History making performance. Defining moment. Greatness personified in the Thoroughbred. Will it happen today?
NetJets made a presentation the day prior to the Belmont (gr. I), culminating a sponsorship in all three Triple Crown races in which various charities benefited.
When Kent Desormeaux heads to the starting gate aboard Big Brown in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), viewers won't see the lone UPS logo that was prominently placed on the jockey's pants in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Instead, Desormeaux will bear not only the UPS symbol, but also Hooters' orange logo, as the popular restaurant chain represtented by an owl peering through the "OO" in its name becomes his second official sponsor.
William K. (Bill) Warren Jr., has a unique perspective of this year's Belmont Stakes (gr. I). He knows what it's like to have a top horse trained by Rick Dutrow. Not only that, but to have a top horse trained by Dutrow that has foot problems.
West Point Stables' Macho Again had a solid work this morning for trainer Dallas Stewart at Churchill Downs, going a half-mile in :48.20 over the fast main track under exercise rider Kenny Borque. The move ranked 11th of 55 at the distance.
Behindatthebar comes into the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) a fresh horse, having scratched from the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) due to a bruised left front foot.
Curlin, 2007 Horse of the Year and winner of the March 29 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), continued to train toward his return to competition May 26 with a strong six-furlong work at Churchill Downs.
Nobutaka Tada, racing manager for owner Hidetoshi Yamamoto, said consideration has been given to Japanese, European, and American riders, but no decision will be made for "four or five days," on who will ride Casino Drive in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr.I).
Anyone expecting a "Brown Out" in the 133rd Preakness Stakes (gr. I) May 17 instead received a jolt of electricity from America's newest superstar, Big Brown, whose powerful surge rocked Pimlico Race Course and sent everyone leaving Old Hilltop with stars in their eyes.
Big Brown arrived in style at Belmont Park May 19. With a police escort in front and a UPS truck behind, a Brook Ledge van delivered the winner of the first two legs of the Triple Crown to a loading ramp near Barn 2 at 2:25 p.m.
West Point Thoroughbreds' Macho Again, winner of the Derby Trial and second to Big Brown in the Preakness (gr. I), will be pointed for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), according to West Point founder and president Terry Finley.
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.
- By Claire Novak
She may have been Miss Preakness 2008, but Maggie Wolfendale spent more time on Pimlico's backstretch than she did around the grandstand in the days leading up to the Preakness Stakes (gr. I)
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).
Big Brown takes aim at Triple Crown, will ship to Belmont Park May 19.
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.
What an 18-hour stretch for Three Chimneys Farm owner Robert Clay.
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
Big Brown will stand at stud following his racing career at Robert Clay's Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky.
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.
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.
Who's afraid of the Big Bad Brown? Certainly not the connections of the 12 horses who were entered against him in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I). They definitely respect him, and many would be happy with a second or a third, but they're still in it to win. So, the question that now must be asked is: who can beat the baddest horse of them all?
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.
Behindatthebar has been scratched from Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I), according to a Maryland Jockey Club official.
Churchill Downs Inc. said May 15 it reached an agreement with Maryland horsemen that will permit Calder Race Course to take Pimlico Race Course's signal May 16-17, including the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
There will be racing at other locations besides Pimlico on May 17, although most of the nation will be prone to forget it. At Belmont Park in the $150,000 Shuvee Handicap (gr. II), older fillies and mares head out a mile on the New York dirt just one hour before the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) goes off in Maryland.
With the arrival of Big Brown and others from Kentucky and California, all the horses are at Pimlico, with the exception of Saturday arrivals Behindatthebar and Icabad Crane. This will be just an abbreviated report to set things up for Friday's column, in which we'll try to find several value plays to use in the exotics.
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.
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.
The Alibi Breakfast is underway. A Preakness tradition, the Maryland Jockey Club offers a big spread of breakfast delights, plenty of juice and coffee, and a Black-Eyed Susan, if you're so inclined.
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.
Big Brown will not race past his 3-year-old year as stud plans for the Derby winner are set to be announced May 15, according to IEAH Stables' Michael Iavarone.
Undefeated Big Brown will break from post position 7 as the 1-2 favorite in Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) as the colt will attempt to duplicate his impressive victory in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Entrants make their way to Pimlico; Zito voices concerns for horses and racing.
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.
Can anyone take Big Brown down? It sure doesn't look like it on paper.
For Macho Again, the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) has been a will he or won't he proposition. Owner West Point Thoroughbreds had been considering the Ohio Derby (gr. III) for the son of Macho Uno, with the prospect of West Coast-based El Gato Malo going to the Preakness.
Fresh off being named the 2007 champion juvenile male by the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Preakness Stakes (gr. I) hopeful Giant Moon will be looking to get back to his winning ways in the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Racecar Rhapsody is looking to earn the first graded stakes victory of his career when he runs in the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Although rain is forecast for Baltimore, Maryland, on Friday, Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) should be contested under cloudy skies, with cool temperatures.
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.
Behindatthebar wasn't ready for a start in the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) after winning the April 19 Coolmore Lexington (gr. II). But with two more weeks between races under his girth, the Todd Pletcher trainee could be one of the more legitimate contenders for the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Big Brown's task just got a little - or a lot - easier with the decision of Harlem Rocker's owner Frank Stronach to bypass Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and await the $1-million Queen's Plate at Woodbine June 22.
Stevil has not won a race since his maiden score at Belmont in October of 2007, but trainer Nick Zito has the grey son of Maria's Mon on track for a start in the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
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."
IEAH Stables and Paul Pompa Jr.'s Big Brown had his presence announced on the Churchill Downs track shortly before 7 a.m. May 11 with a loud clap of thunder. Unfazed, Big Brown went about his morning activity, jogging one mile with Michelle Nevin up accompanied by a pony.
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.
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