Tag Archive | "Maryland Jockey Club"

Your Monday Reality Check: Could a Triple Crown be in “Orb-it”?

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Your Monday Reality Check: Could a Triple Crown be in “Orb-it”?

Posted on 06 May 2013 by Glenn Clark

LOUISVILLE — After the horses cross the finish line every year at the Kentucky Derby, there are inevitably two instinctual reactions. (Unless you attend the race at Churchill Downs, because then there’s actually three-the first being to say “wait, which horse was that?”)

Immediately after NBC’s Larry Collmus identifies the victor (and how fantastic was Collmus’ “ORRRRRRBBBBBBB” exclamation as the #16 horse made his move down the stretch Saturday?), both hardcore and casual racing fans alike try to identify whether or not they won any money on the race and then start to wonder “could this be the one?”

They’re of course wondering that in terms of whether or not the horse is capable of winning the sport’s elusive Triple Crown, a feat not accomplished since 1978 (Affirmed) and so desperately desired to be seen for a first time by a generation of fans. Perhaps making the wait more excruciating has been the heartbreak that has come with so many close calls during the 35 year span. The wrenching has just finally begun to wear off from last year’s near miss, as the Doug O’Neill trained I’ll Have Another was scratched just 24 hours ahead of his date with destiny in the Belmont Stakes after suffering a torn tendon.

Last year’s Belmont Stakes had been a hope to provide joy to millions but instead appeared more like a memorial service for an older friend. There was the attempt at celebration of a horse’s career but the disappointment of the end of the run was much more prevalent. The horse and trainer had skyrocketed to superstardom in the weeks between their unexpected victory at Churchill Downs and that difficult Friday press conference near the barns in New York.

But with another Derby champion comes another hope to see history.

The Maryland Jockey Club and everyone involved with Pimlico was served well by owner J. Paul Reddam’s decision to partner with O’Neill in sending I’ll Have Another to Baltimore very quickly after the Derby last year. (O’Neill will be doing the same thing this year with Goldencents, who finished a disappointing 17th in the Derby.) O’Neill became the honorary mayor of Charm City, taking in practice with the Baltimore Ravens, throwing out the first pitch with the Baltimore Orioles and showing up on as many media outlets as the MJC could dream possible. The stardom was in place before the horse ever claimed the Black-Eyed Susans.

That’s of course because the advantage we have in Baltimore is knowing that as long as nothing terrible happens with the Derby winner, we’ll always have a shot a Triple Crown alive and well on the third Saturday of May. There have been years where we’ve been smart enough to know the chance was a longshot (most notably when Mine That Bird won the Derby at 50-1 odds and had to face off against the horse’s own jockey Calvin Borel and Kentucky Oaks winner Rachel Alexandra in 2009), but there’s always the possibility.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Derby winner Orb to arrive for Preakness May 14

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Derby winner Orb to arrive for Preakness May 14

Posted on 05 May 2013 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE, 05-05-13—Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Orb is scheduled to arrive at Pimlico Race Course on Tuesday, May 14 to begin final preparations for the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes (G1) on Saturday, May 18.

Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey confirmed his plans to run the Malibu Moon colt in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown during a Sunday morning phone call with Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas and two other Preakness officials. Pimlico officials traditionally call the winner of the Kentucky Derby to extend a formal invitation to come to Baltimore.

“I’m looking forward to getting this process going again and running in the Preakness,” McGaughey said.

McGaughey has had two Preakness starters: Pine Circle, fifth in 1984; Easy Goer, who finished second to Sunday Silence after an epic battle in 1989.

“We are tickled to death with the way he ran yesterday and he seemed to come out of the race well,” added McGaughey. “I am looking forward to getting there. We had a great two weeks down here and I am sure our time at Pimlico will be every bit as good. We are planning on bringing him Tuesday of Preakness week.”

Orb, bred and owned by Maryland native Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable, won the Kentucky Derby by 2- 1/2 lengths after making a powerful move to the lead under jockey Joel Rosario. It was the first Derby victory for McGaughey, who has developed a number of champions during his distinguished career, including the unbeaten Personal Ensign.

Five runners that followed Orb to the wire in the Derby – Mylute (5th), Oxbow (6th), Will Take Charge (8th), Itsmyluckyday (15th) and Goldencents (17th) – are considered candidates to challenge Orb in the Preakness.

On the list of new shooters for the Preakness are Illinois Derby (G3) winner Departing, Sunland Derby (G3) winner Govenor Charlie, Southwest (G3) runner-up Fear the Kitten and allowance winner Bellarmine.

Orb, Oxbow, Will Take Charge, Goldencents and Departing are regarded as likely starters. Itsmyluckyday, Mylute, Govenor Charlie, Bellarmine and Fear the Kitten are possible starters for the 1 3/16ths mile race.

Goldencents, trained by 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Doug O’Neill, will be shipped to Pimlico this week. O’Neill broke with recent form last year and brought Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another to Baltimore two days after his Derby win. He said Sunday morning that he liked that experience and is anxious to send Goldencents and 10 other runners to Pimlico.

“He came out of it good and we’re going to do the right thing by the horse,” O’Neill said. “As long as he continues to do well, we’re going to try the Preakness.”

Team O’Neill could arrive in Baltimore as early as Tuesday, May 7.

O’Neill said that he has been impressed by Orb.

“I thought he ran great,” O’Neill said. “He’s a dynamite horse. He looked great on paper. He looked great in the flesh the whole week watching him train and he ran accordingly. He’s the real deal.”

That said, O’Neill is willing to tackle Orb again in two weeks.

