LAUREL, MD. 04-03-09---Trainer Mike Trombetta burst onto the national scene three years ago when Sweetnorthernsaint won the Illinois Derby to become a major player during the 2006 Triple Crown scene as the betting favorite in the Grade I Kentucky Derby and runner-up in the Grade I Preakness Stakes. This year, the Baltimore native will saddle Perfect Song in the Grade II event.

“I am looking forward to going back and giving it another try,” Trombetta said. “It was a lot of fun the last time. We think he is a nice horse and based on numbers and performance he has a reasonable chance.”

Perfect Song, a son of Pleasantly Perfect, is the fourth choice on the morning line at 6-1. He broke his maiden in his debut at Philadelphia Park in January in wire-to-wire fashion, then was beaten a head in an allowance test at Turfway Park in February before tuning up for the Illinois Derby with another front-running score in an allowance at Laurel Park on March 14.

Jeremy Rose was named to ride colt Saturday, but he bruised his left shoulder in a spill at Laurel Wednesday afternoon and will not make the trip.

“It is nothing serious,” said Rose’s agent Kid Breeden. “He’ll be back in the irons Wednesday.”

Mario Pino, who was the regular rider aboard Sweetnorthernsaint before under-going hernia surgery prior to the Illinois Derby, picks up the mount.

“Mario has worked the horse a couple times but has never had the opportunity to ride him in the afternoon,” added Trombetta. “But he is very good at what he does in this type of race where it looks like we’ll be in control of the pace.”

The 42-year-old Trombetta has blossomed from a high percentage Maryland trainer into one of the nation’s top young conditioners. His win total has gone from 53 in 2005 to 118 a year ago when the barn earned a career-best $3.9 million. Trombetta’s owners now include Harry and Tom Meyerhoff, of Spectacular Bid fame, and Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos.

“It has all changed for the better. We have lots of business and lots of people supporting us. We try to go to the sales and work hard and buy nice young horses,” said Trombetta. “It has been an amazing transformation. Step one is having clients who are willing to support you with nice horses in your care. Step two is having the right staff to take care of them. I am fortunate in both respects.”

Perfect Song is one of seven three-year-olds Trombetta has nominated to the Triple Crown. An eighth, Despite the Odds, began his career with a 10 ½ length score at Laurel on March 4, earning a 90 speed figure then came back to beat allowance runners yesterday despite being fractious in the gate, breaking awkwardly and getting stuck on the rail on the backside.

“I am anxious to see how much he improves,” Trombetta said. “We earmarked him early on and he has really been training well. He is bred to go further and bred to run on grass. We like him a lot.”