Following a record 450 nominations to the 2007 Triple Crown and a near record 449 in 2008, the number has decreased to 401 in 2009.
The Maryland Jockey Club announced Feb. 5 it is redefining the infield experience on Preakness Day, May 16 with three rock performances.
The Maryland Jockey Club concluded the 2008 racing season with average wagering figures 22.5% lower than 2007. All sources handle totaled $668.1 million as compared to $875.8 million the previous year. Racing 14 fewer days in 2008, the daily handle decreased from nearly $3.8 million to just over $2.9 million each day.
Nominations for the 2009 Triple Crown of racing the 135th Kentucky Derby (gr. I), 134th Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and 141st Belmont Stakes (gr. I) are being taken from horsemen with promising for 3-year-olds.
The Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association has announced its 2008 award winners. A presentation of the honors will take place at the organization's annual Christmas party at Laurel Park Dec. 1.
Clem Florio, a retired Maryland Turf writer and handicapper, died of pancreatic cancer May 25 in Hollywood, Fla.
Jockey Erick Rodriguez was transported to Sinai Hospital for X-rays on his left knee and abdomen after he was thrown from his mount during the sixth race at Pimlico Race Course May 25.
After four straight years of handle topping $87 million, wagering on the Preakness program declined 15.8% in a year-over-year comparison with the 2007 card.
With his huge Preakness Stakes (gr. I) win in his rear-view mirror, Big Brown left Baltimore Monday morning right at 10 a.m. to head to New York and his date with destiny in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Jockeys honored the memory of Eight Belles by wearing stickers on their boots or mud pants May 16 and 17 at Pimlico, which was hosting the 133rd running of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and a variety of other graded races.
In a performance that was more like a coronation than a Thoroughbred horse race, Big Brown crushed his 11 rivals in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Race Course Saturday afternoon by 5 1/4 lengths
Favored Roman Emperor charged to the lead on the turn, dueled with Da' Tara down the lane, then won the Barbaro Stakes for 3-year-olds May 17 at Pimlico.
Ben McElroy's Roshani, the 6-5 favorite in a five-horse field, held off Lady Digby to win the Gallorette Handicap (gr. IIIT) by a half-length at Pimlico.
The early Preakness (gr. I) wagering is no surprise, with Big Brown an overwhelming favorite. The winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) is the heavy 1-9 choice to win the Preakness and have a shot at the Triple Crown three weeks later.
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.
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