“It’s what horse racing is all about,” he said. “They don’t hand you anything. As good as he is, if Goldencents rebounds and gets back to his Santa Anita Derby effort, I think we have a chance to be right there.”

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, a five-time winner of the Preakness, will be represented by LeComte (G3) winner Oxbow and Rebel (G2) winner Will Take Charge and acknowledged Sunday that Orb presents a tough challenge.

“We are all going to have to get better to beat him,” Lukas said, who has had at least one starter in 25 of the past 33 years. “I think the Preakness will be the biggest hurdle for him for the Triple Crown. If he gets by that, he gets to go back home to Belmont and run right out of his stall.”

Mylute, co-owned by GoldMark Farm and Whisper Hill Farm, acted like a horse who still had plenty of energy and his connections started thinking about the Preakness.

“We need a couple more days to think about it,” GoldMark Farm general manager Todd Quast said after he and trainer Tom Amoss checked on the Louisiana Derby runner-up in his stall. “You wouldn’t not want to go from what you see today, that’s for sure. When he came out of the Louisiana Derby he was so high that we worked him back eight days later. If he comes back with that kind of energy we have to seriously look at it.”

Mylute’s jockey Rosie Napravnik is looking forward to her first opportunity to ride in Maryland’s premier race. Napravnik began her career at Pimlico in June 2005 as a 17-year-old and built her reputation in Maryland. She was a regular rider in the state through 2008 and topped the jockey standings in 2006 and 2008.

“There’s no other race I would rather be in and win,” Napravnik said.

Only two female riders have had a Preakness mount: PJ Cooksey (1985) and Andrea Seefeldt (1994).

Trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr. said Itsmyluckyday was “60-40” for the Preakness after a disappointing performance in the Derby.

“We have to blame it on the (sloppy) race track. It’s not just making an excuse. He trained too well to run so bad,” Plesa said. “You could see where he was struggling with the racetrack all the way around. It wasn’t a case of soundness; it was a question of handling the racetrack.”

Itsmyluckyday is scheduled to ship to Monmouth Park Monday morning.

Departing has won four of five career starts for trainer Al Stall and the War Front gelding was confirmed as a Preakness horse Sunday morning. Stall said that Claiborne Farm principal Seth Hancock told him in a text at 9 a.m. before going to church that he was leaning toward running.

“He called me after church and said, ‘Let’s go forward,’” Stall said.

Departing, bred and co-owned by Claiborne and Adele Dilschneider, was on the Kentucky Derby trail until he finished third in the Louisiana Derby on March 30. The 3-1/4-length victory in the Illinois Derby on April 20 got him back on track to compete in the Triple Crown races.

“We were kind of pointing toward the Preakness no matter who was going to be there, really,” Stall said. “I was unbelievably impressed with the way Orb trained and the way he ran. He’s going to be a monster horse to try to beat. We just have our horse on a good schedule. He’s fresh. I wanted to get a work into  him before the Derby, which he did Thursday. We’re very excited how that went and how he came out of it too. All that went into our decision. That’s what made us firm it up today.”

Sagamore Farm’s Heat Press, who finished second in the Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico on April 27, is considered “unlikely” by trainer Graham Motion.

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Pimlico tightens security policies for Preakness after Boston attack

Posted on 30 April 2013 by WNST Staff

MARYLAND JOCKEY CLUB MODIFIES SECURITY POLICIES FOR 2013 PREAKNESS STAKES AND BLACK-EYED SUSAN DAYS

 

BALTIMORE, 04-30-13—The Maryland Jockey Club today announced it has modified the security policies for fans, employees and vendors who will enter Pimlico Race Course next month on Black-Eyed Susan and Preakness days, May 17-18.

 

The changes were made after consulting with law enforcement and public safety officials following the bombings during the Boston Marathon two weeks ago.

 

“Each year, we spend considerable time working with federal, state and local law enforcement and public safety agencies to ensure the safety of all our fans, which remains our number one priority. Collectively, we feel these changes will address concerns fans may have following the Boston tragedies,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. “We ask that everyone please read carefully our security procedures and policies, so that guests may enjoy Black-Eyed Susan and Preakness days in a safe and secure manner with a minimum of inconvenience.”

 

Preakness day ranks as one of the largest single-day sporting events in the United States. At least 100,000 have attended on-site in 10 of the last 12 years, including a record 121,309 in 2012.

 

The revised Preakness and Black-Eyed Susan days security and hospitality polices:

 

BANNED CARRY-IN ITEMS

 

BUILDING

INFIELD

   
No Duffle Bags - NEW No Back Packs - NEW
No Laser Lights or Pointers - NEW No Duffle Bags - NEW
No Cameras with Detachable Lenses - NEW No Coolers (Unless Cooler is CLEAR See-Through Plastic Container 28”L x 15”W x 17”H) - NEW
No Cameras with lenses more than 6” in Length - NEW No Laser Lights or Pointers - NEW
No Coolers (Unless Cooler is CLEAR See-Through Plastic Container 18” x 18”) No Cameras with Lenses More Than 6” in Length -NEW
No Back Packs No Cameras with Detachable Lenses - NEW
No Alcoholic Beverages No Beverages of ANY Kind (Cans, Bottles, Glass or Thermoses)
No Glass of Any Kind No Camcorders
No Camcorders No Tripods
No Tripods No Cameras Over 35 mm

