In a press conference less than 24 hours after the fourth largest crowd in Preakness history witnessed Oxbow’s victory in the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes, Maryland Jockey Club CEO, Tom Chuckas provided plenty of information.
The best news was that MJC will announce renovation plans for Pimlico by the end of 2013. With the influx of casino revenue which allowed for increased purses, Maryland thoroughbred horse racing has once again is THE #1 place for horsemen to train and run their equine athletes.
Click here to go to the Baltimore Business Journal website to listen to the press conference in its entirety.
Selections for Pimlico’s Saturday (Day 29) 10-race card will be on Page 2
Recapping Pimlico’s Friday 10-race card selections, posted 7 winners (1 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $6.20 (1st race), $5.40 (3rd), $12.60 (4th), $4.00 (5th), $7.40 (6th), $6.00 (7th) and $4.00 (9th).
The BEST BET (26 10-4-3) Small Giant (R5 #1A 7-2 PT; 4-1 M/L) hugged the rail, dueled with the winner to upper stretch then stopped, finishing last (5th).
The LONGSHOT PICK (26 5-1-2) Maryland Mystique (R7 #1 3-1 PT; 8-1 M/L) additional scratches beyond this race being taken off the turf cut the field size to 5… and that’s the only reason she finished 5th. She was supposed to be “lone speed”, but broke slowly, allowed the 2 horse to get the lead, and it was all downhill from that point.
The Preakness is back! The fourth largest crowd (117,203) in Preakness history discounted the possibility of rain showers in return for the best entertainment value of the year. Fans from the Grandstand rushed the Infield when Macklemore and Ryan Lewis took to the stage early afternoon. And that was just for starters as Pitbull brought energy to the Infield would have blown the roof off, if there was one that covered Pimlico.
NBC reported their Preakness show garnered a 5.4 rating and 14 share. That represented a 6% increase from year-ago.
Kentucky Derby winner Orb, sent off as the prohibitive 3-5 favorite finished a disappointing 4th, to extend the Triple Crown drought another year.
Maserati’s decision to sponsor Orb for an undisclosed amount of money. Not only was riding the wave of the potential Triple Crown winner a short one, but Orb may pass on the next nationally televised horse race, the Belmont Stakes on June 8th.
GQ’s selections. Only hitting 2 Top Picks on the 13-race card, both of those paid less than even money. After providing the winner in each of the first 3 races, misfired on the next 4 then finished up the last 6 races naming 4 winners, including Preakness winner Oxbow ($32.80) but failed to connect on the Exacta, which could have turned the “ugly” betting day into a “salvageable” one.
Horse players complaining about how the Pimlico dirt surface looked like crap and that the times were slow due to track maintenance dumping excess water on it on a rainy day. Hmmm, maybe they should just re-examine their own handicapping skills?
Best Preakness Quote: “I get paid to spoil dreams.” – D. Wayne Lukas, during press conference after his 15-1 longshot Oxbow won the Preakness Stakes.
Best Line Overheard : “A car you will never own.” – a Dad to his young daughter who asked “What’s a Maserati?” upon seeing Orb sporting his new saddlecloth.
If Oxbow’s win in the Preakness left you scratching your head asking, “How does a 15-1 longshot manage to win… so easily?” Click here for MY answer.
Frankie Lovato’s JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #144… “Handicapper”
Recapping Pimlico’s Preakness Day selections 13-race card were quite pathetic, only posting 7 winners (2 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $5.40 (1st race), $3.40 (2nd), $7.40 (3rd), $5.20 (8th), $6.60 (10th), $32.80 (12th) and $2.60 (13th).
The BEST BET (26 10-4-3) Marataya’s Tune (R5 #14 5-2 PT; 9-2 M/L) appeared to be “lone speed” in here, and apparently I wasn’t the only one that noticed as she went off the 5-2 betting choice. Even though she cruised on the front end by herself, the fractions she set were not soft enough to carry her gate to wire, as she yielded to two foes in mid-stretch, returning $3.60 to SHOW.
The LONGSHOT PICK (26 5-1-2) Embarr (R9 #6 12-1 PT; 15-1 M/L) was never involved in this contest. No other description is needed beyond the single word that sums up a poor performance, “Outrun”. For the record she finished 6th.
