Thursday, May 16 2019

Seven Guaranteed Multi-Race Pools Offered Preakness Weekend

$2 Million Pick 4, $1 Million Late Pick 5 Pools Preakness Day

Friday’s Black-Eyed Susan Day Features Trio of $300,000 Pools

BALTIMORE – Bettors will have their choice of seven guaranteed multi-race wager pools at Pimlico Race Course on a weekend that features 16 stakes, nine graded, worth $3.95 million in purses anchored by the 144th running of the $1.65 million Preakness Stakes (G1).

The Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown will go off as Race 13 on a blockbuster 14-race program Saturday, May 18 that begins with a first-race post time of 10:30 a.m. Post time for the Preakness is 6:48 p.m.

The Preakness will be the final leg of a $2 million guaranteed Pick 4 covering Races 10-13 and a $1 million guaranteed Late Pick 5 spanning Races 9-13. Preakness Day will also feature a $500,000 guaranteed Pick 4 on Races 6-9 and $250,000 guaranteed early Pick 5 on Races 2-6.

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Black-Eyed Susan (G2), Pimlico Special (G3) Highlight Stronach 5

$100,000 Guaranteed Pool, Free Past Performances

LAUREL, MD – Friday’s Stronach 5, featuring an industry-low 12 percent takeout, free past performances and a $100,000 guaranteed pool, will be highlighted by the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) and $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3) as well as turf races from Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park and Golden Gate Fields.

The sequence kicks off at 4:14 p.m. with the Pimlico Special and is followed by the Black-Eyed Susan. The Stronach 5 then runs on the turf at Santa Anita, Gulfstream and Golden Gate.

Friday’s Stronach 5 sequence

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Wednesday, May 15 2019

Improbable Favored in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes Morning Line

Baffert Shooting for Record 8th Win in Middle Jewel of Triple Crown

BALTIMORE, MD – WinStar Farm LLC, China Horse Club International and Starlight Racing, principles in the ownership group of 2018 Triple Crown champion Justify, will once again be represented by a morning-line favorite for the Preakness Stakes (G1) Saturday when Improbable is scheduled to take on 12 rivals in the 144th running of the 1 3/16-mile Spring Classic at Pimlico Race Course.

Installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite, Improbable may not be as highly regarded as Justify, who was the 1-2 morning-line favorite and won the Preakness by a half-length as the 2-5 betting choice last year. However, the 3-year-old son of City Zip would appear to have a solid chance to give trainer Bob Baffert back-to-back victories and a record-breaking eighth success in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.

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Tuesday, May 14 2019

Preakness Weekend Stakes Notes

Asmussen Poised to Win Trainer Bonus for Third Straight Year
Wentz Seeking Big Score in Maryland Sprint Stakes (G3)
Corrales: Everybody Deserves a Shot, Including Bobby G

BALTIMORE – The Maryland Jockey Club for the third straight year is offering $100,000 in points-based bonus money to the trainers who run at least five horses in stakes over Preakness weekend. The winner of the $50,000 top prize the past two years was Steve Asmussen, who won four stakes in 2018 while accruing 82 points and two in 2017 while racking up 38 points.

The Hall of Fame trainer says his entourage won’t be as strong this year because some horses that otherwise would have come to Pimlico instead ran back at Oaklawn Park during the Arkansas track’s extended meet that only ended Kentucky Derby Day, May 4.

Still, even a diminished Asmussen arsenal could get the job done as he plans to run eight horses in eight stakes, including Oaklawn Invitational winner Laughing Fox in the Preakness Stakes in a two-week turnaround.

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Contenders for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes Arrive at Pimlico

BALTIMORE, MD – Robert Baker and William Mack’s Market King arrived at Pimlico Race Course midafternoon Tuesday for Saturday’s 144th Preakness Stakes following a 10-hour, 15-minute van ride that originated at Churchill Downs.

Market King, who finished 11th in the Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland and finished third in a division of the Rebel (G2) at Oaklawn, is trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, who has saddled five Preakness winners.

“The trip was really good,” said Lukas, who rode shotgun in the truck towing the van transporting that son of Into Mischief. “As you can see that horse never turned a hair. He ate on the way. I probably can’t make any excuses on the trip.”

