Tag Archive | "preakness"

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Legendary jockey Dominguez to be honored Preakness week

Posted on 13 April 2014 by WNST Staff

DOMINGUEZ HEADLINES 2014 ALIBI BREAKFAST AWARD WINNERS

BALTIMORE, 04-11-14—Pimlico Race Course today announced the winners of this year’s Preakness media awards. Honorees will be recognized and awards presented at the May 15 Alibi Breakfast in the Terrace Dining Room. The ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m., two days prior to the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, the $1.5 million Preakness® Stakes (G1).

The Special Award of Merit is given to someone who has made a positive impact on the racing industry. The 2014 winner is Ramon Dominguez. Dominguez, who retired last June retired with 4,985 career victories and earnings of $191.6 million, was a regular rider at Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park early in his career. The three-time Eclipse Award winner for outstanding rider arrived in Maryland in 2000 and won 1,012 races at the major Maryland tracks over the next five years, including 297 victories in 2001. He earned his first Grade 1 score when he guided A Huevo to victory in the 2003 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash.

“I am very proud to be presented The Special Award of Merit,” Dominguez said. “It has been an honor to be part of horse racing in Maryland, a place where I have great memories as well as friends that I will always treasure.”

Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred reporter Sean Clancy is the recipient of the David F. Woods Award for his feature centering around jockey Gary Stevens’ return to glory. Clancy becomes the first writer to win the award four times, previously earning the honor in 2004, 2007-08. The Woods Award honors the best story for the previous year. Judging was done by Preakness notes team members Ed Gray, Mike Kane and Matt Graves, all award winning turf writers.

Getty Images photographer Patrick Smith is the winner of the Jerry Frutkoff Preakness Photo Award, sponsored by Nikon. Smith captured a fist-pumping Stevens after Oxbow crossed the finish line first in Preakness 138 last May. Judging was completed by Nikon’s Mark Kettenhofen and Maryland Jockey Club photographers Jim McCue and Jerry Dzierwinski.

The prestigious Old Hilltop Award will be bestowed upon WJZ-TV sports director Mark Viviano  and HRTV executive producer and senior vice president Amy Zimmerman for covering Thoroughbred racing with excellence and distinction. Viviano will be working his 17th Preakness next month. Under Zimmerman’s guidance, HRTV has either won or received honorable mention for the Eclipse Award for National Television Feature eight consecutive years.

The Honorary Postmaster for Preakness 139 Station is Laurel Park-based trainer Tim Keefe, who competed in Ironman Triathlons two of the last three years to help raise money for horse-related charities.

Most Rev. William Lori, the Archbishop of Baltimore, will provide the invocation for the third straight year.

The Alibi Breakfast is a popular fixture of Preakness week festivities, starting in the late 1930s on the porch of the historical Pimlico Clubhouse when a group of trainers, owners and other dignitaries would gather in the mornings to expound upon the merits of their horses. Today’s event is a descendant of the original gathering to celebrate the event and solicit interesting race predictions.

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Switchfoot, Eli Young Band added to Preakness concert lineup

Posted on 21 March 2014 by WNST Staff

SWITCHFOOT, ELI YOUNG BAND, SUNDY BEST & GO GO GADJET ADDED TO PREAKNESS INFIELD CONCERT LINEUP

Bands Will Play On Jägermeister Stage May 17 At Pimlico Race Course

BALTIMORE, 03-21-14—The Maryland Jockey Club today announced Switchfoot, Eli Young Band, Sundy Best and Go Go Gadjet will perform on the Jägermeister stage on Saturday, May 17 at Pimlico Race Course, prior to the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes (G1).

Last month it was revealed that Grammy Award winner Lorde will headline the main stage on Preakness Day. The additional main stage performers will be announced shortly.

The “Preakness Concert Series” also includes performances by Counting Crows, The Fray and Annie Bosko in the infield on Black-Eyed Susan Day, Friday, May 16.

The Jägermeister stage is a big part of what we do on Preakness Day,” Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas said.“Florida Georgia Line and Little Big Town have performed the last two years and each earned multiple awards that same year, so we are striving to bring the best bands to Baltimore.”

Acclaimed San Diego rock band Switchfoot has seen multi-platinum success over its 17-year career, with 5.5 million albums sold, a GRAMMY, multiple world tours and no sign of slowing down. After releasing their first feature film, Fading West, in December and a brand new album of the same name that debuted at #6 on the Billboard Top 200, Switchfoot continues to build a global fan base devoted to their emotionally intelligent and uplifting brand of rock. Additional information on the band can be found athttp://www.switchfoot.com/.

Eli Young Band has charted eight times on the Billboard country charts with three of their singles reaching number one: “Crazy Girl” (2011), “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” (2012) and “Drunk Last Night” (2013).  The band has been nominated for more than twenty awards, winning Song of the Year and Breakthrough Artist in 2011. The band’s fifth studio album 10,000 Towns was released earlier this month. Additional information on the band can be found at http://eliyoungband.com/.

Sundy Best blends country, bluegrass and rhythm and blues. The band’s video “Home” was a fixture in the Top 5 on Country Music Television (CMT) last year. The duo recently played at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville for the first time and their album Bring Up The Sun debuted at #11 on Billboard Magazine Top Country Album chart earlier this month. Additional information on the band can be found at http://www.sundybest.net/home/.