For the fourth consecutive year, Black-Eyed Susan Day at Pimlico, was filled with plenty of sunshine and warm hearts as it was the 4th annual People’s Pink Party, featuring the Lady Legends race which pitted eight retired female jockeys against one another. It was the 4th race on the card, won by Mary Russ-Tortora aboard Haywired, in gate to wire fashion.
What a proud moment for the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) and everyone who had a hand in pulling it off and making such a generous donation as Pimlico made a donation of $27,507 to the Komen Maryland affiliate, equal to the amount wagered to win on Haywired.
The Preakness Day forecast for the Baltimore-metropolitan area calls for most cloudy skies, with …plenty of sunshine, clear skies and a fast track. There are 13 races on the card. The $1,000,000 Preakness Stakes is the 12th race, with approximate Post Time 6:20pm EDT, with 1st race Post Time 10:45am.
Below I offer my opinions on all 13 races, but I’ll start with the Main Event. Here’s how I see the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes playing out, listed in my predicted order of finish. Odds shown are the current betting odds after Friday’s advanced wagering.
1st – # 1 Orb (4-5) sealed the deal as a legitimate threat to become the first Triple Crown winner in 34 years after outing in his final tune-up over the Belmont Park dirt surface on Monday. It was a work that on paper looked to be too fast (4 furlongs in 47), but according to his exercise rider it felt like they went about 3 seconds slower because he did it so easily. The confidence level in this colt is sky high.
2nd – # 4 Departing (11-1) is just one of three in this field that did not run in the Kentucky Derby. Often “new shooters” are a welcomed new edition as fresh prey, but this one has a legitimate shot at winning as prior to his Illinois Derby (his last race) victory, finished a strong 3rd in the Louisiana Derby, just a few lengths behind Mylute. Thus, he’s an improving colt that still has not yet peaked.
3rd – # 6 Oxbow (14-1) appearance on the track in the mornings of Preakness Week were nothing short of indicating the Derby took nothing out of him. Considering he was responsible for being part of one of the fastest early fraction times recorded for the Kentucky Derby
4th – # 5 Mylute (7-1) will require Rosie Napravnik to wait at least another year to fulfill her Preakness victory dream. Even though it seems that the key the his reversal of form appears to have been the removing of “Blinkers”, his late move in deep stretch might find him to run out of real estate, when he comes flying late in deep stretch.
The remainder of runners are predicted to finish as follows…
5th – # 9 Itsmyluckyday (9-1)
6th – # 7 Will Take Charge (12-1)
7th – # 2 Goldencents (7-1)
8th – # 8 Govenor Charlie (11-1)
9th – # 3 Titletown Five (23-1)
Kudos to The Maryland Jockey Club Racing Secretary, Georganne Hale, for constructing a terrific racing card on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s card has 13 races featuring the $500,000 G2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes for 3 year old fillies (race 10).
There are two (2) events on Friday that highlight 2 legged female athletes. The 4th race is the 4th annual Lady Legends For The Cure race where a field of eight (8) thoroughbreds will be ridden by retired female jockeys. This is part of The Maryland Jockey Club teaming up with Susan G. Komen For The Cure for the day with additional events to raise awareness and money for the fight against breast cancer. One of the participating jockeys, Patti “PJ” Cooksey (far left in picture below) is a breast cancer survivors. The other ladies in the irons are (from left to right) Zoe Cadman (back for her 2nd year), first-time starter Stacie Clark-Rogers, Jennifer Rowland Small (winner of the 2012 race), Barbara Jo Rubin (first woman to win a race against men at a recognized track), Cheryl White (first African-American female jockey) and Mary Russ Tortora (4-year participant). Not pictured is Abigail Fuller, another first-time starter.
In addition to her earnings in the race, each rider will receive a $3,500 bonus. Pimlico will match the amount wagered on the 2013 winner in-state and make a contribution to Komen Maryland.
The third event is the Battle of the Sexes Challenge. It’s a jockey’s challenge that features four of the North America’s top female jockeys versus four of the nation’s best male riders, competing in four races with points awarded based upon their finish.
