BALTIMORE – Always Dreaming, impressive winner of the Kentucky Derby (G1), is headed to historic Pimlico Race Course for the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, the 142nd Preakness Stakes (G1) Saturday, May 20.
At 8:10 a.m. Sunday, Maryland Jockey Club President and General Manager Sal Sinatra called trainer Todd Pletcher and formally invited he and the other winning connections of Always Dreaming to continue their Triple Crown dream in the Preakness.
“I congratulated him on winning the race and extended him the traditional invitation to the Preakness, which he accepted,” Sinatra said. “We are thrilled to have the Derby winner and he is excited about coming. He’s going into the Preakness Barn and putting Always Dreaming in Stall 40, which is historically reserved for the Derby winner. He said he wanted to keep the mojo going.”
Owned by MeB Racing Stables, Teresa Viola Racing Stables, St. Elias Stables, Brooklyn Boyz Stables, Siena Farm and West Point Thoroughbreds, Always Dreaming is scheduled to arrive Tuesday morning following a flight from Kentucky that will also include Preakness contender Royal Mo, trained by John Shirreffs.
Sinatra said Pletcher requested 12 stalls at Pimlico, which will host 15 stakes, eight graded, worth $3.7 million in purses on a Preakness weekend that kicks off with Black-Eyed Susan Day Friday, May 20.
Among the horses Pletcher is considering for the weekend are Rebel (G2) winner Malagacy in the Preakness; multiple graded stakes-placed 3-year-old Hedge Fund in the Chick Lang, which had its purse doubled to $200,000 this year; and 3-year-old filly Lights of Medina, who earned automatic entry into the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) by virtue of her victory in the Weber City Miss April 22 at Laurel Park.
Preakness Week at Pimlico offers several events including Sunrise at Old Hilltop, where fans can have breakfast trackside while watching horses go through their morning exercise; the traditional Alibi Breakfast on Thursday, May 18; and Budweiser InfieldFest, one of the country’s most eclectic outdoor music festivals.
Headlining this year’s InfieldFest on Preakness Day is multi-platinum crossover artist Sam Hunt, joined by Grammy and Billboard award-winning electronic music artist Zedd, pop-punk award-winning and multi-platinum artist Good Charlotte, along with LOCASH, Preston Brust and High Valley. Additional information can be found on www.preakness.com.
The second-biggest day on the Maryland racing calendar behind Preakness day in terms of purses, attendance and handle, Black-Eyed Susan day features 14 races and the Ultimate Girls Day Out honoring the spirit and strength of women with events to benefit both Susan G. Komen Maryland and the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. Additional information can be found on www.blackeyedsusanday.com.