BALTIMORE - Bob Baffert and Nick Zito like their positions heading into the Preakness.
Their horses, Midnight Interlude and Dialed In, respectively, each had excuses after failing to win the Kentucky Derby, and both Hall of Fame trainers know how to come back and win the Preakness.
Baffert did it last year when Lookin At Lucky finished sixth as the beaten favorite in the Derby before rebounding two weeks later to win the Preakness.
It has been a lot longer since Zito won in Baltimore, although he's just as eager for a rematch with Animal Kingdom in Saturday's Preakness.
Animal Kingdom's Derby victory was just the third win - and first on dirt - of his career. As a result, he has hardly scared away the competition at Pimlico, set to run 1 3/16 miles.
Dialed In was the 5-1 favorite in the Derby but trailed the field and couldn't make up enough ground, finishing eighth.
Zito blamed the lack of pace in the race for not setting up Dialed In's late-running style.
"You don't like to say, 'Throw out the Derby,' but a lot of horses have done that over the years, whether they don't get a break the way the race is run or they have traffic problems," Zito said.
"In our case, we didn't get a break the way the race was run. We've got a lot of people starting to give him credit for the race he ran."
Uncle Mo progressing: Trainer Todd Pletcher said Uncle Mo is making good progress in the recovery from stomach problems that knocked him out of the Kentucky Derby. Last season's 2-year-old champion was scratched the morning before the race because of a lingering gastrointestinal infection. Uncle Mo was sent to WinStar Farm in Kentucky for treatment. "He's gained 30 pounds so far, so it's going smoothly," Pletcher said. "We're letting him dictate when he may be ready to come back in."
Obituary:Dianne Carpenter, the only woman to saddle two starters in the Kentucky Derby, has died. She was 68. Ms. Carpenter died of cancer May 4 in Biloxi, Miss., according to trainer Garry Simms, who worked as an assistant under her before opening his own stable. Ms. Carpenter trained and owned Biloxi Indian, who finished 12th in the 1984 Derby. She also saddled Kingpost, 14th in the 1988 Derby.
136th Preakness Stakes
What: Second race of the Triple Crown
When/where: Saturday; Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore
Post time: Expected to be 6:19 p.m. (Ch. 8, 1010-AM)
Today: Black-Eyed Susan
TV: 4 p.m., Versus