Competing on the female side will be former Maryland sensation Rosie Napravnik, Emma-Jayne Wilson, Forest Boyce and Kristina McManigell. The male fearsome foursome is made up of John Velazquez, Javier Castellano, Joel Rosario and Gary Stevens.
The jockey with the most points at the end of a four-race competition will be crowned champion. Riding assignments were determined by a drawing Sunday, May 12, and jockeys receive points for finishing first (12 points), second (6), third (4) and fourth (3) in each race. The champion jockey will earn $10,000. Other prize money: $7,000 (second), $6,000 (third), $4,000 (fourth), $2,000 (fifth) and $1,000 (sixth through eighth).
Another special wager begin offered on Friday is a Pimlico Special – Preakness DOUBLE wager. So take your best shot at picking the winners for these races for a potentially handsome payoff.
Recapping Pimlico Day 25 selections from Thursday 9-race card posted just 5 winners (2 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $7.00 (2nd race), $8.00 (3rd), $5.60 (4th), $6.80 (5th) and $9.80 (6th).
The BEST BET (24 10-4-2) Cacaway (R5 #10 2-1 PT; 5-2 M/L) was unhurried early, raced outside foes on the far turn, swung very wide turning for home, sprinted clear in mid-stretch and prevailed under urging to return $6.80 to WIN, $4.20 to PLACE and $2.80 to SHOW.
The LONGSHOT PICK (24 5-1-2) Moon Dreamer (R3 #1 9-2 PT; 6-1 M/L) saved ground while disputing the early pace but faltered in mid-stretch finishing 6th.
Orb, winner of the Kentucky Derby will break from the #9 hole has been listed as the prohibitive 6-5 Morning Line for the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes.
Early evening on Wednesday the Post Positions were drawn for Saturday’s 138th running of the Preakness Stakes. A field of 9 will break from the starting gate on Saturday at approximately 6:18pm for this 1 3/16 mile middle jewel of the Triple Crown. Below is how they’ll line-up in the starting gate, along with track oddsmaker Frank Carulli’s Morning Line and what I (G.Q.) predict will be the Post Time odds…
Recapping Pimlico Day 24 selections from Sunday’s 10-race card posted 7 winners (5 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $2.80 (1st race), $8.80 (3rd), $2.40 (4th), $10.60 (5th), $4.80 (6th), $5.60 (7th) and $2.60 (9th).
The BEST BET (23 9-4-2) Tell Me a Story (R9 #2 1-5 PT; 8-5 M/L) the plethora of scratches on the Sunday card absolutely destroyed the price on this Sagamore Farm runner. She saved ground on the turns, set a pressured pace, bumped with a rival in upper stretch and drove clear late to return a paltry $2.60 to WIN and $2.10 to PLACE (no SHOW wagering).
The LONGSHOT PICK (23 5-1-2) Next Level (R3 #7 3-1 PT; 12-1 M/L) reluctant to load into the starting gate, sped to the early lead, saved ground setting the pace and was under urging in the stretch to score by 4½ lengths to return $8.80 to WIN, $5.00 to PLACE and $4.20 to SHOW.
Even though there is Sunday racing at Old Hilltop, this handicapper put his priorities in order (for once) and put his Mom first. She may not have taught me how to read past performances, or how recognize a track speed bias and/or determine a horses’ readiness by observing his/her physical movements in the post parade, but she taught a whole lot more. How to cook, to be accountable for my actions, have faith, respect others and to love, just to name a few.
Thanks Mom for loving and believing in me. To everyone who reads this blog, spend time with your Mom, whether it be in the same physical location or spiritually. Every Mom is a special person. Make sure you express your feelings and love for her, not only on Mother’s Day, but every day of the year.
Recapping Pimlico Day 23 selections from Saturday 11-race card posted 8 winners (4 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $5.60 (2nd race), $3.60 (3rd), $4.60 (4th), $12.20 (5th), $4.60 (7th), $10.80 (9th), $3.20 (10th) and $6.00 (11th).
The BEST BET (22 8-4-2) Brand New Moves (R3 #1 5-1 PT; 7-2 M/L) chased the 4-5 betting favorite pace setter in vain, then faltered entering the stretch to finish 4th.