Go Go Gadjet, one of the East Coast’s most popular cover bands, will open the Jägermeister stage. The band has performed in 11 states since 2005. Additional information on the band can be found at http://www.gogogadjet.com/.

Blonde Marketing, an independent event management and production company, has booked and produced the Jägermeister stage bands and activities since its inception in 2009.

The annual running of the Preakness 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 fans for the pivotal middle jewel of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown at famed Pimlico.

Jägermeister, an herbal liqueur made from 56 herbs, roots, blooms and fruits, is the number one selling imported shot brand in the United States and the eighth largest premium spirit in the world.

“Longtime supporter and friend, Jägermeister is proud to present a legendary infield experience at this year’s Preakness,” said Kate Laufer, director of public relations for The Sidney Frank Importing Company. “Visit the epic dome bar for ice cold shots ofJägermeister, a taste of the newly introduced Jägermeister spice and a live show from the Jägermeister presents stage!”

Infield tickets are $60, with a MUG Club package of $80 through April. Prices increase to $70 (Infield Ticket) and $90 (MUG Club) on May 1.

Seating information and ticket reservations are available at www.preakness.com. Tickets can be bought by calling the Preakness sales office (877-206-8042) or by logging onto http://www.ticketfly.com/event/380219-preakness-infieldfest-baltimore/.

Additional information can be found on www.facebook.com/InfieldFest and https://twitter.com/PreaknessStakes.

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Counting Crows, The Fray to play Pimlico on Black-Eyed Susan Day

Posted on 12 March 2014 by WNST Staff

COUNTING CROWS, THE FRAY, ANNIE BOSKO TO PERFORM ON BLACK-EYED SUSAN DAY AS PART OF “PREAKNESS CONCERT SERIES”

Pimlico Partners With Maryland Affiliate of Susan G. Komen For The Cure®, Suited To Succeed For “The Ultimate Girls Day Out”

13-Race Card Will Feature Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, Pimlico Special, Lady Legends Race & Hall of Fame Jockey Challenge

BALTIMORE, 03-12-14—The Maryland Jockey Club today announced that Counting Crows, The Fray and Annie Bosko will perform live in the public infield, beginning in the late afternoon on Friday, May 16 at Pimlico Race Course.

Counting Crows ­has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide after exploding onto the music scene with their multiplatinum breakout album August and Everything After in 1993. The band is currently finalizing their seventh studio album scheduled to be released in Fall of 2014. This album will be the band’s first new material since 2007. Known for creating unique and innovative concerts and consistently ranked as one of the top live bands performing today, Counting Crows will embark on a world tour beginning in June. Additional information can be found at http://countingcrows.com/.

The Fray released its fourth studio album Helios on February 25 which is receiving early critical acclaim—Billboard named it “one of the most highly anticipated releases of the season.” The band achieved national success with their 2005 debut, featuring the hit singles “Over My Head (Cable Car)” and “How to Save a Life,” which went double-platinum. The band also earned a 2010 Grammy nomination for its self-titled release. Additional information can be found athttp://www.thefray.com/us/.

Bosko is one of Nashville’s “it” girls on the rise. A semi-finalist on season 8 American Idol, she has performed as opening or backing vocal slots with Darius Rucker, Adele, Josh Groban, Dierks Bentley, Big & Rich and Josh Turner. Her single “Crooked Halo” will be released to Sirius XM radio and terrestrial stations this spring. Additional information can be found athttp://anniebosko.com/.

Renowned independent promotion and production company, I.M.P., of 9:30 Club and Merriweather Post Pavilion fame, booked and will produce the concert. Additional information can be found on http://www.930.com/.

Tickets can be purchased by calling the Pimlico sales office (877-206-8042) or by logging onto http://www.blackeyedsusanday.com/. Tickets for the concert will be $40.

A two-day Infield combo ticket for Black-Eyed Susan and Preakness days is available for $90 through April. Lorde will headline the main stage at Preakness InfieldFest on Saturday, May 17. The Preakness day concert features seven acts on two stages from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. leading up to the 139th running of the Preakness® Stakes, the middle jewel of racing’s Triple Crown. The full line-up will be announced shortly.

Black-Eyed Susan Day, held annually on the third Friday in May, is the second biggest day on the Maryland racing calendar in terms of purses, attendance and handle, trailing only Preakness Day.

First run as the Pimlico Oaks in 1919, the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2), for 3-year-old fillies, is the co-headliner on a 13-race card that also features the historic Pimlico Special (G3). The program includes a jockey challenge between seven active Hall of Fame riders and the fifth annual Lady Legends For the Cure Race™.

“The evolution of Black-Eyed Susan Day is something we are very proud of,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. “The weekend is now positioned as one of the most unique entertainment experiences anywhere, combining the highest level of racing and first-class music on both Black-Eyed Susan and Preakness days.”

NBC Sports Network, WBAL-TV and HRTV will have live broadcasts of Black-Eyed Susan Day from Pimlico on May 16.