Market King, who was the second to arrive at Pimlico following War of Will’s early-morning arrival, was joined at Pimlico about two hours later by Bodexpress and Signalman, who were aboard a flight from Lexington, Ky. to Baltimore Washington International Airport. Bodexpress and Signalman trained at Churchill Downs Tuesday morning before vanning to Lexington for the flight to Maryland.

Lukas on Video:

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Preakness 144:  War of Will First to Arrive for Preakness Stakes

War of Will First to Arrive for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes

Improbable ‘Ready to Go’ for Middle Jewel of Triple Crown
Alwaysmining Representing Maryland Racing Well
Signalman’s Rookie Owner ‘Off the Charts Lucky’

BALTIMORE, MD – Gary Barber’s War of Will was the first contender for Saturday’s $1.65 million Preakness Stakes (G1) to arrive at Pimlico Race Course, stepping onto the grounds early Tuesday morning following a van ride that originated at Churchill Downs Monday afternoon.

Expected to be among the favorites for the 144th running of the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, War of Will was accompanied on the van by stablemates Flameaway, who was entered in the $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3) and Gio Game, scheduled to run in the $150,000 Caplan Brothers Glass Allaire DuPont Distaff (G3). War of Will’s stablemates, who will compete on Friday’s Black-Eyed Susan Day program, walked over the Pimlico track Tuesday.

Mark Casse-trained War of Will, an eye-catching bay son of War Front who was placed seventh in the Kentucky Derby (G1), jogged once around the Pimlico track and appeared to travel well over the surface, reported assistant trainer and exercise rider Kim Carroll, who is overseeing the trio until Casse arrives later in the day.


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Saturday, May 11 2019

Alwaysmining ‘Aggressive’ in Breeze for May 18 Preakness

Win Win Win Confirmed for Middle Jewel of Triple Crown
Laughing Fox ‘Cool’ and ‘Relaxed’ for Preakness Run

BALTIMORE, MD – Runnymede Racing LLC’s Alwaysmining breezed a half-mile at Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md. Friday morning in preparation for a planned start in the 144th Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course May 18.

The son of Stay Thirsty, who is riding a six-race winning streak, covered the four-furlong distance under regular exercise rider Felix Astudillo in 48.20 seconds, the fastest of 13 recorded at the distance over Fair Hill’s synthetic surface.

“I was very happy with his work today. He started off nice and easy and finished up strong,” trainer Kelly Rubley said. “He galloped out very well, so we’re very pleased.

“I wanted to see him start out nice and easy and finish up strong. My rider thought he was very aggressive going to the pole, which is a great sign,” she added. “Now we’ll see how he comes out tomorrow and get through this week.”

Alwaysmining seemed to enjoy his morning exercise as much as Rubley and Astudillo did.

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Churchill Downs Barn Notes: Owendale, Signalman, Warrior’s Charge Breeze for Preakness


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Saturday, May 11, 2019)
– Preakness Stakes (Grade I) contenders Owendale, Signalman and Warrior’s Charge topped Saturday morning’s work tab at Churchill Downs as the trio put in their final preparation for the second jewel in racing’s Triple Crown on May 18.

Rupp Racing’s Lexington Stakes (GIII) winner Owendale was the first Preakness contender to breeze Saturday at 5:30 a.m. EDT and recorded a five-furlong bullet move in :59.20 – the fastest of 31 at the distance. Trained by Brad Cox, Owendale clipped through splits of :12.40, :24 and :46.80 before he galloped out six furlongs in 1:12.20, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols.

About five minutes later, Owendale’s stablemate, Ten Strike Racing and Madaket Stables’ allowance winner Warrior’s Charge, worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 through fractions of :12.60, :24.60 and :48.60 before a six-furlong gallop out in 1:13.20, according to Nichols. The ownership of Warrior’s Charge would have to pay $150,000 to supplement to the Preakness Stakes.

“The track was really good this morning,” said Cox, who was joined on the Stakes Room balcony by eight clients and friends. “I think both horses ready to roll. Owendale has been doing phenomenal following the Lexington. He has that built in foundation from the race that will suit him well in the Preakness.

