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Derby Trial winner Hull out of Preakness

Hull, winner of the Grade III Derby Trial on April 25, will not run in the Preakness as planned and will instead point to the Grade II, 7-furlong Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont Park on June 6.

The son of Holy Bull was originally slated to head to the Woody Stephens after his Derby Trial triumph, but his connections reconsidered after long-shot Mine That Bird captured the Kentucky Derby at odds of 50-to-1.

However, with the likely addition of record-setting Kentucky Oaks winner Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness lineup, Hull is going back to Plan A.

"When I committed to run in the race, I liked the way it was setting up," Barry Irwin of Team Valor said Monday. "I think the pace is going to be too hot. I don't like the way it's shaping up for our horse. It's going to be our horse's first time around two turns, and I just think there's too much speed in there and I'm not comfortable."

Hull, who did not start as a two-year-old due to shin problems, is unbeaten in three starts, winning those races by a combined 16 lengths.

"I'd like to be able to run him in the Preakness, but I don't want to screw the horse up," Irwin said. "He's only run three times, so I don't want to mess him up."

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