Tag Archive | "Triple Crown"

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Ria Antonia added to list of Preakness candidates

Posted on 06 May 2014 by WNST Staff

RIA ANTONIA ADDED TO LIST OF CANDIDATES FOR 139THPREAKNESS STAKES

Kentucky Derby Winner California Chrome Returns to Track Wednesday; Kid Cruz Set for Weekend Work; Social Inclusion on Schedule for ThursdayMorning Arrival

BALTIMORE , 05-06-14Ria Antonia, the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner, was added to the list of candidates for the 139th running of the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1) Tuesday morning.

 

If the daughter of Rockport Harbor is shipped to Pimlico Race Course to run in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown on May 17, she will be saddled for the first time by trainer Tom Amoss.  Ron Paolucci’s Loooch Racing Stable and Christopher T. Dunn have transferred their 3-year-old filly from Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert to Amoss following her distant sixth-place finish behind Untapable in the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs last Friday.

 

“She trained this morning with us for the first time,” said Amoss at his Churchill barn Tuesday morning. “She is going to have a light breeze Monday or Tuesday after which Mr. Paolucci and I will discuss the Preakness.”

 

Should Ria Antonia take on the boys, including Kentucky Derby (G1) champion California Chrome, she would attempt to become the sixth filly to capture the Preakness Stakes, joining Rachel Alexandra (2009), Nellie Morse (1924), Rhine Maiden (1915), Whimsical (1906) and Flocarline (1903).

 

Following Ria Antonia’s victory in the Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita last November, when she finished second by a nose but was placed first through the disqualification of She’s a Tiger, Paolucci announced his intention to point his filly to the 2014 Kentucky Derby.

 

After finishing fourth in her 2014 debut in the Rachel Alexandra (G3) at Fair Grounds on Feb. 22, when she was beaten by more than 14 lengths by Untapable, Ria Antonia was transferred from trainer Jeremiah Englehart to Baffert. She debuted for Baffert with a second-place finish behind Fashion Plate in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) on April 5. In the Kentucky Oaks, she loomed boldly while making a wide run on the turn into the homestretch before weakening through the stretch, finishing 15 ¼ lengths behind the victorious Untapable.

 

While Ria Antonia returned to the racetrack for the first time since her Oaks run Tuesday morning, Kentucky Derby (G1) winner California Chrome walked for 30 minutes at Barn 20 at Churchill Downs with exercise rider Willie Delgado on the shank.

 

Owned by breeders Steven Coburn and Perry Martin, California Chrome is scheduled to return to the trackWednesday morning around 7 o’clock for a jog.

 

Alan Sherman, son of trainer Art Sherman, is overseeing California Chrome’s Preakness preparations in Louisville before the colt heads to Baltimore next Monday or Wednesday.

 

“They are doing maintenance on the plane and it is a question of when it will be ready,” said Alan Sherman, whose shirt was sporting a new tear compliments of the Derby winner’s teeth.

 

The Shermans maintain a stable of 16-17 horses at Los Alamitos, but for Alan, being with one horse is no vacation.

 

“The last time I had only one horse was when we brought Ultra Blend here for the Breeders’ Cup in 2011,” Alan Sherman said of the filly that finished fourth to Royal Delta in the Ladies’ Classic (G1). “I was here about a week and a half. This is a little more stressful, but a good kind of stress. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

 

And the celebration of the colt’s 1 ¾-length victory has not dimmed, either.

 

“I keep my California Chrome hat on and everywhere we go people are congratulating us,” Delgado said. “Every time I watch a replay of the race, I still get goose bumps. It has not set in yet what he did. It’s unbelievable.”

 

In other Preakness news:

 

Rontos Racing Stable Corp.’s Social Inclusion has recovered sufficiently from the bruise in his right front foot that had kept him out of a Gulfstream Park stakes Saturday to board a Pimlico-bound van Wednesday morning.

 

“We’re leaving tomorrow morning around 10 and get there early Thursday morning,” said Rontos Racing’s Ron Sanchez. “He’ll jog tomorrow before he leaves.”

 

Social Inclusion won his first two races by a combined 17 ½ lengths at Gulfstream Park before finishing third in the Wood Memorial (G1) at Aqueduct on April 5.

 

Trainer Graham Motion will closely monitor the training of Ring Weekend this week before deciding the Tampa Bay Derby winner’s status for the Preakness.

 

“I think it’s going to depend on what kind of week he has and how he breezes on Saturday,” Motion saidTuesday morning.

 

Ring Weekend galloped 1 ½ miles Tuesday morning at Fair Hill Training Center, Motion’s home base in Elkton, Md.

 

The son of Tapit had been pointing for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill, only to be declared out of the first jewel of the Triple Crown on April 27 due to a fever.

 

“He had the fever for only two days, but it did cost him three or four days of training,” Motion said. “Obviously, everything would have to go very well in order to do it (run in the Preakness). He can’t afford to have a bump in the road.”

Motion reported that Alan Garcia would be the choice to ride Ring Weekend, the Tampa Bay Derby winner, should he run.

 

Kid Cruz, the decisive winner of the Federico Tesio Stakes on April 19 at Pimlico, will have an easy breeze this weekend at Belmont Park – his final timed worked before the Preakness.

 

Trainer Linda Rice said Tuesday that she has not decided who will ride the Lemon Drop Kid colt in the Preakness or when he will be shipped from New York to Baltimore. Maryland-based jockey Julian Pimentel was aboard for Kid Cruz’s victories in the Private Terms at Laurel Race Course March 8 and the Tesio.

 

Kid Cruz, owned by Vina Del Mar Thoroughbreds and Black Swan Stable, took the 1 1/8-mile Private Terms by four lengths and the 1-1/16-mile Tesio by 3 ½ lengths.

 

“He made a last-to-first move in the first one and then had a nice closing kick in the second one,” Rice said. “It doesn’t look like he’s going to have any trouble with the distance of the Preakness and I believe that the Belmont would suit him just fine as well.”

 

Kid Cruz was named after New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz.

 

Kaleem Shah’s Bayern came out of a Monday work of :58.20 for five furlongs at Churchill Downs in good order, according Baffert’s assistant trainer Jim Barnes.

 

Bayern, who was disqualified from a victory in the Derby Trial (G3) on April 26 at Churchill Downs for interference in the stretch, walked the shedrow Tuesday morning.

 

John Oxley’s Illinois Derby (G3) winner Dynamic Impact galloped 1 ½ miles Tuesday morning over a fast track before the renovation break at Churchill Downs with exercise rider Marco Cano aboard for trainer Mark Casse.

 

Dynamic Impact will bring a two-race win streak to Pimlico, having broken his maiden at Oaklawn Park prior to his Illinois Derby victory.

 

“We have to give credit to David Adams and the crew that had him at Oaklawn this winter,” assistant trainer Norman Casse said. “We had him here last summer and fall. He was highly regarded, but just not winning. He got to Oaklawn, he had matured and something just clicked.”

 

Daniel Dougherty’s Ride On Curlin walked the shedrow for 30 minutes with trainer Billy Gowan handling the first half of the activity and groom Bridget Lambert the remainder as Gowan accompanied another horse to the track at Churchill Downs.

 

Gowan’s phone was plenty busy Monday when the news broke he was replacing Calvin Borel as the jockey on Ride On Curlin following the colt’s seventh-place finish in the Kentucky Derby.

“I had a lot of agents call,” said Gowan, who chose Joel Rosario to pilot Ride On Curlin in the Preakness. “I thought he would be the best choice. He never has ridden for me and I don’t even know him, but he is the top rider in the country right now.”

 

Ride On Curlin is scheduled to return to the track Wednesday morning with an easy mile gallop slated as the day’s activity.

 

Susan Magnier, Derrick Smith, Michael Tabor and trainer Wesley Ward’s Pablo Del Monte, who was scratched from the Kentucky Derby to wait for the Preakness, is scheduled to fly to Baltimore on Wednesday May 14.

 

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.

-mjc-

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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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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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Derby winner Orb installed as Belmont favorite over Oxbow

Posted on 05 June 2013 by WNST Staff

NEW YORK (AP) — Back home again, Kentucky Derby winner Orb is the horse to beat in the Belmont Stakes.

Orb was made the 3-1 morning-line favorite in a field of 14 entered for Saturday’s final leg of the Triple Crown at Belmont Park, and trainer Shug McGaughey is confident his colt can bounce back from his fourth-place finish behind Oxbow in the Preakness.

“He’s been here for three weeks, and I think it has to be a help not only mentally but being familiar with the footing as well,” McGaughey said. “He’s done well here and trained well here. … I’m going to strike a line through the Preakness. It wasn’t his day. It was (trainer) Wayne Lukas and Oxbow and Gary Stevens’ day. We’re going to regroup and hopefully you’ll see the right horse here on Saturday.”

Orb drew the No. 5 post Wednesday, with Oxbow two gates over in No. 7. Revolutionary, one of trainer Todd Pletcher’s record five entries, is the second choice at 9-2. Oxbow is next at 5-1.