No Tents

No Thermoses No Balloons or Balls
No Tents No Fireworks
No Balloons or Balls No Mace or Pepper Spray
No Fireworks No Grills
No Mace or Pepper Spray No Umbrellas
No Grills No Weapons
No Umbrellas No Wagons
No Weapons No Non-Folding or Folding Metal Furniture
No Wagons No Ladders, Scaffolding or Other Raised Devices
No Non-Folding or Folding Metal Furniture  
No Ladders, Scaffolding or other Raised Devices  

 

PERMITTED CARRY-IN ITEMS

BUILDING

INFIELD

   
Food Items in CLEAR, See-Through Plastic Containers No Larger Than 18”L x 18”H or CLEAR, See-Through Plastic Bags Food Items in CLEAR, See-Through Plastic Containers Not Larger than 28” L x 15”W x 17”H orCLEAR, See-Through Plastic Bags
Non-Alcoholic Beverages Individually Carried in Plastic Containers or Regular Sized Cans Purses (All Subject to Search)
Purses (All Subject to Search) Cellular Telephones, Smart Phones and Tablets
Cellular Telephones, Smart Phones and Tablets Binoculars
Binoculars Sunscreen (No Glass Container)
Sunscreen (No Glass Container) Beach Blankets
Beach Blankets Beach Tote Bags
Beach Tote Bags 35mm Cameras
35mm Cameras Lightweight Aluminum or Plastic Lawn Chairs or Umbrella Chairs (Tailgate or Camping chairs)
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

In addition, all fans who enter Pimlico on May 17 and 18 will be subject to an electronic wand search at all admission gates. All items carried into the track by persons passing through those gates are subject to search by law enforcement. Prohibited items removed during the admission process will not be held for retrieval.

“We urge fans to have an enjoyable time but if anything looks unusual or suspicious, do not hesitate to notify the proper authorities,” added Chuckas. “We upgraded the security policies and procedures prior to the 2002 Preakness after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 and again in 2009 when we changed the infield policy regarding bringing alcohol into the Public infield. The safety of the fans will always be our number one priority.”

Coolers and ice will be available for purchase in the public infield. For additional information, please visit www.preakness.com.

 

About Pimlico Race Course

Historic Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness® Stakes, the middle jewel in horse racing’s famed Triple Crown, first opened its doors on October 25, 1870, and is the second oldest racetrack in the United States. Pimlico has played host to racing icons and Baltimoreans have seen the likes of legendary horses such as Man o’ War, Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Affirmed and Cigar thunder down the stretch in thrilling and memorable competition. For more information on Pimlico, visit www.pimlico.com.

 

Pimlico Race Course is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida and is one of North America’s top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world’s largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; Xpressbet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horse racing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America’s premier supplier of virtual online horse racing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.

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Pimlico press box renamed to honor Kelly

Posted on 21 April 2013 by WNST Staff

PIMLICO PRESS BOX RENAMED SUNDAY AFTERNOON

 

BALTIMORE, 04-21-13—Before Sunday’s first race, the Pimlico Race Course press box was renamed to include Joe Kelly, who covered horse racing for nearly 70 years prior to his passing in November at the age of 94. The Red Smith-Joe Kelly Press Box will be at full capacity next month for the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes.

 

Kelly began his career at the Baltimore Sun in the 1940s then moved to the Washington Star in 1955 where he spent the next 26 years. After retiring, he became the publicity director for the Maryland Million and was Pimlico Race Course’s historical consultant until his death.

“Nobody spent more time in the Pimlico press box,” said Mike Gathagan, Pimlico’s vice president of communications. “We felt it was important to honor Mr. Kelly, so the next generations of turf writers know what he meant to this place. He was a tremendous resource and positive influence. We just finished our third week of the spring meet and it is weird not to see him in his office or in the chair where he sat while wagering each afternoon.”

On October 30, 1947 Kelly was part of Baltimore’s first live remote television broadcast on WMAR-TV, when he called the fifth and sixth races at Pimlico with his then colleague Jim McKay. He is also the only two-time winner of the Old Hilltop Award for excellence in horse racing coverage, winning in 1979 and 2000.

Twenty-members of the Kelly family, including five of his six children and four of his five grandchildren attended the dedication.

 

“This truly is a great honor for him,” said Kelly’s son Jacques. “He spent 69 years in this press box and adored Pimlico. For him Pimlico was a very personal place. Joe had a fabulous memory and always had stories to tell about it. Just when you thought you heard them all, you heard one more. This is also where my parents courted. Not only did they court here but they also brought all their friends. This is very emotional for me. I hate to say it but it is the truth, more so than the funeral or other honors (since his passing) because this is his home turf.”

 

Smith covered the Preakness Stakes for more than 40 years, first with the New York Herald Tribune and then for the New York Times. In 1976, Smith was one of the initial winners of Pimlico Race Course’s Old Hilltop Award for covering Thoroughbred Racing with excellence and distinction. The Pimlico press box was named in his honor on May 14, 1982, four months after his death.

ORTIZ INJURED IN SUNDAY SPILL

Apprentice rider Yomar Ortiz was injured when he fell from his mount during the stretch run in today’s fifth race at Pimlico. Ortiz was riding Badon when his mount broke down closing in on the finish in the five furlong turf race for $35,000 claimers. Ortiz was on the ground when he was struck by Gator Gone Wild, a trailing horse. The 21-year old was taken to nearby Sinai Hospital for x-rays near the hip and femur areas on his left leg, according to Pimlico medical director Dr. Harry Harris.

 

Ortiz leads the rider standings after three weeks of the spring meeting with 13 trips to the winners’ circle, after capturing the Laurel Park winter meet title earlier this year.

