Trainer Gary Contessa, fresh off a win in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) on Friday, started the stakes program at Pimlico Saturday with a victory in the Maryland Sprint Handicap (gr. III). But, under very different circumstances.
Heavy Preakness (gr. I) favorite Big Brown worked two furlongs at Pimlico early this morning as he prepares to meet 11 opponents in the second jewel of racing's Triple Crown.
Going into the $100,000 Miss Preakness Stakes (gr. III), the question for Palanka City was whether the black-type winner could step up to graded competition. At odds of 1-2, it was a question the Terry Gestes trainee answered with an emphatic "yes" at muddy Pimlico May 16.
Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said May 16 that he is nearly as confident that the Boundary colt will win the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) as he was before his dominating win in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
If you think because of the dominating performance in the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) that jockey Kent Desormeaux is taking anything for granted, think again.
At a news conference held in the press box at Pimlico Race Course May 16, a check for $500,000 was presented by NetJets to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. On hand at the event were jockeys John Velazquez, chairman of the Jockeys' Guild; top rider Edgar Prado; disabled rider Jackie Fires; and Alex Waldrop, president of NTRA Charities.
With regular exercise rider Michelle Nevin aboard and dozens of still and video cameras recording every step, the Big Brown galloped 1 1/2 miles May 15 at Pimlico.
That Roman Emperor likes the 1 1/16-mile distance has already been proven. Whether he'll bounce back from a seventh-place finish in the 1 1/8-mile Wood Memorial (gr. I) remains to be seen. We'll find out when the Steve Klesaris trainee leads a field of seven 3-year-olds in the $100,000 Barbaro Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.
Seven older sprinters will try to earn their first graded stakes score May 17 at Pimlico Race Course when they do battle in the $100,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap (gr. III) the first of 10 blacktype races on Preakness Stakes (gr. I) day.
Just 14 days after saddling Eight Belles to a second-place finish in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), trainer Larry Jones will give a leg up to jockey Gabriel Saez and the two will take Hinkle Farms' Buy the Barrel postward in the $150,000 Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes (gr. II) May 17 at Pimlico Race Course.
Vinery Stables' Lantana Mob is the most likely choice in the $100,000 Hirsch Jacobs Stakes (gr. III) at Pimlico May 17, which is why he's been assigned the high weight of 122 pounds in a nine-horse field. But several 3-year-olds looking for graded stakes-winning status could step up to provide a challenge in this Preakness undercard event.
A Kentucky Derby Day promotion facilitated by NetJets, the Jockeys' Guild, Churchill Downs, and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association has raised $500,000 to benefit the NTRA Charities - Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Jockey John Velazquez will present the gift to representatives of the fund the morning of May 16 at Pimlico Race Course.
The top-weighted runner in the $250,000 Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT) at Pimlico May 17 is coming off a sixth-place finish, while his closest competitor also ran sixth in his last start. That leaves a chance at graded earnings readily available to seven other runners in the 1 1/8-mile turf event on the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) undercard.
An official of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association said on May 14 that his organization will issue a proposal that would enable Calder Race Course to carry the simulcast signal of the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) -- with a condition.
Accompanied by two United Parcel Service vehicles, Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Big Brown arrived and entered the Preakness (gr. I) stakes barn at Pimlico Race Course May 14 to begin his quest for the middle jewel of the Triple Crown.
Derby winner Big Brown is one of 13 3-year-olds entered for Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Post positions will be drawn later this afternoon.
Between Pletcher, Passion, and Pimlico, there are plenty of alliterations. And here is another for the record-preference-which is what the Eclipse Award-winning trainer will be trying to pinpoint as he sends his versatile 3-year-old filly to the $100,000 Adena Stallions' Miss Preakness Stakes (gr. III).
Multiple-graded stakes winner Bshapsonata will look to continue her outstanding sophomore season May 17 in the $200,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) at Pimlico Race Course, as she takes on eight 3-year-old fillies.
Ahmed Zayat sent two runners to the Derby who wound up chasing Big Brown home. For the Preakness, Zayat Stables' will send out Riley Tucker, a son of Harlan's Holiday who has earned a shot.
Trainer Paulo Lobo reported May 12 that a start in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) May 17 at Pimlico Race Course by Cubanacan Stables' Gayego is under consideration.
IEAH Stable and Paul Pompa Jr.'s Big Brown, a dominant winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), had another easy morning May 12 at Churchill Downs as his bid for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), the second jewel of racing's Triple Crown, draws closer.
With any luck, Yankee Bravo could have been a Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) starter. But it was not meant to be for the son of Yankee Gentleman, who finished fourth in the April 5 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) after being cut off in mid-stretch, which resulted in the dark bay colt falling short of the required graded earnings.
As recently as May 4, Eddie Plesa Jr. announced that Hey Byrn would be headed to the $300,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) at Thistledown.