 

The Ultimate Girls Day Out

Last December, Pimlico announced a new Black-Eyed Susan branding campaign in support of issues important to women year-round: Empowerment 360°.

“The Maryland Jockey Club is committed to the empowerment of women and supports a platform to honor their strength and spirit,” added Chuckas. “Black-Eyed Susan Day represents that platform by championing causes related to health education, career relationships and family.”

The 2014 beneficiaries will be the Maryland Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and Baltimore-based Suited To Succeed.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the global leader of the breast cancer movement, was founded by Nancy G. Brinker in 1982 after a promise to her dying sister to do everything in her power to end breast cancer.

The mission of Suited to Succeed is to empower Baltimore area women in their efforts to transition from training programs and unemployment to self-sufficiency by providing free professional clothing and workshops.

Pimlico will launch initiatives supporting both charities with a series of events leading up to and including Black-Eyed Susan Day.

Black-Eyed Susan Day welcomes two new highlights to a day already packed with energy and excitement:

  • ·        Women in Business Networking Gala and Luncheon co-hosted with the Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber Of Commerce (BWCC) and welcoming best-selling author and Academy Award nominated actress Mariel Hemingway as the keynote speaker. She will sign her book Running With Nature. Tickets can be purchased athttp://www.blackeyedsusanday.com/.
  • ·        Pimlico will attempt to break The Guinness Book of World Records for largest Zumba® class, currently at 6,671 participants set in India on September 15, 2012. The event is part of a festival in the infield that will include 100 women-owned businesses/vendors displaying goods promoting health, fitness, wellness, education, career, relationships and family.

Additional endeavors/fundraising efforts include:

  • ·        Happy Hours with food and beverage specials at Mount Washington Tavern (April 6, April 27, May 8 from 6-9 p.m.)
  • ·        Canter for the Cure where horse enthusiasts will get a chance to ride their own horses around Pimlico’s famous oval (May 10)
  • ·        Preakness Concert Series Kickoff Concert at Rams Head Live (May 10)
  • ·        Pink Tutu Project (http://www.thetutuproject.com/) offering unique on-site photo opportunities, available for purchase on Black-Eyed Susan Day (May 16)
  • ·        Celebrity jockey autograph session before the races (May 16)
  • ·        Gator raffle drawing donated by John Deere and NTRA (May 16)

Hall Of Fame Jockey Challenge

The $50,000 Jockey’s Challenge, presented by Xpress Bet, will feature active Hall of Fame riders. The seven jockeys have combined to win more than 44,000 races with earnings of $1.6 billion through March 11.

Gary Stevens (1997 Hall of Fame inductee), Russell Baze (1999), Mike Smith (2003), Kent Desormeaux (2004), Edgar Prado (2008), John Velazquez (2012) and Calvin Borel (2013) will compete in four races with points award­ed based upon their finish.

“Throughout the years we have had many formats for the Jockey Challenge and getting the active Hall of Famers is a coup,” Chuckas said. “As an added bonus, Russell Baze, who has more than 50,000 career mounts, has never ridden at Pimlico. That will be fun.”

The jockey with the most points at the end of a four-race competition will be crowned champion. Riding assignments are determined by a drawing Sunday, May 11, and jockeys receive points for finishing first (12 points), second (6), third (4) and fourth (3) in each race. The champion jockey will earn $20,000. Other prize money: $12,000 (second), $8,000 (third), $6,000 (fourth), $2,000 (fifth) and $1,000 (sixth and seventh).
The Lady Legends For the Cure Race

Now in its fifth year, the Lady Legends For the Cure Race™ was the first ever pari-mutuel race showcasing retired female riders.

Mary Russ-Tortora will not be back to defend her title but four of the original riders return: Patti Cooksey, Jennifer Rowland-Small, Barbara Jo Rubin and Cheryl White. Abby Fuller, Andrea Seefeldt-Knight and Stacie Clark-Rogers are also veterans of the event.

Tami Purcell-Burkland is the new shooter. The Texas native is the only female jockey to win the All American Futurity (G1) Quarter Horse race.

 

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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Trainer bonus added to Preakness weekend purse

Posted on 18 February 2014 by WNST Staff

PIMLICO STAKES SCHEDULE WORTH NEARLY $4.7 MILLION DURING 35-DAY SPRING MEETING

$100,000 Trainer Bonus Added To Preakness Weekend

BALTIMORE, 02-18-14—The Maryland Racing Commission approved the 2014 Pimlico Race Course spring stakes schedule at its monthly meeting this afternoon. The headline event of the 10-week meeting is the 139th running of the $1.5 million Preakness® Stakes (G1), the middle jewel of horse racing’s famed Triple Crown, on May 17.

The marquee meet of the Maryland racing season will feature 25 stakes races for purses totaling $4,680,000. The Preakness day undercard features eight other stakes races, including three graded races. The May 16 card features eight stakes races, highlighted by the $500,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) and the $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3).

In addition, Pimlico will debut a $100,000 trainer bonus on Preakness weekend. Trainers will earn points based on finishes in 15 stakes races May 16-17.

