. We'd just love to have a beautiful day."
Rain could be good for several of his top rivals, especially Derby runnerup Exaggerator, and long shot Cherry Wine. Both have run well in the mud, with Exaggerator taking the Santa Anita Derby on a sloppy track and Cherry Wine breaking his maiden by 91/2 lengths under similar conditions.
"I'll be one of the few people doing a rain dance," Cherry Wine's trainer, Dale Romans, said.
Black-Eyed Susan: Coming off a fourth-place finish in the prestigious Kentucky Oaks, Go Maggie Go found her way back into the winning circle in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes. It was a glorious afternoon for Romans, trainer of Go Maggie Go and second-place finisher Ma Can Do It. "I feel no pain now," Romans said. "Everything is good."
After staying near the front for much of the 11/8-mile race, Go Maggie Go distanced herself from the competition at the finish to win by 21/2 lengths, her third first-place finish in four career races. The exception was the Oaks.
Ma Can Do It, a 50-1 long shot, stormed from fourth place in the stretch to edge Kinsley Kisses by a head.