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Friday, May 10 2019

Nominations Total 268 Horses for Preakness Stakes (G1) Undercard

Eight Stakes, Four Graded, Support Middle Jewel of Triple Crown

Catholic Boy Among 39 Nominees to $118th Maker’s Mark Dixie (G2)

Sophomores in Spotlight in Chick Lang (G3), Sir Barton, James Murphy

BALTIMORE – A total of 268 horses were nominated to the eight stakes, four graded, worth $1.15 million in purses that support the 144th running of the Preakness Stakes (G1), the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, Saturday, May 18 at Pimlico Race Course.

The $1.5 million Preakness will anchor nine stakes, five graded, worth $2.65 million in purses on a 14-race program that begins with a special 10:30 a.m. first post. The Preakness will be Race 13 with a post time of 6:48 p.m.

Catholic Boy, a Grade 1 winner on both turf and dirt, is one of 19 graded-stakes winners among 38 horses nominated to the 118th running of the $250,000 Maker’s Mark Dixie (G2) for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/16 miles on the grass.

A winner of six of 10 starts and more than $1.8 million in purses, Catholic Boy has not raced since having a three-race win streak snapped in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). All three wins came in graded-stakes, led by the Travers (G1) on dirt and Belmont Derby Invitational (G1) on grass, both at 1 ¼ miles.

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Tuesday, May 07 2019

Improbable Imposing Prospect for May 18 Preakness Stakes

Signalman ‘Fresh’ for Middle Jewel of Triple Crown

BALTIMORE, MD – In the absence of Maximum Security, Country House and Code of Honor, beaten Kentucky Derby (G1) favorite Improbable is expected to vie for favoritism in the 144th Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course May 18.

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will try for his record-breaking eighth victory in the historic Preakness with Improbable, who finished fifth and was placed fourth in the Derby last Saturday as the 4-1 favorite in the 19-horse field.

Baffert was non-committal about a Preakness runner Sunday but confirmed Monday that Improbable would be pointed to the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. Improbable finished 3¼ lengths behind Derby first-place finisher Maximum Security, whose owners Monday ruled out a start in the Preakness for the colt who was disqualified and placed 17th.

“With Maximum Security not in there, that’s why we’re running,” Baffert said Tuesday morning.

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Monday, May 06 2019

Preakness: ‘Bourbon’ Ready to Go to ‘War’ in May 18 Preakness Stakes

Mott 'Leaning Toward' Middle Jewel for Country House
Connections of 'Healthy and Happy' War of Will Eye Preakness

BALTIMORE, MD – Bourbon Lane Stable and Lake Star Stable’s Bourbon War, fourth in the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park in his most recent start, has joined the probable list for the 144th Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course May 18.

“He’s doing excellent. Right now, he’s probable for the Preakness,” trainer Mark Hennig said Monday morning from Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. “We had a conference call yesterday and speaking with the owners we felt like after watching the events of the weekend, the Florida horses gave a good account of themselves and we felt we were competitive with them. So, why not take a shot in the Preakness rather than the more conservative route we were thinking in the Peter Pan?”

Bourbon War closed from far back to finish fourth behind Maximum Security, Bodexpress and Code of Honor in the Florida Derby. Maximum Security finished first by 1 ¾ lengths in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs before being disqualified; Bodexpress finished off-the-board in the Derby after stalking the pace into the far turn while racing extremely wide; Code of Honor briefly put his head in front at the top of the stretch in the Run for the Roses before finishing third and being placed second due to the disqualification.

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Thursday, May 18 2017

Preakness News and Notes: 05.18.2017

Always Dreaming ‘Sitting on Go’ for Saturday’s Preakness
Classic Empire ‘Focused and Happy’ for Morning Gallop
Conquest Mo Money Changing Trainer’s Life

BALTIMORE – After training Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Always Dreaming early Thursday morning, trainer Todd Pletcher told the crowd at the annual Alibi Breakfast that his colt is ready for Saturday’s 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course.

“The horse is doing unbelievably well in the two-week turnaround,” Pletcher said. “The way he’s moving, the way he’s acting, the way he’s getting over the track, we feel really blessed that he’s coming into the race this way. I’m someone who has been in a lot of races and lost a lot of races, so I know you don’t want to be overconfident, but I do feel very, very good about the way he’s coming into it.”

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