·        May 16—Black-Eyed Susan (G2), Pimlico Special (G3), Miss Preakness, Jim McKay Turf Sprint, Hilltop, Skipat, Rollicking

·        May 17—Preakness (G1), Dixie (G2), Maryland Sprint (G3), Gallorette (G3), Chick Lang, James Murphy, Sir Barton, The Very One

Trainers will receive points for finishing first (10 points), second (7), third (5), fourth (3) and starting a horse (1 point) in each race. The winner will earn $50,000. Other prize money: $25,000 (second), $12,000 (third), $7,000 (fourth), $4,000 (fifth) and $2,000 (sixth). Trainers must have started five horses in the stakes combined to be eligible.

“It is extremely competitive during the Triple Crown season with so many high profile races,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. “We are working hard to increase the profile of Preakness weekend. We hope adding the trainer bonus will lead to larger fields and more wagering.”

The other modifications to the 2014 stakes schedule are:

·        $100,000 purse increase to the Dixie Stakes (G2) from $300,000 to $400,000 and changing the distance from 1 1/8 to 1 1/16

·        Not carding the Allaire duPont Stakes (G3) for fillies and mares on Preakness day

·        Increase purses of Dahlia, Twixt, Tesio, Henry Clark, Primonetta, Stormy Blues and Shine Again Stakes from $75,000 to $100,000

·        Changing the name of the Canonero II Stakes to the Sir Barton Stakes, increasing the purse from $75,000 to $100,000, altering the condition to non-winners of a sweepstakes and moving the race from early June to Preakness day

·        The winners of the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) and Miss Preakness Stakes on May 16 will receive a breeding season to Awesome Again and Ghostzapper, respectively, courtesy of Adena Springs

The Pimlico spring stand will begin April 3 with live racing taking place four days a week on a Thursday through Sundayschedule prior to Preakness and then Friday, Saturday and Sunday (plus Memorial Day). The 35-day meet will end on June 7, Belmont Stakes day.

Pimlico Spring Meeting Live Racing Schedule

April 3-4-5-6

April 10-11-12-13

April 17-18-19 (no racing Easter Sunday)

April 24-25-26-27

May 1-2-3-4

May 8-9-10-11

May 15-16-17

May 23-24-25-26

May 30-31-June 1

June 6-7

The Pimlico stable area will be open for training, beginning Monday, March 17.

The current Laurel Park winter meeting will conclude its 13-week run on Saturday, March 29.

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Lorde to headline Preakness infield concert

Posted on 06 February 2014 by WNST Staff

GRAMMY WINNER LORDE TO HEADLINE 2014 INFIELDFEST CONCERT ON PREAKNESS DAY

Lorde To Make Her First Maryland Appearance At Pimlico

BALTIMORE, 02-06-14—The Maryland Jockey Club today announced that double Grammy Award winner Lorde will headline the 2014 Preakness InfieldFest concert. The 17-year-old superstar will play an extended set on the main stage Saturday, May 17at Pimlico Race Course when the Maryland Jockey Club, North America’s oldest sporting organization, hosts the 139th renewal of the Preakness® Stakes.

The annual running of the Preakness 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 at famed Pimlico.

Lorde earned Grammy Awards last month for Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance for her #1 single “Royals” and received nominations for Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for her debut album, Pure Heroine, which was released in September 2013 to commercial success and critical acclaim. The New Zealand native was one of fourteen artists selected to perform at the Grammy Awards and appeared on the cover of the January issue of Rolling Stone. Additional information can be found at http://lorde.co.nz/, https://twitter.com/lordemusic and https://www.facebook.com/lordemusic.

“Preakness InfieldFest enters its sixth year, now positioned as the region’s biggest, best and most unique party with first-class music and top-notch racing throughout the day,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. “Lorde’s popularity is rising at a staggering rate from radio spins to social media to online plays and views. Her appeal cuts across multiple fan demographics and reflects the cutting edge talent fans have come to expect at InfieldFest. She is an extraordinarily talented artist and we look forward to welcoming her to Preakness InfieldFest.”

In addition to the main stage, Preakness InfieldFest will feature live music from top acts on a second stage, presented byJägermeister, and a variety of other activities. The Jägermeister stage acts and the other main stage performers will be announced at a later date.

Renowned independent promotion and production company, I.M.P., of 9:30 Club and Merriweather Post Pavilion fame, has booked and produced the InfieldFest main stage since its inception in 2009. Additional information can be found on http://www.930.com/.

Grammy winners Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (2013), Maroon 5 (2012), Bruno Mars (2011), Train (2011) and Zac Brown (2010) have performed on the main stage in previous years as well as Pitbull (2013), Wiz Khalifa (2012), O.A.R. (2010), Buckcherry (2009) and Hall of Famers ZZ Top (2009): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwYGJ7MCw4s.

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Preakness purse raised to $1.5 million starting in 2014

Posted on 12 December 2013 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE, 12-12-13—The Maryland Jockey Club today announced it has increased the purse for the Preakness Stakes (G1) from $1 million to $1.5 million. The middle jewel of Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown is Saturday, May 17 at historic Pimlico Race Course.

It is the first increase for the 1 3/16-mile classic since the purse was raised to $1 million guaranteed in 1998. Throughout the years, the Preakness purse has been among the highest in American racing.

“The Preakness Stakes is the centerpiece of a terrific stakes program that weekend,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. “Seventeen of the twenty-six races on Preakness and Black-Eyed Susan days are stakes. With this increase the total value of our stakes program over the two-day period is nearly $4 million.”

The May 16 card on Preakness eve features eight added-money races, headlined by the $500,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) and the $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3).

The Preakness undercard features eight stakes races, including the $300,000 Dixie Stakes (G2) and three $150,000 G3 stakes: the Maryland Sprint Handicap, the Gallorette Handicap and Allaire duPont Distaff Stakes.

“I support the move,” said Maryland Racing Commission chairman Bruce Quade. “It is another step in bringing Maryland racing back to a preeminent spot in the racing landscape.”

At its inauguration in 1873, the Preakness carried a value of $1,000. The first major increase occurred in 1919 when the race had a $25,000 value. It climbed to $100,000 in 1946 and in 1959 was raised to $150,000, the highest among Triple Crown races.

From 1979 to 1989, the purse rose four times from $200,000 to $500,000, before attaining its present status of $1 million.

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MJC announces 2014 Preakness logo

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MJC announces 2014 Preakness logo

Posted on 29 October 2013 by WNST Staff

MARYLAND JOCKEY CLUB UNVEILS 2014 PREAKNESS LOGO

BALTIMORE, 10-29-13—The Maryland Jockey Club today unveiled the 2014 Preakness logo for the 139th running of the $1 million Preakness® Stakes (G1). The middle jewel of racing’s Triple Crown will take place May 17 at Pimlico Race Course.

For the 15th consecutive year, the Leffler Agency designed the official Preakness logo. The agency’s creative branding division, BrandNU Marketing™, created the logo under the design guidance of senior art director Jeffrey Sewell.

In the 2014 logo, the race is well underway as three horses gallop over the word Preakness (in the logo). Stylized horses and  jockeys seem to zoom in from thin-air giving a sense of movement to the illustration. A nod is given to Maryland as the state flag colors of red, black and gold are boldly used. Fresh and fun, the logo attempts to capture the race excitement that is unmistakably the Preakness.

“Creating the Preakness logo is an annual tradition for our design department at Leffler Agency and BrandNU Marketing,” stated agency president/owner Bob Leffler. “We have had the honor of creating this national branding mark ever since 2000. This year’s logo is all about the speed and excitement of the race.”

The annual running of the Preakness is a classic 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.

Tickets for Preakness 139 have been on sale since Oct. 1 and can be purchased by calling the Preakness ticket office (877-206-8042) or by logging onto www.ticketfly.com.

Preakness InfieldFest is a multi-entertainment festival featuring national headlining artists on two stages, the popular MUG Club and unique attractions throughout the day to give fans an unparalleled entertainment experience, featuring 13 exciting races, headlined by the Preakness Stakes. Just as in previous years, there will be tiers of pricing, based on calendar days, for Infield and MUG Club tickets. The first price increase takes place Friday, Nov. 1:

October               Nov & Dec           Jan-Apr 2014                   May 2014

General Infield              $40                   $50                   $60                               $70

MUG Club                     $60                   $70                   $80                               $90

Seating information and ticket reservation forms for Preakness 139 can be found at http://www.preakness.com/tickets.

About Pimlico Race Course

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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MJC announces spring handle figures

Posted on 11 June 2013 by WNST Staff

PIMLICO ANNOUNCES SPRING HANDLE FIGURES

BALTIMORE, 06-11-13—The Maryland Jockey Club concluded its spring meeting at Pimlico Race Course last weekend with total wagering of $188 million, an increase of 12% from a year ago. However, the average daily handle was 12% lower than 2012, down from $5.2 million to $4.6 million, because of an increase in live racing days.

“There were a lot of positives about the meet,” Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas said. “We decided to race through the Belmont Stakes for the first time since 2008, which is significant for two reasons. The first, we are a Triple Crown track and it is important to be open during the entire series. Secondly, we want to sustain the momentum built during Preakness but like the policy change made to the infield, it is going to take time for this to materialize.”

Preakness weekend was a major success as more than 156,000 fans attended the Black-Eyed Susan (38,957) and Preakness day (117,203) cards at Old Hilltop. During the two days, there were 26 high-quality races, including the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes (G1), and performances by nine musical acts in the famed infield.

“Opening up the infield on Friday was a home run,” added Chuckas. “We will continue to work to find ways to improve the weekend. It was also special to see D. Wayne Lukas and Gary Stevens win the Preakness with Oxbow. Wayne is one of the best ambassadors in our sport and Gary’s comeback was complete with a crafty ride that stole the race for its Hall of Fame connections.”

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Your Monday Reality Check: Can’t say enough about Preakness infield transformation

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Your Monday Reality Check: Can’t say enough about Preakness infield transformation

Posted on 20 May 2013 by Glenn Clark

Four years ago, I described the first ever Preakness “Infieldfest” event as a “miserable failure” in a column here at WNST.net.

It was a terrible event in 2009, as many former attendees chose to boycott the event after the Maryland Jockey Club boldly announced they would ban the longtime tradition of allowing fans to bring their own beer to the Infield to revel. Attendance dipped well below 100,000 for the day, as the infield area was practically barren and few were compelled to come see musical acts like ZZ Top, Buckcherry and Charm City Devils.

