Because of a scheduling change in Maryland, the winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) will be on the grounds at Pimlico Race Course before the track's 2016 meet begins.
Reddam Racing's Nyquist was expected to arrive at Pimlico later in the day May 9 to prepare for the May 21 Preakness Stakes (gr. I). The meet begins May 12 this year rather than in early or mid-April as has been the case in recent years.
Maryland Jockey Club president and general manager Sal Sinatra May 9 said Nyquist and other horses trained by Doug O'Neill will be stabled in the stakes barn complex behind the grandstand. Most of the Preakness runners won't arrive until the week of the race.
The Laurel Park winter/spring meet was extended this year through May 8 so its turf course could be used and the course at Pimlico preserved. Pimlico will race four days a week through June 26 on a Thursday-through-Sunday schedule. There will be live racing Memorial Day May 30.
Sinatra earlier this year said the MJC, which is owned by The Stronach Group, would make some capital improvements at Pimlico. He said the renovations, which include new televisions, sealing of the roof to prevent water damage, new carpeting, and a new pump system to aid water pressure in the facility, have been completed in advance of the meet.
The May 20 card at Pimlico will offer five stakes headed by the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) and Pimlico Special (gr. III). The Saturday Preakness program will offer nine other stakes including the Longines Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT).