BALTIMORE -- After a ninth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, it wasn't clear what was next for Maryland-based contender Win Win Win.
Given the proximity of Pimlico Race Course to his base at Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, trainer Mike Trombetta didn't have to rush a decision about the Preakness after the disappointing trip over the muddy track at Churchill Downs.
"It was on my radar," he said. "But I wanted to see how the horse was."
He was pleased with Win Win Win's form and energy in training, so at the end of last week, he committed to the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
Trombetta is hoping Win Win Win simply disliked the sloppy track in Kentucky.
"I was disappointed, but (jockey Julian Pimentel) was of the opinion that he just wasn't fond of the surface that particular day," he said. "He said he just didn't seem quite like himself on it. So that's all that I've got to go off of. ... I'm just hoping that when we get to Pimlico, we have a fair, dry track for everyone."
He and Win Win Win will make the short trip from Fair Hill on Thursday morning.
Trombetta, 52, grew up in Perry Hall and inherited a love of racing from his father, who owned horses and frequently took him to the track. He has built one of the most successful barns in Maryland, but Win Win Win was just the second horse he took to the Derby after Sweetnorthernsaint in 2006.
Sweetnorthernsaint also disappointed at Churchill Downs, finishing seventh after going off as the post-time favorite. But he came back to finish runner-up in a Preakness that was overshadowed by the breakdown of Barbaro.
The gelding's overall success helped Trombetta become a full-time trainer after years of splitting time between his barn and working for his brother's construction business.