We love a good sports redemption story, don’t we?

It’s with that in mind that Preakness has officially surpassed Josh Hamilton as the best redemption story of the millennium. And not because Preakness is capable of hitting home runs in September, either.

The 2013 version of Preakness was absolutely fantastic Saturday at Pimlico, despite the weather not being fully cooperative. The event was festive, energetic, fun and most importantly an outstanding representation of Baltimore on a national scale. Now seeing what the Preakness has become, it’s hard to imagine the event was ever the embarrassing, dangerous frat party it was known as throughout the country in the 90′s and much of the early 2000′s.

Perhaps the most amazing part of what the Maryland Jockey Club has accomplished with their transformation of Preakness is that they managed to keep the already existing positive aspects of the event and actually improve them in the process of gutting the most seedy parts of the event. (Combined with the fact that that they’ve done it without the type of support from their ownership (The Stronach Group) that would allow for major infrastructure changes, whether they be to the facility or to the year-long pedestal the sport of horse racing can be placed on within the state of Maryland.)

I did my best to visit every part of Pimlico Saturday, from the barns to the corporate village to the clubhouse to the grandstand to the press box to the turn to the infield and even to the Sports Palace (admittedly they thought twice before letting me in there). I was blown away with the number of stories people would tell me about how they had made a trip to the infield during the course of the day.

There was the Cockeysville girl (Nikki) in her late 20′s who was sitting in her family’s box on the turn who told me she took a break from the all you can drink area to see Florida Georgia Line because she is a big country music fan.

There was the mid-30′s man from Towson (AJ) whose friends had seats in the grandstand but wandered out to the infield with his college buddies to see Chevelle. He told me he didn’t even really mind having to pay for beer because it was still cheaper ($4) than most events.

There was the 40-something sales exec from Pikesville (Dustin) I bumped into during Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ main stage set. He was with a group that had a tent in the corporate village but told me it was nice to have the option to visit both spots.

There were the many Baltimore Ravens players (namely Torrey Smith, Arthur Jones, Justin Tucker, Michael Oher, Kelechi Osemele and Jameel McClain) who ventured seemingly everywhere around the track that I caught hanging around the stage as Pitbull was playing to a massive throng. I seemed to bump into these guys just about everywhere I went, including the huge Under Armour pavilion on the infield.

A neat thing about this entire group? They all talked to me at least a bit about horse racing. Whether they were asking me if I bought into Orb, trying to talk up another horse or even talking to me about some of the other races they had bet on during the course of the day, there was real horse racing conversation.

The Preakness infield has gone from the frightening spot where you would fear seeing your high school daughter end up to the must-attend place to be every May. It’s gone from the place where frat boy types up and down the east coast would descend simply because they knew the rules would allow for them to be a-holes to the place where young people from the Charm City region celebrate a rite of passage in the spring.

It’s not as if Infieldfest is without flaws, as the amount of alcohol consumed on the infield still allows from a few bad people to do questionable things. But it isn’t what Preakness once was. “The Running of the Urinals” is far gone and “the run to get tickets because we have to be there” is now very real. Just ask anyone who realized they missed their chance to join “The Mug Club” in the last couple of weeks.

I hope the MJC remains invested in upgrading Black-Eyed Susan Day at Pimlico as well. I talk regularly about how special Kentucky Oaks day is in Louisville, and I believe there’s the possibility for the same to happen in Charm City. The partnership with the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the addition of live music (the Goo Goo Dolls helped bring a crowd of nearly 40,000 to Pimlico Friday) have been real upgrades, but more can still be done in the coming years by both the MJC and by the city of Baltimore to embrace the full weekend event.

I can’t say enough about how one bold decision made by Tom Chuckas and the Maryland Jockey Club ultimately reversed the course of Preakness forever. I criticized them in 2009. I was wrong. It took time, but what’s happened over the course of the last few years has been spectacular.

I can’t even imagine what the event is capable of becoming if Frank Stronach’s recent claims of major future investments in the track are truthful. I’ll admit skepticism, but I was also the guy that was more than skeptical of Infieldfest in 2009.

I was ultimately very wrong. I hope to be again.

-G

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Preakness winner Oxbow headed to Belmont Stakes

Posted on 19 May 2013 by WNST Staff

PREAKNESS WINNER OXBOW CONFIRMED FOR BELMONT STAKES

ORB ‘FINE’ AFTER DULL TRY;  ITSMYLUCKYDAY MAKES GRADE

 

BALTIMORE, 05-19-13 – Back in the 1980’s and ‘90s when trainer D. Wayne Lukas was winning Triple Crown races with astonishing regularity, the catch-phrase “D. Wayne off the plane” followed him from track to track as he made his hit-and-run assaults on racetracks across America with a lineup of assistants that included Todd Pletcher, Mark Hennig, Kiaran McLaughlin and Dallas Stewart.

The glory days of Lukas had seemingly subsided in the new millennium with the passing of wealthy clients like Eugene Klein, W. T. Young and Bob Lewis. In recent years, Lukas had geared down his operation and had become more of a fringe player on racing’s biggest stage.

