An exuberant Calvin Borel expressed confidence that Mine That Bird will win the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) after working the diminutive gelding a half-mile in :50 on a warm, sunny June 1 morning at Churchill Downs.
With firm knowledge that the Preakness (gr. I)-winning filly Rachel Alexandra would pass on a possible run in the third jewel of the Triple Crown, trainer Bennie "Chip" Woolley Jr. and jockey Calvin Borel are both enthusiastically looking forward to the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and a bid to take two-thirds of the crown with Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner and Preakness runner-up Mine That Bird.
Rachel Alexandra will not be running in the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), Jess Jackson, the co-owner of the filly announced May 29.
Chip Woolley, the trainer of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird, said jockey Calvin Borel will ride his horse in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) if Rachel Alexandra isn't entered.
A 16.4% increase in average daily handle from out-of-state wagering outlets fueled an 8.9% jump in average daily handle from all sources during the spring meet at Pimlico Race Course.
NBC's May 16 telecast of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) from Pimlico earned better numbers than most other telecasts of the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
Early on the morning of May 18, trainer Bennie "Chip" Woolley had just loaded Mine That Bird into a horse trailer and was preparing for the 9-10 hour drive from Baltimore, Md., to Louisville, where the little gelding had won the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) before going on to finish second in the May 16 BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
One day after combining to win the BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I), trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Calvin Borel were enthusiastic in their praise of the Rachel Alexandra.
Lindy Redding's speedy Ravalo employed a stalking trip to gamely win the $100,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap (gr. III) at Pimlico Race Course May 16.
It has long been the tradition for starters in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) to saddle on the turf course at Pimlico Race Course, but more than half of this year's field -- including morning-line favorite Rachel Alexandra and Pioneerof the Nile -- will be saddled indoors, Maryland Jockey Club paddock judge Mario Verge said May 15.
As Mine That Bird, winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), quietly goes about his business at Pimlico in preparation for the May 16 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), so does the man who has been at his side since the Birdstone gelding's unlikely Triple Crown quest began. Charlie Figueroa is Mine That Bird's excercise rider and groom.
Pimlico Race Course has received "provisional" accreditation from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance because not all documents tied to an inspection were submitted. The documents deal with drug-testing and compliance standards; officials said there are no safety issues at the track.
The week leading up to the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Ahmed Zayat, owner of Pioneerof the Nile, was hit in the head by bird droppings. The owner saw it as a positive and believed his colt had a good chance in the Derby; little did he know what was to come.
The chance of rain and potential for a wet racing surface don't bother trainer Bennie "Chip" Woolley Jr. But he said dry and fast conditions wouldn't hurt the chances of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird.
Rachel Alexandra, the impressive Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner and 8-5 morning-line favorite for the May 16 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), walked the shedrow at Pimlico Race Course the morning of May 14 and was expected to school in the paddock later in the day, according to assistant trainer Scott Blasi.
Insight into the pedigrees of this year's Preakness contenders is only a click away. This easy-to-read report includes pedigree analyses from Alan Porter, Avalyn Hunter, and Tom Hall. Order your copy today and separate the contenders from the pretenders.
Stonestreet Stables and partner Harold T. McCormick announced May 8 that Calvin Borel has agreed to ride Kentucky Oaks winner Rachel Alexandra for the current racing season.
The morning after it was announced that powerhouse filly Rachel Alexandra had been sold to Jess Jackson's Stonestreet Stables and Harold T. McCormick, trainer Hal Wiggins went about his business as usual, in spite of the empty stall where the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner used to reside.
Hull, who is unbeaten in three starts by a total of 16 lengths this season for trainer Dale Romans, will line up for the May 16 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
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.
Mounting a defense for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Race Course, the state of Maryland and the city of Baltimore went to court March 27 to keep the second leg of the Triple Crown in the state because of uncertainties raised by the bankruptcy of Pimlico owner Magna Entertainment Corp.
The Maryland Jockey Club March 17 officially unveiled a 2009 spring stakes schedule at Pimlico Race Course that's down about $1 million from last year and doesn't include the grade I Pimlico Special.
Pimlico Race Course has reduced its spring meet to 20 days and won't hold the Pimlico Special this year. The grade I race for older horses wasn't run in 2007 for financial reasons, but returned in 2008 with a reduced purse of $250,000.
Hosted by Lenny Shulman and Steve Haskin, "And They're Off" is a bi-monthly online video series sponsored by Darby Dan Farm. In this Valentine's Day edition, Lenny and Steve evaluate the recent Derby preps, discuss the Preakness infield experience, touch on Nicanor's debut, celebrate the 96th Birthday of John Nerud, and more.
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.
Counting down the top 10 Bloodhorse.com stories for 2008. Number 1. Da' Tara Springs Upset; Big Brown Eased
Reigning Horse of the Year Curlin will enter stud in 2009 at Mr. and Mrs. William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky., it was announced Nov. 21. The son of Smart Strike will stand for $75,000.
Racecar Rhapsody, a 3-year-old son of Tale of the Cat who ran fourth to Big Brown in the Preakness (gr. I), was scratched from the seventh race at Churchill Downs June 18 after the colt was purchased by new owners.
Hampered by a double-digit handle decline on its biggest race card, the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), Pimlico Race Course realized a 16.5% drop in all-sources wagering for its 31-day meet that closed June 7.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association is prepared for "every potential outcome" on Preakness Stakes (gr. I) day, but no matter the result, developments in the area of equine health and welfare in the coming weeks and months are of the utmost importance, the organization's president and chief executive officer said.
About 25 supporters of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals staged a quiet demonstration outside the gates of Pimlico Race Course May 17, but horseracing enthusiasts -- and fans of the Preakness experience -- weren't as reserved.
Louisville-based UPS employees are expected to deliver strong support for their namesake Big Brown at Churchill Downs May 17, as the historic racetrack hosts a "UPS Day at the Races" in conjunction with a simulcast of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) from Pimlico Race Course.
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).
Big Brown, winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), clearly owns some of the Thoroughbred industry's fastest feet. But many question their soundness, fueled by reports of layoffs, quarter cracks, and special shoes.
Trainer Larry Jones doesn't have a horse in the May 17 Preakness (gr. I), but he is at the track to run horses in stakes Friday and Saturday. Not surprisingly, he is still being asked questions about the tragic breakdown of Eight Belles.
Plans to announce a stallion deal for Preakness Stakes (gr. I) favorite Big Brown on May 15 fell through, but discussions will continue after the second leg of the Triple Crown is run May 17.
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.
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.
Kentucky Bear might have been shut out of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) by a lack of graded-stakes earnings, but the colt is now pointed toward the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) May 17 at Pimlico Race Course.
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.
Behindatthebar, Giant Moon, Riley Tucker, Stevil, and Tres Borrachos turn in their final workouts before the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico.
Icabad Crane proved he stands a chance in the second jewel of the Triple Crown with his impressive performance in the April 19 Frederico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico.
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.
Calder Race Course and all other Florida tracks are facing the prospect of not receiving the signal for the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and its Pimlico Race Course undercard.
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.
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.
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