The Pimlico Special (gr. I), a historically-significant race for older horses, returns after a year off. The 1 3/16-mile race, sponsored by the Maryland Lottery, will be run the day before the Preakness (gr. I) at "Old Hilltop."
Recapturetheglory, fifth in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), has had his Preakness Stakes (gr. I) plans derailed by a fever. The son of Cherokee Run is officially out, according to co-owner Ronnie Lamarque, who confirmed the news at 2 p.m. EDT May 10.
Trainer Dallas Stewart said the morning of May 9 that West Point Thoroughbreds' Macho Again would bypass the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and instead point to the $300,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) at Thistledown May 31.
Saying "we're there to win", co-owner Ronnie Lamarque announced May 7 that Recapturetheglory, who finished fifth to Big Brown in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), is confirmed for $1 million Preakness Stakes (gr. I) May 17 at Pimlico Race Course.
Chelokee, who dislocated his right front ankle May 2 at Churchill Downs, underwent surgery that "went very well" May 5 at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, according to Dr. Larry Bramlage.
With the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) 11 days away, the field set to test Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Big Brown continues to change as the connections of some of the top 3-year-olds weigh a start in the middle jewel of racing's Triple Crown at Pimlico Race Course.
John Servis has not been on the Triple Crown trail since Smarty Jones captivated the Thoroughbred racing world in 2004. The veteran trainer will try to change that this year, as he sends out Indian Jump in the $150,000 Federico Tesio Stakes April 19 at Pimlico Race Course, a 1 1/8-mile dirt event that serves as the local prep for the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Live racing in Maryland shifts to Pimlico Race Course April 17 for the eight-week spring meeting. The headline event of the stand is the 133rd running of the $1-million Preakness Stakes (gr. I), the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, on May 17.
Pimlico Race Course, home of the grade I Preakness Stakes, will offer a $3.46-million stakes schedule during a 31-day spring meet that runs from April 17-June 7. In a major change, the grade I Pimlico Special is back.
A wintry mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain that is expected to hit the Baltimore-Washington region forced Maryland Jockey Club officials to cancel live racing at Laurel Park Feb. 22.
At their monthly meeting Jan. 29, the Maryland Racing Commission accepted the Maryland Jockey Club's proposal to alter the live racing calendar for the final seven weeks of the current Laurel winter meeting.
The Maryland Jockey Club announced its total handle declined by 8% during 2007, with five fewer racing days. All sources of handle totaled $883.8 million as compared to $960.2 million from the same period in 2006. The daily average handle from all sources decreased 6.5 % from $4.1 million to $3.8 million.
Luis Garcia, Scott Lake, and Robert Cole have wrapped up year-end titles at the major Maryland tracks for the calendar year in the jockey, trainer and owner divisions, respectively.
- By Ryan Conley
Chris Dragone knows he is wading into some fiery situations as the new head of the Maryland Jockey Club, but said he is more than willing to take whatever heat necessary to right a rocky ship.
The Maryland Jockey Club announced Nov. 28 that president and chief operating officer Lou Raffetto Jr. will be leaving effective immediately to pursue other opportunities, and that Chris Dragone, a former senior vice president and general manager at the MJC, will take over his duties.
Oaklawn Park has signed an agreement to allow TrackNet Media Group to manage the track's simulcast sales, it was announced Oct. 15.
Maryland Jockey Club and the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association have agreed to reduce purses and slash the stakes schedule for the balance of the 2007 racing campaign as the industry faces a $3 million shortfall in the purse account by the end of the calendar year.
NBC reported slightly lower ratings for this year's Preakness Stakes coverage than it received in 2006 when Barbaro was going for the second jewel of racing's Triple Crown.
Remarkable News won the Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT) at Pimlico after Mending Fences sustained an injury while racing on the lead.
Flashy Bull and heavy favorite Hesanoldsalt staged a furious stretch duel Saturday at Pimlico in the William Donald Schaefer Handicap (gr. III), with Flashy Bull winning the head bob.
Mending Fences euthanized after falling in Dixie Stakes. Jockeys Eddie Castro and Robby Albarado in spill but both walk off under their own power.
Preakness starters walking the shedrow Saturday morning as the big moment is on the horizon, a bright and sunny one at that.
There were few surprises in Friday's early wagering on Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Racecourse, with Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense the predictable favorite.
The raid was on at cloudy Pimlico Friday. Panty Raid, under Edgar Prado, came from off the pace to win the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) with authority.
Millennium Farms' Rolling Sea rolled to the lead on the far turn and drew off down the stretch to win the Allaire duPont Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. II) at Pimlico Friday.
An accomplished field of 12 older males will contest the May 19 Dixie Stakes (gr. II) at Pimlico. Leading the list in earnings is millionaire Silver Tree, who will be looking to bounce back after an unplaced effort in the April 7 John B. Connally Breeders' Cup Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT).
Baltimore and Pimlico ready to turn into the Calvin Borel show.
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