The top four riders in the country based on earnings, two Hall of Fame jockeys with Preakness (gr. I) victories, another who has won the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, Maryland's all-time winningest rider, and Eclipse Award winners Kent Desormeaux and Garrett Gomez will do battle in the first Jockey Challenge at Pimlico.
A few minutes after 9 a.m. EDT on May 12, Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine's Mine That Bird rolled out of the Churchill Downs barn area headed for Baltimore and the second leg of racing's Triple Crown.
The Black-Eyed Susan (gr. II) headlines a day of stakes races one day before the running of the Preakness.
Possible Preakness (gr. I) candidate Rachel Alexandra, a record-smashing 20 1/4-length winner of the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), tuned up for a possible bid in the second leg of the Triple Crown with an easy four-furlong work on May 10 at Churchill Downs.
The prospective field for the May 16 Preakness (gr. I) received a boost in star power when assistant trainer Scott Blasi informed Maryland Jockey Club director of horsemen's relations Phoebe Hayes that Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra is scheduled to fly to Baltimore May 13 for the May 16 $1 million classic. A decision on whether she actually gets on the plane will not be made until the filly works.
A decision as to whether Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra will be supplemented into the field for the $1 million Preakness (gr. I) could be made May 10 or 11 after the filly works for her new trainer, Steve Asmussen.
The prospective field for the Preakness (gr. I) grew by three confirmed starters when the connections of Musket Man, General Quarters and Terrain committed to the middle jewel of racing's Triple Crown on May 6. The $1 million race now has nine definite starters, with Big Drama the first to arrive at historic Pimlico Race Course. The 1 3/16-mile event is on May 16.
Apprentice Jennifer Jennings notched her first lifetime win May 1 in the sixth race at Pimlico when her mount led from start to finish.
Pimlico Race Course April 21 launched a new and improved website for the 2009 Preakness Stakes (gr. I). The redesigned www.preakness.com site will feature coverage of the 134th running of the Preakness Stakes at the historic Baltimore track May 16.
For the second consecutive year, the Horse Racing Radio Network has reached an agreement with officials at Pimlico Race Course and the Maryland Jockey Club to become the exclusive national radio network for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), the middle jewel of Thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown.
Live racing begins at Pimlico Race Course on April 18 for the spring meeting, with the headline event of the six-week stand the 134th running of the $1 million Preakness Stakes (gr. I) - the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, on May 16.
Eight of the nation's top jockeys, including Eclipse Award winners Kent Desormeaux, Edgar Prado, Garrett Gomez, and John Velazquez, will square off in the inaugural Jockey Challenge at Pimlico Race Course May 15, the day before the $1 million Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
An agreement has been reached to allow wagering on Maryland Jockey Club racing by three leading advance deposit wagering companies, ending a standoff with horsemen that threatened to shut off related signals.
- By Jim Freer
Technology entrepreneur Halsey Minor said on April 3 that he has submitted a bid to Magna Entertainment Corp. under which he would buy substantially all of that bankrupt company's assets except Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.
- By Ryan Conley
The parent company of Magna Entertainment Corp. disclosed March 10 it does not intend to keep on a long-term basis the racing assets upon which it is bidding in MEC's Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, including its "immediate" intention of redeveloping Golden Gate Fields into a commercial property if the bid is successful.
Magna Entertainment Corp. has been informed by PNC Bank that it is in default on a loan agreement involving four Maryland entities the company owns.
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.
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