 

Badon suffered a right ankle injury and was humanely euthanized, according to Maryland Racing Commission veterinarian Dr. David Zipf.

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Secretariat 40th anniversary to be recognized Preakness week

Posted on 17 April 2013 by WNST Staff

MARYLAND JOCKEY CLUB ANNOUNCES SPECIAL PREAKNESS EVENTS TO COMMEMORATE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF SECRETARIAT’S TRIPLE CROWN CAMPAIGN

 Preakness & Black-Eyed Susan Appearance, AFI Silver Theatre Screening & ESPN Roundtable Highlights 

 

BALTIMORE, 04-17-13—Secretariat’s legendary Triple Crown campaign in 1973 has marveled three generations of racing fans, fascinated by the mark he left on history and his stunning performances that rewrote the record books. “Big Red’s” 40th Anniversary Celebration continues on this season’s Triple Crown trail with special events and appearances by the Meadow Stable team at the Black-Eyed Susan and Preakness.

 

Tickets are available for festivities that begin Tuesday, May 14 at 6:30 p.m.,  when a live taping of ESPN’s In the GateThoroughbred racing podcast series comes to the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, MD. Hosted by Barry Abrams, the Roundtable Discussion, “Secretariat’s 40th Anniversary,” will feature Secretariat’s owner Penny Chenery and jockey Ron Turcotte and offer an in-depth conversation about the phenomenon that was Secretariat, as well as the now-settled controversy of his record-breaking race time in the Preakness. Audience participation will be encouraged for the Roundtable Discussion, which will subsequently be available on ESPN.com leading up to Preakness day. The panel includes Secretariat: The Making of a Champion author Bill Nack, journalist Steve Davidowitz, Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas and members of the Maryland Racing Commission among others.

 

At 7:30 p.m., immediately following the ESPN podcast, the National Film Board of Canada will present the highly anticipated documentary Secretariat’s Jockey-Ron Turcotte . This touching film, directed by award-winning filmmaker Phil Comeau and produced by Maryse Chapdelaine, follows Turcotte as he returns to the people and places that marked the storied life of this resilient and legendary jockey, whose  impressive 16-year career in the irons ended in 1978 when a fall left him paraplegic.

 

A VIP reception at 9 p.m. will toast this incredible evening with appearances from the Meadow Team and Roundtable panel, as well as the Maryland Horse Industry Board’s presentation of its May “Touch of Class” Awards. The awards, presented monthly by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and Secretary of Agriculture, recognize individuals or horses who demonstrate national or international excellence.

 

“It is a privilege to honor the greatness of the magnificent Secretariat at each and every one of his pivotal anniversaries,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. “The celebration of his 40th is even sweeter following the official confirmation last year that Big Red did, in fact, set a track record with his 1973 Preakness win.  Secretariat’s star power is timeless, as his legion of fans can well attest.”

 

“The Maryland Jockey Club has been most gracious in pulling together such an enriching event,” Mrs. Chenery said. “I am very much looking forward to an engaging panel discussion hosted by ESPN, seeing the documentary film about Ronnie and sharing this memorable occasion with friends and fans.”

 

Tickets for the May 14 trio of events which include the ESPN Roundtable, AFI film screening and VIP reception, can be purchased for $50 through www.secretariat.com. A special discounted rate of $25 is available for children 14 and under.

 

Secretariat fans can enjoy more of the 40th Anniversary Celebration when it continues Black-Eyed Susan Day, May 17, and Preakness Day, May 18, at Pimlico Race Course. Members of the Meadow Stable team including Turcotte and exercise rider Charlie Davis as well as Nack are currently scheduled to host an autograph signing and meet and greet both days. Secretariat enthusiasts can also purchase an assortment of official Secretariat merchandise and memorabilia at the Secretariat Tent.

 

For more information about tickets or the Secretariat 40th Anniversary Celebration and scheduled events, go online to Secretariat.com, the official website for the legendary Thoroughbred champion and visit www.blackeyedsusanday.com and www.preakness.com for full details.

 

Secretariat 40th Anniversary: Preakness

 

Tuesday, May 14,

AFI Silver Theatre

8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD

ESPN Roundtable Podcast Taping, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Ron Turcotte Film Screening, 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Reception, Meet & Greet and Touch of Class Awards , 9 p.m.

Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18,

Pimlico Race Course

Meadow Team Stable Appearances

Secretariat Tent

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Afrojack, Rodney Atkins join Preakness weekend music lineup

Posted on 12 April 2013 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE, 04-12-13—The Maryland Jockey Club today announced that Afrojack will open the main stage at 2013 Preakness InfieldFest on Saturday, May 18 at Pimlico Race Course, while Rodney Atkins and Rachel Farley will perform at the Black-Eyed Susan concert a day earlier, May 17.

In the span of less than two years, Afrojack has become one of electronic dance music’s major icons. From humble DJ beginnings in his native country of Holland, he has grown to become a multi-award winning, platinum-selling producer. He made a name for himself with a slew of hard-hitting underground releases, before exploding in 2011 with the unveiling of “Take Over Control”, an instant worldwide club and chart hit that went platinum in the United States. Additional information can be found at http://afrojack.com, http://facebook.com/djafrojack and http://twitter.com/djafrojack.

Atkins has six #1 songs on his resume, including “If You’re Going Through Hell”, which was named Billboard Country Single of the Year in 2006. The 44-year-old, who was named the Country Music Association’s Top New Male Vocalist in 2007, most recently topped the charts with “Take A Back Road”. Additional information can be found at http://www.rodneyatkins.com/,https://www.facebook.com/rodneyatkins and https://twitter.com/RodneyAtkins. 

Farley’s debut single, “Ain’t Easy”, already ranks in the top 40 on the country charts. The 17-year-old Brantley Gilbert protégé was recently signed by Red Bow Records. Her debut album is due this summer. Rachel Farley’s performance is presented by Red Bow Records. Additional information can be found at http://www.rachelfarleymusic.com,https://www.facebook.com/rachelfarleymusic and https://twitter.com/rachelfarley.

“We are thrilled to showcase some of music’s finest artists, both on Black-Eyed Susan Day and at the Preakness InfieldFest,” said Pimlico president Tom Chuckas. “Premier music at Pimlico has now become a signature feature of our brand on both days, where fans can enjoy the finest in Thoroughbred racing, along with an unparalleled entertainment experience, at the one of the nation’s largest and most cherished weekends in sports.”

Pitbull and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis will headline the main stage with Chevelle, Florida Georgia Line and Kristen and the Noise performing on the Jägermeister stage. The annual running of the Preakness Stakes (G1) is an American institution. First contested in 1873, it is one of thoroughbred horse racing’s most valued Grade 1 stakes races. Now one of the largest single-day sporting events in the United States, “The People’s Race…The People’s Party” has hosted up to 121,309 for the pivotal middle jewel of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown. Additional information can be found on www.preakness.com.

Grammy-nominated Goo Goo Dolls will headline the first-ever Preakness eve concert at Pimlico on Black-Eyed Susan day Friday, May 17. Pimlico partners with the Maryland Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, for the The People’s Pink Party  on Black-Eyed Susan day, an event that launched in 2010 to raise funds and aid awareness and research for breast cancer. The day includes a 13-race program, headlined by the 89th running of $500,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) and the $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3). Additional information can be found at www.blackeyedsusanday.com.

 

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Meet Gabby Gaudet, On-Air Guest Handicapper on Saturday at Laurel Park

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Meet Gabby Gaudet, On-Air Guest Handicapper on Saturday at Laurel Park

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Gary Quill

This is the final entry of my 4 part series to provide thoroughbred horse racing fans a glimpse at the four (4) candidates the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) has selected to be Frank Carulli’s replacement as the on-air television host during Laurel Park and Pimlico Meets. If you read “Part 1”, feel free to skip down to “Now let’s meet…”. If not, the candidates are Ryan Fogelsonger, Dylan Smith, Jacqueline “Jackie” Savoye and Gabrielle “Gabby” Gaudet. Kudos to MJC for seeking to allure the “Gen Y” crowd as the average age of these four finalists for the job is 25½.

Since 2002, Carulli has been the Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park handicapper and racing analyst, but will leave MJC at the conclusion of the Pimlico spring meet (June 8th), relocating to Las Vegas. Considered one of the best in the business in making the Morning Line (Odds), those duties will be handed over to Equibase chart caller Keith Feustle, when live racing resumes in September at Laurel Park. Feustle can be seen on the “Today At The Races” pre-race show on the Maryland simulcast signal with his co-host, track announcer Dave Rodman.

The brain-trust at MJC decided to give each candidate the opportunity to showcase their talent on-air as part of the interview process. So this week (March 20-23) at Laurel Park, each has one day to prove themselves worthy of filling Carulli’s shoes. Gabby Gaudet gets the final on-air say Saturday (Mar. 23rd) as the other 3 preceded her this week. Ryan Fogelsonger did the duties on Wednesday (Mar. 20th), Dylan Smith followed suit on Thursday (Mar. 21st) and Jackie Savoye provided her insight on Friday (Mar. 22nd).

This past Saturday at Laurel Park, I spent a few moments with each of the contenders, to get to know a bit more about them, so I could introduce them to you. All were very impressive and enthusiastic to face the on-air challenge ahead of them. One shared, “It’s kind of weird, this live on-air audition and knowing the other applicants that you’re up against for the job. It feels like American Idol”.

Not quite American Idol because the decision on who will be hired as the new on-air racing analyst is solely an internal (MJC) one. There will be no fan voting, but your feedback is welcomed and should be directed to Mike Gathagan, MJC’s V.P. of Communications at mike.gathagan@marylandracing.com.

I don’t envy the MJC decision-makers. It will certainly be a tough call. I wonder if they would entertain a co-host format? It seems to work at other tracks having two people banter about versus one speaking directly into the camera. Just food for thought.

Now let’s meet… Gabby Gaudet

Gabby Gaudet, the 22-year-old daughter of longtime conditioners Eddie and Linda Gaudet and younger sister of trainer Lacey Gaudet, is on track (no pun intended) to graduate this Spring from Towson University, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication with a minor in Graphic Design.

When your last name is immediately associated with Maryland racing, it’s only natural to feel the pressure to be involved in the family business. ”My Mom and Dad have definitely been extremely influential in my life, not only in horse racing but growing up in general. When I was younger, my Mom home schooled me and my sister throughout middle school, in between the hectic demands of (horse) training. I decided to go back to (a traditional) school for 8th grade, got my exercise riders license when I was 16 to help my parents out during the weekends and summer vacation, and I continued to do that as a part-time job throughout college”, explained Gabby.

Riding horses wasn’t her only athletic talent. Gabby was quite the soccer player and received offers from multiple D-1 schools, but home was where her heart was, which opened doors to combine her college major with her love for horses. “I would say that last winter was really the turning point for me when I decided to get really involved, especially in the media side of horse racing. I began interning for Maryland Horse Radio on Tuesday nights, contributing to Maryland Horse newsletters and participated in a lot of events throughout Preakness season”, recalled Gaudet as she reached into her memory bank of accomplishments.

Stepping out of the shadows of being Lacey’s “little sister” as well as her comfort zone (Maryland), Gabby was able to establish her own identity in New York. “This past summer I got the opportunity of a lifetime to move to Saratoga for the meet and write for The Saratoga Special newspaper. There, I made some really great racing contacts and got to experience racing from a new perspective. I had to interview trainers, owners and jockeys daily and then write articles on them (e.g. pre-stakes/post-stakes interviews, race recaps, and human interest stories). I loved every minute of it”, then added with a snicker, “When my sister (Lacey) came up to visit, people were referring to her as, Gabby’s big sister”.

Recently the petite brunette spoke with ESPN/ABC Sports reporter Jeannine Edwards about facing the camera, saying “Jeannine gave me some really good advice… I can provide my personal insights. The way I see it is that every horse, every trainer, every race has a story. For example, some may look at the program and see a horse that has been laid off for 6 months and wonder why? Having a journalistic background, I‘ll find out as much information about the “story” and report it to the fans”.

Admittedly, when this 55-year-old @HorseRacingNut read about Frank Carulli’s planned departure via MJC’s MArch 13th press release, I was miffed that the conditions of this competition seemed, to use a horse racing term, “restricted”. Quickly convincing myself that ol’ GQ was about 30 years too old to be considered for the on-air Racing Analyst position, and couldn’t agree more with Gabby who stated, “I love that the MJC is getting young people into the sport. I really think it’s a great idea. I’m very passionate about horse racing and I want to bring all ages and all backgrounds (as many people as possible) in and show them what makes this sport so special”.

Lil Gabby in Saddle

To describe Gabby Gaudet in one word, it would be Charm. She possesses an infectious smile that can light up a room. Not a bad quality to have when thousands of horseplayers will be hanging on every word you utter before they head to the betting window.

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Meet Jackie Savoye, On-Air Guest Handicapper on Friday at Laurel Park

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Meet Jackie Savoye, On-Air Guest Handicapper on Friday at Laurel Park

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Gary Quill

This is Part 3 in my 4 part series to provide thoroughbred horse racing fans a glimpse at the four (4) candidates the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) has selected to be Frank Carulli’s replacement as the on-air television host during Laurel Park and Pimlico Meets. If you have already read “Part 1”, feel free to skip down to “Now let’s meet…”. If not, read on. The candidates are Ryan Fogelsonger, Dylan Smith, Jacqueline “Jackie” Savoye and Gabrielle “Gabby” Gaudet. Kudos to MJC for seeking to allure the “Gen Y” crowd as the average age of these four finalists for the job is 25½.

Since 2002, Carulli has been the Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park handicapper and racing analyst, but will leave MJC at the conclusion of the Pimlico spring meet (June 8th), relocating to Las Vegas. Considered one of the best in the business in making the Morning Line (Odds), those duties will be handed over to Equibase chart caller Keith Feustle, when live racing resumes in September at Laurel Park. Feustle can be seen on the “Today At The Races” pre-race show on the Maryland simulcast signal with his co-host, track announcer Dave Rodman.

The brain-trust at MJC decided to give each candidate the opportunity to showcase their talent on-air as part of the interview process. So this week (March 20-23) at Laurel Park, each has one day to prove themselves worthy of filling Carulli’s shoes. On Friday (Mar. 22nd), Jackie Savoye will put her personal handicapping touch on display as will Gabby Gaudet on Saturday (Mar. 23rd). Ryan Fogelsonger and Dylan Smith completed their on-air “audition” on Wednesday (Mar. 20th) and Thursday (Mar. 21st), respectively.

This past Saturday at Laurel Park, I spent a few moments with each of the contenders, to get to know a bit more about them, so I could introduce them to you. All were very impressive and enthusiastic to face the on-air challenge ahead of them. One shared, “It’s kind of weird, this live on-air audition and knowing the other applicants that you’re up against for the job. It feels like American Idol”.

Not quite American Idol because the decision on who will be hired as the new on-air racing analyst is solely an internal (MJC) one. There will be no fan voting, but your feedback is welcomed and should be directed to Mike Gathagan, MJC’s V.P. of Communications at mike.gathagan@marylandracing.com.

I don’t envy the MJC decision-makers. It will certainly be a tough call. I wonder if they would entertain a co-host format? It seems to work at other tracks having two people banter about versus one speaking directly into the camera. Just food for thought.

Now let’s meet…  jACKIE sAVOYE

Jackie Savoye, currently an assistant trainer for Dale Capuano. The 25-year-old South River High School graduate did on-air work a couple years ago at Gulfstream Park with Alyssa Ali and Caton Bredar. She followed that by teaming up with TVG’s Paul Lo Duca and Christina Oliveras (now with HRTV with last name of Blacker via marriage) at Monmouth Park during their Million Dollar Meet, conducting off-camera interviews.

Horses have been a big part of Jackie’s life for as long as she can remember, “I started riding at a young age at pony camps then got involved in the Annapolis pony club and took up foxhunting almost full time. That’s such a fun event. At 18, I went to work for Jason Cole in southern Maryland breaking babies. That provided such a great foundation of learning the racehorses and bringing them up. Jason sent me to Bowie (race track training center) to learn to gallop and from there I worked for Gary Capuano and the Gaudet’s (Eddie and Linda). I was hired by Dale in the spring of 2008 and he sent me all over the east coast with strings for him”. 

The handicapping aspect of the job does not intimidate her in the least, “I can apply my knowledge of horse racing and what I have learned in the claiming game to handicapping. I work for a top claiming trainer and one of the best horseman and businessman I know in this business. I see a lot of different horses come in and out of the barn, so I’ve learned how to train and understand why and where Dale enters them”.

Savoye isn’t shy when it comes to expressing her thoughts on how to attract her peers to the Sport of Kings, pointing out, ”Being young and involved in thoroughbred racing is such a great opportunity for anybody. It’s a fun sport and the young crowd doesn’t realize it, which is where one of us comes in. I can relate to college kids who want to come out and enjoy a day at the races. Show them maybe a small bet and why they would pick that horse. We need fun things at the track to attract a younger group. Things like live bands, contests, and let’s face it… beer drinking!”.

The horse racing community is filled with hard working individuals and families whose work day begins long before the sun comes up and ends long after it sets. For ”Gen Y” individuals like these four (4) applicants, that means not much of a social life outside of their horse racing family. There also seems to be a special bond among them, as they are all “in the same boat’, but enjoying every minute of it.

“It’s a very exciting job opportunity and I do hope I get it”, Jackie said with guarded optimism, then revealed, “Gabby (Gaudet) is actually my roommate. She’s a great person and very smart. So if she got the job I would be very happy for her”. Talk about being in a tough situation, well that’s only half of it, as she continued, “My other roommate is my best friend, Lacey, who happens to be Gabby’s big sister”.

Jackie Savoye

To describe Jackie Savoye in one word, it would be Poise. Seeing her ability to handle her equine “children” in the paddock and immediately refocus her attention to the anxious owner, indicates to me that the lights and camera will not test her nerves, but rather make her shine.

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Meet Dylan Smith, On-Air Guest Handicapper on Thursday at Laurel Park

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Meet Dylan Smith, On-Air Guest Handicapper on Thursday at Laurel Park

Posted on 20 March 2013 by Gary Quill

This is Part 2 of my 4 part series to provide thoroughbred horse racing fans a glimpse at the four (4) candidates the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) has selected to be Frank Carulli’s replacement as the on-air television host during Laurel Park and Pimlico Meets. If you’ve already read “Part 1”, feel free to skip down to “Now let’s meet…”. If not, on read. The candidates are Ryan Fogelsonger, Dylan Smith, Jacqueline “Jackie” Savoye and Gabrielle “Gabby” Gaudet. Kudos to MJC for seeking to allure the “Gen Y” crowd as the average age of these four finalists for the job is 25½.

Since 2002, Carulli has been the Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park handicapper and racing analyst, but will leave MJC at the conclusion of the Pimlico spring meet (June 8th), relocating to Las Vegas. Considered one of the best in the business in making the Morning Line (Odds), those duties will be handed over to Equibase chart caller Keith Feustle, when live racing resumes in September at Laurel Park. Feustle can be seen on the “Today At The Races” pre-race show on the Maryland simulcast signal with his co-host, track announcer Dave Rodman.

The brain-trust at MJC decided to give each candidate the opportunity to showcase their talent on-air as part of the interview process. So this week (March 20-23) at Laurel Park, each have one day to prove themselves worthy of filling Carulli’s shoes. On Thursday, Dylan Smith gets her chance to wooo Maryland horseplayers with her handicapping prowess. Then on Friday (Mar. 22nd) it’s Jackie Savoye’s turn and Gabby Gaudet completes the on-air superfecta on Saturday (Mar. 23rd). Ryan Fogelsonger completed his “audition” on Wednesday (Mar. 20th).

This past Saturday at Laurel Park, I spent a few moments with each of the contenders, to get to know a bit more about them, so I could introduce them to you. All were very impressive and enthusiastic to face the on-air challenge ahead of them. One shared, “It’s kind of weird, this live on-air audition and knowing the other applicants that you’re up against for the job. It feels like American Idol”.

Not quite American Idol because the decision on who will be hired as the new Racing Analyst is solely an internal (MJC) one. There will be no fan voting, but your feedback is welcomed and should be directed to Mike Gathagan, MJC’s V.P. of Communications at mike.gathagan@marylandracing.com.

I don’t envy the MJC decision-makers. It will certainly be a tough call. I wonder if they would entertain a co-host format? It seems to work at other tracks having two people banter about versus one speaking directly into the camera. Just some food for thought.    

Dylan SmithNow let’s meet…

Dylan Smith, 24, has been working as an assistant for trainer Dickie Small since graduating from Kennedy High School in the Washington D.C. suburbs in 2006.

“(I’m) definitely a track-oholic and horse-oholic”, Smith proudly declared. “I am at the races all day, every race day. I gallop in the morning, then shower in the girl’s jocks room where I then get scratches, study, and make my final picks for the day. Next I listen to Talking Horses in NYRA then watch Dave (Rodman) & Keith (Feustle) at Laurel and jot down their opinions. I’m at the races for the full card. Afterwards I go home where I watch more races from across the country until I fall asleep”.

When asked at what age did she catch the horse racing bug, Dylan reflected, “I learned when I was very young, couldn’t have been older than 6 or 7, how to read a program and (Daily Racing) Form from my Dad. He started bringing me to the track when I was little…and I was obsessed even then. My Dad really gets the credit for bringing me to the track and getting me hooked. He always answered questions and just watching what he looked at on paper and how he bet taught me so much”.