The LONGSHOT PICK (22 4-1-2) Grand Sam (R6 #3 7-1 PT; 15-1 M/L) was up close early on, dropped back after a half mile, altered course to be four wide entering the stretch but lacked a rally to finish evenly in 5th.
Frankie Lovato’s JockeyWorld.orgracing term of the day is #132… “Good Bottom”
BALTIMORE, 05-09-13— While the Preakness is rightfully the centerpiece of the Pimlico spring meeting, sixteen (16) other stakes (six graded) for thoroughbreds will provide a weekend full of excitement for racing fans. A total of 499 horses were nominated to those added-money races.
The $500,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) and $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3) headline the Friday, May 17th card that features six other stakes races. Thirty-one three-year-old fillies were nominated to the Black-Eyed Susan, including Sagamore Farms Walkwithapurpose, who won a pair of stakes races at Laurel Park this winter. Thirty runners were nominated to the Pimlico Special, including Maryland-bred Richard’s Kid, who has earned $2.3 million and won three Grade 1 races.
When asked if there are any confirmed fillies for the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, Coleman “Coley” Blind, MJC’s Stakes Coordinator provided these… Emollient, Lady Banks, Manuka Honey, Maracuya and (possibly) Flashy Gray.
Thirty-five fillies were nominated to the $100,000 Miss Preakness Stakes. Thirty-two horses were nominated to the $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint, including 15-time stakes winner Ben’s Cat. Thirty-five female turf specialists were nominated to the $100,000 The Very One Stakes, while twenty-six were nominated to the $100,000 Skipat Stakes. Thirty-six three-year-old fillies were nominated to the $100,000 Hilltop Stakes and another sixteen to the $40,000 Kattegat’s Pride Starter Handicap for Maryland-breds.
The Pimlico racing office will draw the May 17th card on Sunday afternoon.
The Saturday, May 18 Preakness undercard features eight added money races, including four graded. Thirty-six top grass specialists were entered in the $300,000 Dixie Stakes (G2). Thirty-two fillies and mares were nominated to the $150,000 Gallorette Handicap (G3). The $150,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap (G3) features forty-one nominations. Twenty-five fillies and mares were nominated to the $150,000 Allaire duPont Distaff (G3). Thirty-three three-year-old sprinters were nominated to the $100,000 Chick Lang. Forty-four turf specialists were nominated to the $100,000 James Murphy. Twenty-eight two-year olds were nominated to the $75,000 Rollicking Stakes. There were nineteen Maryland-breds on the list for the $40,000 Deputed Testamony Starter Handicap.
The Pimlico racing office will draw the May 18 card on Wednesday, May 15th.
Recapping Pimlico Day 21 selections from Thursday 9-race card posted had 5 winners (3 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $3.80 (1st race), $3.80 (2nd), $2.40 (3rd), $11.80 (5th) and $5.80 (6th).
The BEST BET (20 8-3-2) Bert B Don (R2 #1 5-2 PT; 3-1 M/L) saved ground around the turn, swung out in upper stretch and rallied, but was no match for the 4-5 winner, settling for second to return $2.80 PLACE and $2.80 to SHOW.
The LONGSHOT PICK (20 4-1-2) Our Silver Crown (R4 #4 19-1 PT; 12-1 M/L) raced three wide turning for home, failed to rally and lugged in near the sixteenth pole to finish a well beaten 6th.
Less than 12 hours after the blanket of roses was removed from Kentucky Derby winner Orb, representatives from the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) were busy at Churchill Downs recruiting Derby runners for the second leg of the Triple Crown.
One of the first to commit to running in the Preakness and shipped in to Old Hilltop was Goldencents, 17th in the Derby. The 3-year-old son of Into Mischief, trained by Doug O’Neill is following the exact schedule as the 2012 Derby and Preakness winner, I’ll Have Another.
Goldencents arrived at Pimlico in the wee hours of Tuesday morning (1:30am) with assistant trainer Jack Sisterson and much of the same crew who handled I’ll Have Another while in Baltimore. The only diversion is the jockey. Last year Mario Gutierrez was the jockey, but this year Kevin Krigger got the call, as he is the only jockey who has ever ridden Goldencents in his seven career starts.
In an unusual move, Krigger came to Pimlico 10 days in advance of the Preakness to prepare, gallop and workout Goldencents. At the same time, Krigger is sacrificing mounts on the west coast in return for dedication to Team O’Neill. It’s a gamble the St. Croix native has no qualms taking.
As of this writing (Wednesday, May 8th) the list of Preakness contenders stand at 12, they are:
Goldencents (Krigger/O’Neill; 17th in KY Derby) – confirmed; arrived on May 7th
Orb (Rosario/McGaughey; 1st in KY Derby) – confirmed; will ship on May 14th
Departing (Hernandez/Stall; 1st in Illinois Derby) – confirmed; will ship on May 15th
Oxbow (Stevens/Lukas; 6th in KY Derby) – confirmed
Will Take Charge (M. Smith/Lukas; 8th in KY Derby) – confirmed
Itsmyluckyday (J. Velazquez/Plesa; 15th KY Derby) – confirmed
Titletown Five (Leparoux/Lukas; 4th in Derby Trial) – confirmed
Vyjack (TBA/Rodriguez;18th in KY Derby) – probable
Governor Charlie (TBA/Baffert; 1st in Sunland Derby) – possible; decision after workout on Sunday or Monday
Normandy Invasion (TBA/Brown; 4th in KY Derby) – possible; decision over the weekend
Mylute (Napravnik/Amoss; 5th in KY Derby) – possible; decision will be made Saturday
Street Spice (Sanchez/Geier; 5th in Illinois Derby) – possible; decision after weekend workout
Recapping Pimlico Day 20 selections from “Chalky” Sunday 10-race card posted had 6 winners (4 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $4.40 (2nd race), $8.00 (3rd), $3.80 (4th), $10.20 (5th), $4.00 (8th) and $2.60 (9th).
The BEST BET (19 8-2-2) Sir Cotton (R3 #5 3-1 PT; 2-1 M/L) received no early action at the betting windows (6-1) which is never a good sign for a 2-1 M/L. Come Post Time the foolish public thought they were getting a deal with those odds, and bet him down to 3-1, but he ran like a 6-1 or worse, racing along the rail towards the back, outrun beating just 1 rival in a six horse field.
The LONGSHOT PICK (19 4-1-2) Star Maneuver (R5 #7 13-1 PT; 20-1 M/L) was forwardly positioned early, turned for home in the four path while in contention to hit the board, but weakened in the final 1/16th to finish 4th.
It’s difficult to determine exactly when “Preakness Week” starts. If you use the traditional method (a calendar), “week” starts on Sunday. Webster’s Dictionary defines it as, “any of a series of 7-day cycles used in various calendars”. So there you have it, by definition, Preakness Week cannot officially start until Sunday, May 12th which 7 days from then is when the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes gets run.
Even though it is not yet Preakness Week , that doesn’t mean activities and festivities have not begun.
Lashé Speight, a seventh grader at Cross Country Elementary/Middle School, was announced as the grand prize winner of the 14th annual Preakness Portraits Youth Art Contest. Speight also captured top honors last year and becomes the first repeat Jewel winner in the history of the contest.
Students from eight Baltimore City area schools, grades K through 12, were invited to create artwork showing the significance of the Preakness to Maryland history, while capturing the spirit of thoroughbred racing. The artwork had to include Preakness related images.
As the winner of “The Jewel”, the best artwork for grades 5 through 12, Speight receives box seating for four at the Preakness, framed artwork autographed by this year’s Preakness winners, a $250 gift certificate and a presentation ceremony at the winner’s luncheon this afternoon.
“The Junior Jewel”, the best artwork for grades K through 4, went to Maiya Mone’t Hall, a fourth grader from Cross Country Elementary School.
Students from the Pimlico and surrounding area schools participated in the youth art contest.All the artwork is on display at Pimlico Race Course in the first floor grandstand through Preakness day.
To get all the Preakness news I’ll report concerning the Preakness horses, trainers, jockeys and/or any other “doings” at Pimlico worth reporting leading up to Preakness Day on Saturday, May 18th click hereto see which 10 3-year-olds are ”probable” to run in the Preakness Stakes. Rest assured that my infamous Pimlico race day selections will still be found right here.