“I think Shug has established his horse as the favorite today, and that’s right,” said Lukas, who has won a record 14 Triple Crown races, including the Belmont four times. “But I think he knows he has to take care of business in getting us out of the way, too.”

The field for the 1 1/2-mile Belmont is the largest since 1996, when Lukas won the race with Editor’s Note.

“It’s a great advantage to be on your home court, where you train your horses,” said Lukas, who used to have a Belmont-based stable. “They don’t have to ship in and get settled, and then get over the surface. They’ve already been doing that.”

Orb, under Joel Rosario, navigated his way past 16 rivals in the final half mile of the Derby to win by 2 1/2 lengths. In the Preakness, Orb was unable to find running room outside after breaking from the rail, and Oxbow led wire-to-wire under Gary Stevens.

McGaughey is well-versed in what it takes to deal with the Belmont – one long trip around the spacious oval.

“The jockey is really going to have to read the race – it’s what separates the top riders from some of those that aren’t,” said McGaughey, who won the Belmont with Easy Goer in 1989 and spoiled Sunday Silence’s Triple Crown try. “If you turn down the backside at Belmont, it’s not like turning down the backside at Churchill Downs, or Pimlico or the Fair Grounds.

“You’ve got a long way to go, and big open space through there, and you better be patient. If you’re not, it’s going to get to you.”

Orb comes into the race with five wins in nine starts for owners Ogden Mills “Dinny” Phipps and Stuart Janney III, while Oxbow’s Preakness win was just his third win in 11 starts for Calumet Farm.

Pletcher is looking for his second Belmont win. He won it in 2007 with the filly Rags to Riches, and Unlimited Budget could make him 2-for-2 with his Belmont fillies if Rosie Napravnik can pull off the upset and become the second female rider to win a Triple Crown race (Julie Krone won the 1993 Belmont with Colonial Affair).

“She’s a big, strong, talented filly. From a physical standpoint, she is going to match up well,” Pletcher said. “My biggest concern is the mile-and-a-half, with her not as strongly bred as Rags to Riches. But she’s trained very well.”

Pletcher will also send out Overanalyze, Palace Malice and Midnight Taboo. Mike Repole owns Unlimited Budget, Overanalyze and Midnight Taboo.

Unlimited Budget, who won her first four starts before running third in the Kentucky Oaks, and Peter Pan winner Freedom Child are co-fourth choices at 8-1.

The last Derby-Belmont winner was Thunder Gulch in 1995, and the last Preakness-Belmont winner was Afleet Alex in 2005. The last rematch of the Derby and Preakness winners was in 2011, when Preakness winner Shackleford ran fifth and Derby winner Animal Kingdom sixth behind Ruler On Ice.

The field from the rail out is Frac Daddy (Alan Garcia, 30-1), Freedom Child (Luis Saez, 8-1), Overanalyze (John Velazquez, 12-1), Giant Finish (Edgar Prado, 30-1), Orb (Joel Rosario, 3-1), Incognito (Irad Ortiz, Jr., 20-1), Oxbow (Gary Stevens, 5-1), Midnight Taboo (Garrett Gomez, 30-1), Revolutionary (Javier Castellano, 9-2), Will Take Charge (Jon Court, 20-1), Vyjack (Julien Leparoux, 20-1), Palace Malice (Mike Smith, 15-1), Unlimited Budget (Rosie Napravnik, 8-1), and Golden Soul (Robby Albarado, 10-1).

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2013/06/05/2626001/derby-winner-orb-3-1-favorite.html#storylink=cpy

 

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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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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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Team Trout or Camp Cabrera?

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Team Trout or Camp Cabrera?

Posted on 01 October 2012 by Thyrl Nelson

It’s not often I get to say I’m right while also playing the role of devil’s advocate. Heck…who am I trying to kid? It’s not often I get to say I was right period, especially about something as subjective as AL MVP voting. I did however say a few weeks, maybe months, ago that this Year’s AL MVP vote would be an even bigger case of traditional stats vs. advanced metrics than the Cy Young candidacy of Felix Hernandez in 2010. To that end, and likely that end alone, I’m right.

The AL MVP race has boiled down to two vastly distinctive candidates and two incredibly different camps. In one corner there’s Miguel Cabrera, baseball’s most prolific hitter and potentially the winner of baseball’s first Triple Crown in 45 years. The old school “eye test” camp is touting his candidacy. In the other corner we have Mike Trout, baseball’s newest phenom and most complete player. Trout has rewritten the sabermetric standard and not surprisingly has the advanced stats guys singing his praises.