That all changed Saturday when the 77-year-old Hall of Famer saddled his record-14th Triple Crown race winner, Oxbow, for the 138th Preakness for legendary Calumet Farm, which had similarly faded from the forefront of major thoroughbred racing,

It was the first spring classic winner for Lukas since Commendable took the Belmont Stakes in 2000, and the Preakness score by Oxbow ended a drought in the classics for Calumet dating all the way back to Forward Pass’s victory in the 1968 Preakness.

Lukas and his nine-horse contingent, that also included Dixie upsetter Skyring and his personal pony, were on the highway before dawn Sunday morning, heading back to their home base at Churchill Downs. Then it’s on to the Belmont Stakes in three weeks with Oxbow and possibly seventh-place finisher Will Take Charge. Titletown Five, Lukas’ third Preakness entrant who finished last, will run in shorter races for the rest of his 3-year-old campaign.

“I’ve always rode with the horses all my career,” said Lukas, who now has six Preakness winners, one behind Robert Walden for the all-time record in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. “I used to go on the airplanes and stand there with them all the time. We don’t fly much anymore.”

He’s “the man on the van” these days, having ridden in a pickup truck for more than 12 hours to Pimlico on Tuesday and scheduled to follow the same routine back home Sunday.

“I’ll get him home at feeding time just about,” Lukas said. “By the time I get him home and give him a bath it’ll be right about 5 o’clock. They put a bucket seat where I ride on kind of an air-ride slide thing. It’s like riding in a boat somewhere on the waves.”

This Preakness was a serious helping of history for the connections of the winner. In addition to Lukas and Calumet, jockey Gary Stevens capped an unlikely comeback at age 50 by winning his third Preakness (Silver Charm and Point Given).

Last year at this time, Stevens was working in Baltimore as a TV analyst for NBC and HRTV. Lukas said all week he was thrilled to have the Hall of Famer aboard Oxbow and was encouraged by his Derby performance.

“He’s so on top of all this stuff,” Lukas said. “He’ll tell you the fractions, who was laying fourth on the backside and everything. He’s very into this, very into this.”

Oxbow, a son of Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Awesome Again, is Lukas’ first Preakness winner since Charismatic in 1999. His other Preakness winners were Timber Country (1995), Tabasco Cat (1994), Tank’s Prospect (1985) and Codex in 1980.

Over those glory days, there was a sometimes not-so-friendly rivalry with colleague Bob Baffert, who saddled Govenor Charlie to a disappointing eighth-place finish Saturday. It was Baffert’s 14th Preakness starter (five winners), well behind Lukas’ record total of 40.

“Over the years a lot of people thought that Baffert and I had a rivalry, when actually we come from pretty similar backgrounds and we’re pretty good friends,” Lukas said. “It was really significant yesterday when he came down and congratulated me right after the race. A mutual friend of ours said that when his horse didn’t look like he was getting it done at the half-mile pole, Bob and a friend were jumping up and down and saying: ‘Go get ‘em, Lukey.’ “

Lukas said almost immediately after the Preakness that he hoped to try Oxbow in the 1 ½-mile Belmont Stakes.

“I was trying to be politically correct all week, but I thought (Oxbow) was the toughest horse. I thought if there was some adversity or something went wrong, he had the best chance to overcome,” Lukas said. “Will Take Charge is so big that he has to get a clear run. He can’t check, stop, take a bump or anything. The other horse (Titletown Five) we knew was going to need a career quantum leap forward.”

 

ORB – Kentucky Derby hero Orb boarded a van bound for New York at 7 o’clock Sunday morning, showing no ill effects from Saturday’s disappointing fourth-place finish in the Preakness.

“He came out of it fine. He’s sound. Physically, everything is fine,” trainer Shug McGaughey said. “We’ll get him up the road and evaluate the situation to see where we’ll go.”

McGaughey didn’t have a concrete explanation for Orb’s surprisingly dull performance as the 3-5 favorite that followed a sharp, dominating 2 ½-length victory two weeks earlier at Churchill Downs.

“The racetrack was probably deep down the inside there. There was a lot of throwback. We couldn’t get to the outside. I thought he was in good position and he took him to the right position, and all of a sudden he had no horse. Why that was, I don’t know,” the Hall of Fame trainer said. “I think it wasn’t our day and it was Oxbow’s day.”

Saturday’s disappointment in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown only made McGaughey appreciate the Derby victory even more.

“Winning the Derby was my lifelong dream. We won it. I would have loved to win (Saturday) to take it to the next level, so I do appreciate how tough it is,” McGaughey said. “If I have the opportunity again (to compete in the Derby), I may cherish it even more, because I’ve seen how tough it is to get it done. Maybe, I do appreciate how tough it is to win more. As brilliant as we were two weeks ago, we weren’t as brilliant yesterday.”

McGaughey will monitor Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable’s homebred colt’s training at Belmont Park before deciding his status for the Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 8.

“I want to see him bounce back and see his soundness level and his energy level,” he said. “I think there are a lot of good wins down the road for him.”

 

ITSMYLUCKYDAY – Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa’s Itsmyluckyday looked bright Sunday morning, earning high marks from trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. for the manner in which he exited his second-place finish behind Oxbow in Saturday’s Preakness.

