Pimlico Race Course and Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, have announced a partnership to raise funds to aid awareness and research to take place on Black-Eyed Susan Day May 14.
Pimlico has pledged to raise a minimum of $100,000 for Komen for the Cure. Fifty percent of the funds raised will go to the Komen Maryland Affiliate to use for community outreach programs in Maryland, and 50% will be used for life-saving breast cancer research.
In addition to the 86th running of the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies, the day will feature an historic pari-mutuel race showcasing legendary retired female riders as well as the second annual $50,000 Pimlico Jockey Challenge, where eight of the nation’s top jockeys compete in four races with points awarded based upon their finish.
“We are excited to partner with Susan G. Komen for the Cure to fight breast cancer,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas in a statement. “Our team at Pimlico has worked hard with the team at Komen to make The People’s Pink Party something all of us can proudly take part in and have a lot of fun with while supporting a remarkable charity that is truly making a difference in the lives of those impacted by breast cancer. I would like to thank in advance the many people who have made this day happen, as well as the many supporters of both Pimlico and Komen who will make this day and these efforts a wonderful success.”
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure and it launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, the organization is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors.
In recognition of Komen’s signature shade, Pimlico will be awash in pink on Black-Eyed Susan Day. The horses and pony riders on the track will be sporting pink saddletowels, a newly created unity logo representing both partners will be featured, and the valets, and starters, will all be decked in pink gear. The track will also be decorated with festive pink linens, flowers and banners.
The People’s Pink Party will welcome 86 breast cancer survivors as guests of Pimlico, who will be acknowledged in the winner’s circle celebration following the Black-Eyed Susan.
The Miss Preakness contest has been refashioned to honor breast cancer survivors and individuals who have made a difference in the lives of those fighting breast cancer. The winner, chosen in part through an online, interactive process that will feature the contestant’s own stories, will be crowned Miss Preakness Pink Warrior in recognition of the popular anthem, “Pink Warrior,” celebrating the war against breast cancer which is written and performed by Candy Coburn.
Miss Preakness Pink Warrior will represent the Maryland Jockey Club at official Preakness events throughout the week, and in the presentation of the Woodlawn Vase following the 135th Preakness Stakes (gr. I) May 15.
Pimlico will donate to Komen 10% of all Black-Eyed Susan Day Turfside Terrace ticket sales, including the Friday portion of the two-day Turfside Terrace ticket. The opportunity to support Susan G. Komen will also be available any time a fan purchases a ticket for the 2010 Preakness or Black-Eyed Susan through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com.
“Komen Maryland is delighted to partner in the Black-Eyed Susan Festivities,” said Robin Prothro, executive director of Komen Maryland, in a release. “This new venue provides a generous platform for people to better understand the work we do in communities across the state and the financial support we provide for research at the national level. Every innovation and discovery for the last 30 years, bringing us closer to ending breast cancer forever, has been fueled and funded by Komen for the Cure. We look forward to this partnership working toward our mission as we now race for a cure at Preakness.”
The Lady Legends For the Cure Race™, the first ever pari-mutuel race featuring retired champion female jockeys, will also be filmed as the climatic ending to the feature length documentary titled, JOCK, that tells the story of the first generation of female jockeys.
The Race includes the only two who have ridden in the Preakness Stakes: Patricia (P.J.) Cooksey (Tajawa-1985) and Andrea Seefeldt (Looming-1994) as well as Barbara Jo Rubin, who made history as the first woman to win in a pari-mutuel race in the United States when she guided Cohesion to victory at Charles Town on Feb. 22, 1969 and Mary Russ, the first female rider to win a grade I race when she captured the Widener Handicap at Hialeah on Feb. 27, 1982 aboard Lord Darnley. The four other riders are Gwen Jocson, Jennifer Rowland, Cheryl White and Mary Wiley.
Participation has special meaning for Wiley and Cooksey and both are breast cancer survivors.