 

If there’s anything unfortunate about the historical pursuits of these two gentlemen and their two-man race for MVP it’s that it’s become a partisan debate. The Saber community and the Old Guard have long been at odds and much like Democrats and Republicans in a political debate, this year’s vote likely rides with which community you already subscribe to rather than which candidate you actually prefer.

 

Welcome to the “T” party; the Thyrl Party. I subscribe to neither camp wholeheartedly, but am suddenly becoming enamored with both, and the odds that they seem to be at currently.

 

For most of the summer I was on “Team Trout”. The kid emerged from the shadow of Bryce Harper to do things that we not only couldn’t have expected of him, Trout has done things that we couldn’t have expected from anyone. But suddenly, and maybe simply in the interest of being a contrarian, I find myself in “Camp Cabrera”. And as I’m not seeing many good arguments made on Cabrera’s behalf outside of the anomaly of a Triple Crown, I’ll try here to make one.

 

First, it seems the saber folks have pointed to a Triple Crown as nothing more than a statistical novelty and I don’t disagree. Even old school writers have seen through the statistical novelty seasons of the past. Baseball has seen multiple Triple Crown winners, 40/40 and even 50/50 club members and some have walked away with the hardware while others haven’t. The 56-game hitting streak did win Joe DiMaggio an MVP in a 1941 season that I’m convinced if we recast the ballot would go to Ted Williams in a landslide. So before going any further I’ll state for the record that my case for Cabrera has nothing to do with, and is in no way vested in his winning the Triple Crown. If Josh Hamilton were to hit 10 home runs over the season’s final series, my endorsement of Cabrera would not change.

 

Next, I will neither embrace nor reject the use of advanced metrics in deciding the award. I like most advanced metrics and the conclusions that they can help to lead us to. I’ll also acknowledge however that the MVP is a subjective award. That’s why it’s put to a vote. Sabermetrics aren’t and shouldn’t be the entirety of the MVP debate, or there’d be no debate at all. In fact the inclusion of “valuable” in the title instead of  “outstanding” for example, invites a further level of subjectivity. What is the definition of valuable? We could simply rename the award the “Warlord Award” and hand it to Trout. Heck, we could just call it the aWARd. While embracing the wave of new age data however, I’ll also suggest that I’m not convinced that the formulas are perfect, and that not all metrics are created equally.

 

Defensive metrics are a part of everyone’s WAR calculations, but seem to differ (sometimes greatly) depending on which saber community you subscribe to. There’s no question that Mike Trout is a batter defender than Miguel Cabrera, but by how much is largely debatable. It’s also somewhat debatable whether defensive metrics are being given the right amount of weight in the WAR calculation.

 

Comparing a center fielder to a third baseman should be seen as an apples-to-oranges type of proposition. Not only are the numbers of typical opportunities at those positions widely divergent, but so are the types of opportunities. Balls hit to a third baseman are basically his alone to get. He’ll either make a play on them or he won’t and the stats will reflect the runs above or below average that he’s allowing as a result of those efforts. By contrast, balls hit to a centerfielder aren’t always his alone to get. A particularly rangy centerfielder will have the opportunity to get to a number of balls that could be fielded by other players. Calling players off and increasing his own zone ratings as a result are impressive, but not necessarily run saving. In other words, some of the balls that Mike Trout gets to wouldn’t be caught by other centerfielders, but would still be caught on other teams by fielders at different positions. This seems to give a CF like Trout an inordinate advantage in padding his “runs saved” stats.

 

More importantly, if we’re going to penalize Cabrera for being a bad 3rd baseman, we also have to understand the circumstances that landed him there. Cabrera wasn’t a “plus defensive” first baseman either, but he was at least better playing first than he is at third, and also would have gotten the benefit of first base being a less important defensive position. Still, to penalize him for embracing third base for the good of the team and in order to facilitate the Tigers working Prince Fielder into the lineup seems at least moderately unfair. Instead of comparing these players run-for-run and since we’re only looking at two guys, let’s instead consider their specific circumstances.