“On a 1-to-10 scale, 10-plus,” Plesa said.

Itsmyluckyday, who had finished 15th over the sloppy Churchill Downs track in the Kentucky Derby, rebounded with a strong showing at Pimlico. The son of Lawyer Ron, who was forwardly placed in fourth as Oxbow set a comfortable pace along the backstretch, kicked in through the stretch but could get no closer than 1 ¾ lengths of D. Wayne Lukas’ sixth Preakness winner.

“I wouldn’t take anything away from Wayne’s horse, but they went the half in 48-and-change. That’s pretty much walking. Did that help his horse? Absolutely. Did it hurt my horse? Absolutely,” Plesa said. “I won’t say anything other than: ‘I wish the pace would have been quicker.’”

Plesa said Itsmyluckyday’s dismal Derby showing did nothing to undermine his confidence in his colt’s abilities, but he was happy that the Florida-bred got a chance to prove his critics wrong.

“Everybody was throwing him out because he couldn’t get the distance and he ran a lousy race. I hate to use slop as an excuse, but it was a valid excuse. We all knew that,” Plesa said. “Not for us, but for other people, it validates his ability.

That’s not a bad thing. They’re like your children. You don’t like to read something bad about your children. We know what we have. He’s an exceptional horse; there’s no doubt about it.”

A start in the Belmont Stakes is far from a definite for the Gulfstream Park Derby and Holy Bull (G3) winner.

“It’s 50-50 at best,” Plesa said.

Itsmyluckyday, who was scheduled to ship to Monmouth Park Sunday, is a far more definite candidate to run in the Haskell Invitational at the New Jersey track on July 28.

“The Haskell is on my list. God willing, that’s a certainty,” Plesa said.

 

MYLUTE - Fourteen hours after his colt finished third in the Preakness, trainer Tom Amoss said Sunday that he was even more impressed with the performance than he was Saturday.

“Upon reflection, I think my horse ran the best race of his career,” Amoss said. “The slow pace was impossible for us to overcome and yet he still ran a very good race. I don’t know where the rest of the speed went in yesterday’s Preakness. It looked like there was quite a bit on paper, but it just didn’t materialize.”

Amoss said the son of Midnight Lute owned by GoldMark Farm and Whisper Hill Farm has earned a little bit of time off.

“As far as future plans, nothing is on the board right now,” he said. “I’ll get together with the owners at the beginning of the week and we’ll discuss what to do. He’s had two races close together and I think that’s going to be taken into account when we have that conversation.”

And Amoss saluted the winning trainer and jockey combination of Hall of Famers D. Wayne Lukas and Gary Stevens. Lukas, 77, won his record 14th Triple Crown race and Stevens, 50, earned his third Preakness just a few months after ending a seven-year retirement.

“It was a masterful job,” Amoss said. “As far as Wayne is concerned, you’ve got to tip your hat to him. Over the last year he’s made a remarkable comeback and put himself where he used to be, which is at the top of the trainers’ charts.”

 

GOLDENCENTS – Trainer Doug O’Neill and his fifth-place Preakness finisher Goldencents will not be going on to Belmont Park for the Belmont Stakes as originally planned. Team O’Neill and the colt departed early Sunday morning to return to Southern California.

“It doesn’t make sense to go on to the Belmont,” O’Neill said. “We had talked prior (to the Preakness) that if we didn’t run huge and came out of it great, we wouldn’t come back in three weeks. Even though I’m very proud of him and the way Kevin (Krigger) rode him, I just don’t think coming back in three weeks off that effort is the right move.”

Last year, O’Neill left Pimlico looking for a sweep to the Triple Crown with I’ll Have Another, who had followed up his Kentucky Derby win with a score in the Preakness. He would never get the opportunity when the son of Flower Alley came down with a leg injury that forced him to be scratched the day before the Belmont Stakes.

Goldencents, a three-time stakes winner going into this year’s Kentucky Derby, was a dismal 17th at Churchill Downs, but O’Neill believed the sloppy, sealed race track was largely responsible for that. He admitted the son of Into Mischief simply couldn’t keep up with Preakness winner Oxbow after briefly heading him coming out of the gate on Saturday.

“We’ll relax and see what’s in the cards five, six, seven weeks down the road,” O’Neill said. “You’ve got the 3-year-old series on the turf down at Del Mar, so we could possibly try a different surface with him.

“Or we could go over him good, train him out there and then look for races like the Haskell or Travers somewhere down the road. We’ll huddle up with the owners and put together a game plan. He’s a good horse. You’ll be hearing from him.”

 

DEPARTING - Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s War Front gelding was shipped back to Kentucky Sunday morning following his sixth-place finish in the Preakness.

“He’s fine, but he cooled out very tired,” trainer Al Stall said.

Stall said he had not talked with the owners about future plans for Departing, but that he would not be participating in the Belmont Stakes.

 

GOVENOR CHARLIE - Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert reported Sunday that the eighth-place finisher came out of the race in good shape and was being shipped back to California with stablemate Fiftyshadesofhay, the winner of the Black-Eyed Susan (G2).

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