Pimlico to Go Pink on Black-Eyed Susan Day
by Blood-Horse Staff
Date Posted: 2/28/2011 11:48:47 AM
Last Updated: 3/2/2011 11:00:57 AM

Pimlico Clubhouse
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

Pimlico Race Course and the Maryland affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, will again partner to raise funds to aid awareness and research to take place on Black-Eyed Susan Day, Friday, May 20.

According to a release from the Maryland Jockey Club, 75% of the funds raised will go to the Komen Maryland Affiliate to use for community outreach programs in Maryland and 25% will be used for life-saving breast cancer research.

In addition to the 87th running of the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies, the day will feature an encore performance by retired female riders in the Lady Legends For the Cure Race II and a jockey challenge with six of the top active female riders. The Black-Eyed Susan Stakes will be broadcast live on VERSUS.

“The inaugural 'People’s Pink Party' raised $100,000 for Komen last year and featured the historic Lady Legends Race, one of the highlights of Preakness weekend 2010,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. “The eight retired riders created a buzz around the track, generating interest and excitement that energized fans. Switching the jockey challenge to an all-female format will add spark to the Preakness eve event.”

Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and it launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, the organization is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors.

“This partnership provides a generous platform for people to better understand the education, screening and treatment programs provided by our grantees in communities throughout the state and the financial support we provide for national research at Maryland institutions,” said Robin Prothro, executive director of Komen Maryland. "We look forward to working jointly with the Maryland Jockey Club as we strive to create a world without breast cancer.”

The 2010 Lady Legends For the Cure Race was the first ever pari-mutuel race showcasing retired female riders, two of whom are breast cancer survivors.  Gwen Jocson won the inaugural race aboard Honor in Peace for her 764th career victory. Jocson, who won 376 races in 1991 on the Philadelphia Park-Atlantic City circuit, tore ligaments in her hand while exercising for John Servis earlier this winter and will not defend her title.

This year’s field consists of Abby Fuller along with the participants from 2010 other than Jocson--Andrea Seefeldt-Knight, Mary Russ-Tortora, Mary Wiley-Wagner, Patti “PJ” Cooksey, Barbara Jo Rubin, Jennifer Rowland-Small, and Cheryl White. Wiley-Wagner and Cooksey are cancer survivors.

Added to this year’s event is the Jockey’s Challenge featuring six active female jockeys competing in four races with points awarded based upon their finish.

The jockey with the most points at the end of a four-race competition will be crowned champion. Riding assignments are determined by a drawing Sunday, May 15, and jockeys receive points for finishing first (12 points), second (6), third (4) and fourth (3) in each race. The champion jockey will earn $10,000. Other prize money: $7,000 (second), $6,000 (third), $4,000 (fourth), $2,000 (fifth) and $1,000 (sixth).

The six riders who agreed to take part are, in alphabetical order: Vicky Baze, Forest Boyce, Rosie Napravnik, Chantal Sutherland, Hayley Turner, and Emma-Jayne Wilson.

All 14 Lady Legends and Jockey Challenge riders will take part in an autograph session prior to the card.

“The People’s Pink Party” will welcome 87 breast cancer survivors as guests to Pimlico, where they will be honored in festivities throughout the day, including a special winner's circle tribute, and a live performance in the Turfside Terrace section by Steel Magnolia.

In recognition of Komen Maryland’s signature pink shade, the horses and pony riders on the track will sport pink saddletowels displaying the unity logo created exclusively to commemorate the day. The valets and starters will also be outfitted in pink gear, and the linens, flowers, and banners blanketing Pimlico will be pink.

Pimlico will donate to Komen Maryland 10% of all Black-Eyed Susan Turfside Terrace ticket sales, including the Friday portion of the two-day Terrace ticket.

The “Miss Preakness Pink Warrior” returns for a second consecutive year, recognizing breast cancer survivors and individuals who have made a difference in the lives of those fighting breast cancer. The winner, chosen in part through an on-line, interactive process featuring the contestant’s own stories, will be crowned Miss Preakness Pink Warrior in recognition of the anthem, “Pink Warrior,” that celebrates the war against breast cancer, written and performed by Candy Coburn. Miss Preakness Pink Warrior will serve as the official ambassador of the Preakness, representing the Maryland Jockey Club at Preakness events throughout the week, including the presentation of the Woodlawn Vase on the storied cupola following the 136th Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 21.



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