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Secretariat’s 1973 Preakness winning time to be reviewed

Posted on 12 June 2012 by WNST Staff

MARYLAND RACING COMMISSION AGREES TO REVIEW TIMING OF SECRETARIAT’S 1973 PREAKNESS STAKES
New Evidence to Be Presented at June 19 Meeting

BALTIMORE, Md. (June 12, 2012) – Penny Chenery, the owner of Secretariat and Thomas Chuckas, the President of the Maryland Jockey Club have requested that the Maryland Racing Commission conduct a hearing to consider “compelling” evidence, based upon advances in modern video technology, regarding the long-standing controversy surrounding Secretariat’s winning time in the 1973 Preakness Stakes. The Commission has agreed to do so and it will consider the request at its upcoming meeting on June 19th at Laurel Park.
The electronic timer in use at Pimlico for the 1973 Preakness recorded a winning time of 1:55—a clocking that quickly became the source of controversy after two independent clockers from the Daily Racing Form had individually hand-timed the race at a much faster 1:53 2/5. In the days following the 1973 Preakness, the stewards at Pimlico, and later the Commission, concluded that there were “extenuating circumstances” attendant to the electronic timer’s recording.  As a result, the official time was subsequently changed to that reported by Pimlico’s official hand clocker — 1:54 2/5.
Had Secretariat’s time been officially recorded as 1:53 2/5 – the time still recognized today by the Daily Racing Form - he would have beaten Canonero II’s track record of 1:54 for the 1 3/16-mile distance, set during the 1971 Preakness Stakes. Instead, the Preakness wound up being the only ”jewel” of Secretariat’s three Triple Crown race victories in which he did not establish a new track record.
“For me, revisiting this dispute on a new day is matter of resolution – for historians, for sportswriters and for racing fans,” said Mrs. Chenery. “Their voices are supported by sound evidence, and they deserve to be heard.”
The Maryland Jockey Club, which operates Pimlico Race Course, agrees that the time has come to settle the issue.
“During the last 40 years, video technology has been accepted in other professional sports as a supportive mechanism for officials to ensure fairness and accuracy in their decisions,” said Maryland Jockey Club President Tom Chuckas. “It is important for horse racing and the record books to confirm the correct time in this historical race. It is the appropriate thing to do.”
In later runnings of the second leg of the Triple Crown, Tank’s Prospect (1985), Louis Quatorze (1996) and Curlin (2007) separately established the current, officially – recognized Preakness Stakes record time of 1:53 2/5. The track record at Pimlico for 1 3/16 miles is held by Farma Way with a time of 1:52 2/5 when he won the 1991 Pimlico Special.
The June 19 Maryland Racing Commission meeting will be held at Laurel Park beginning at 1:00 pm and is open to the public.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 05 June 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Golf-PGA Tour FedEx St. Jude Classic (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Memphis), Champions Tour Regions Tradition (Thursday & Friday 6:30pm Saturday & Sunday 7:30pm from Shoal Creek, AL on Golf Channel), Wegmans LPGA Championship (Thursday & Friday 12pm Saturday & Sunday 2pm from Pittsford, NY live on Golf Channel); WNBA: New York Liberty @ Washington Mystics (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet); Mixed Martial Arts: UFC on FX 3-Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall (Friday 9pm from Sunrise, FL live on FX); Pro Lacrosse: MLL Charlotte Hounds @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on Comcast SportsNet/ESPN3.com)

10. Gavin DeGraw & Colbie Caillat (Sunday 6pm Pier Six Pavilion); Foster The People (Sunday 5:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Carbon Leaf/Civil Twilight (Saturday 7pm Rams Head Live); Hawthorne Heights (Sunday 5pm Recher Theatre); Victor Wooten (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Edwin McCain (Thursday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Little River Band (Sunday 1pm Rams Head on Stage), Marshall Tucker Band (Sunday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Bootsy Collins (Monday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Jimmy Cliff (Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club); The Wailers (Tuesday 8pm Howard Theatre); Beach Boys “That’s Why God Made The Radio” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

There was a time in my life when I genuinely enjoyed the tunes of Gavin DeGraw. Maybe that’s not something I should be broadcasting…

Since Foster The People are coming to town and the Beach Boys are putting out a new record, here’s FTP’s EXCELLENT take on the greatest Beach Boys tune of all time…

Any excuse to share a Carbon Leaf tune is a good one…

I wish I could go to RHL Saturday night. Civil Twilight is excellent too…

9. “Prometheus” opens in theaters (Friday); Safe House“, “John Carter” and “Act of Valor” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Greg Proops (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Doug Benson (Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Honfest (Saturday & Sunday Hampden); Maryland Wine Week begins (Friday)

You know Prometheus as THAT MOVIE EVERYONE IN THE WORLD WANTS TO SEE. Well, at least until “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter” comes out, at which point they might as well just stop making movies.

Honestly, there is no single greater gift you could ever purchase me than this movie poster…

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