Not only does Smith understand horses physically and the art of handicapping, but she also has strong opinions on what horseplayers want from a track handicapper. With The Form tucked under her arm, the slender blonde explained, “I hang around and learn from the people that bet a lot of money. I see firsthand where they like to put their dollars and what they look for when making their selections. I think it is a huge advantage to know how to bet because the ultimate goal for the track handicapper is to get money into the bettor’s pockets (giving them the ability to play more races, which increases the tracks handle). I can dig up useful information that I know a lot of people would be interested in hearing when putting together a ticket. People don’t want a repeat of what you can see in The Form. They want you to go the extra mile to find what they can’t see”.

Though she’s short on media experience, Dylan has certainly done her homework in preparation for Thursday’s on-air debut. “I watch Frank (Carulli) very closely and have been working with him for months trying to pick up on everything he does. He’s very good at morning line odds, and he really takes a lot of time and does lots of research when making his picks”. Smith sought assistance outside of Maryland, adding, “I also got to spend a day with NYRA’s Andy Serling who was great. He is just fantastic and does all his homework. He’s prepared every day and gave me some good pointers”.

Dylan Smith breezing

To describe Dylan Smith in one word, it would be Horse-oholic. By her own admission, “It’s a little obsessive, but I literally watch all tracks and all types of horses (Harness and Quarter, too). I don’t like to miss any action at any track in the country. I have a non-existent social life outside of the track because I am so wrapped up in the racing world. It may sound pitiful, but I love it and wouldn’t have it any other way”. Not so pitiful from my point of view because she seems to be a terrific asset to the Maryland horse racing community.

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Meet Ryan Fogelsonger, On-Air Guest Handicapper on Wednesday at Laurel Park

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Meet Ryan Fogelsonger, On-Air Guest Handicapper on Wednesday at Laurel Park

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Gary Quill

This is Part 1 in my 4 part series to provide thoroughbred horse racing fans a glimpse at the four (4) candidates the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) has selected to be Frank Carulli’s replacement as the on-air television host during Laurel Park and Pimlico Meets. They are Ryan Fogelsonger, Dylan Smith, Jacqueline “Jackie” Savoye and Gabrielle “Gabby” Gaudet. Kudos to MJC for seeking to allure the “Gen Y” crowd as the average age of these four finalists for the job is 25½.

Since 2002, Carulli has been the Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park handicapper and racing analyst, but will leave MJC at the conclusion of the Pimlico spring meet (June 8th), relocating to Las Vegas. Considered one of the best in the business in making the Morning Line (Odds), those duties will be handed over to Equibase chart caller Keith Feustle, when live racing resumes in September at Laurel Park. Feustle can be seen on the “Today At The Races” pre-race show on the Maryland simulcast signal with his co-host, track announcer Dave Rodman.

The brain-trust at MJC decided to give each candidate the opportunity to showcase their talent on-air as part of the interview process. So this week (March 20-23) at Laurel Park, each will have one day to prove themselves worthy of filling Carulli’s shoes. First up on Wednesday (Mar. 20th) is Ryan Fogelsonger. Dylan Smith will tackle the Thursday (Mar. 21st) card, Jackie Savoye will be on-air Friday (Mar. 22nd) and Gabby Gaudet gets a crack at the Saturday (Mar. 23rd) card.

This past Saturday at Laurel Park, I spent a few moments with each of the contenders, to get to know a bit more about them, so I could introduce them to you. All were very impressive and enthusiastic to face the on-air challenge ahead of them. One shared, “It’s kind of weird, this live on-air audition and knowing the other applicants that you’re up against for the job. It feels like American Idol”.

Not quite American Idol because the decision on who will be hired as the new on-air racing analyst is solely an internal (MJC) one. There will be no fan voting, but your feedback is welcomed and should be directed to Mike Gathagan, MJC’s V.P. of Communications at mike.gathagan@marylandracing.com.

I don’t envy the MJC decision-makers. It will certainly be a tough call. I wonder if they would entertain a co-host format? It seems to work at other tracks having two people banter about versus one speaking directly into the camera. Just food for thought.

Now let’s meet…  

Ryan FogelsongerRyan Fogelsonger, 31, currently a journeyman jockey, winner of 1,303 races in his career, captured eight (8) riding titles at the Maryland tracks, and was the 2002 Eclipse Award winning apprentice. He has not ridden since early November when he suffered a concussion during a spill. But this gig does not require riding skills, and Ryan is thankful for that, as he views this opportunity as his chance to start a second career.

“Let’s face it. I’m 31, I don’t have a college degree and this (horses) is all I know.”, Fogelsonger stated with a boyish grin.

Well no sheepskin can compare to the energy level and love he has for horses, which didn’t start until age 18. Ryan explained, “I was a track star in high school. One day a buddy of mine said, “You’re the perfect size to be a jockey. I know a trainer… maybe you should talk to him…”. So he agreed and added, “What was supposed to be a 15 minute talk turned into two (2) hours… and the rest is history”. The trainer who met with him that day was Dale Capuano.

When asked what his favorite riding memory is, Ryan took a few moments to search into his memory bank, shook his head and stated, “Just riding horses who loved to run and being a part of it”.

Ok, so we know he can ride and loves horses. So do the other three (Dylan, Jackie and Gabby). But can he command the attention of the horseplayer, looking for “short-term investment” (aka wagering) advice? The answer: No doubt! His confidence borders on cockiness, and he expressed his fondness for being in the spotlight, something he’s ready to tackle on Wednesday as the on-air guest handicapper at Laurel Park.

          Ryan Fogelsonger winning

To describe Ryan Fogelsonger in one word, it would be Confident. After all, when first asked about this opportunity to showcase his on-air and handicapping talent, he exclaimed, “I’m going to kill it”!

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