Triple Crown hopeful Justify’s Breeding Rights Sold for $60 Million

Justify’s Breeding Rights Sold to Coolmore Farm for $60 Million

New York Times 2018 Belmont Stakes coverage: American Pharoah owner rooting for a Justify sweep of Triple Crown

Asbury Park Press Justify owner’s dilemma: Run Audible in Belmont and risk Triple Crown?

Source: Justify’s Breeding Rights Sold to Coolmore Farm for $60 Million

Asmussen’s Tenfold Prepping for Belmont Stakes

Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Tenfold, third by a total of three-quarters of a length in the Preakness, galloped 1 1/8 miles under Angel Garcia after getting a day off Tuesday.

“The horse is doing good,” said Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen.

Asmussen said Tenfold is scheduled to work five-eighths of a mile Saturday and that he’s looking for a nice, relaxed move in “1:01 and change, 1:02” in preparation for running Belmont Park’s 1 ½ mile circumference.

“It’s who he is physically and the rhythm I want him in that I think will be most effective in the Belmont for him,” Asmussen, who frequently works his Saturdaystakes horses on Mondays, said of the workout design and timing. “…. He’s just going to have to be big, relaxed and cover the ground with the frame that he has.”

Tenfold and other Churchill-based Asmussen horses running at Belmont will fly to New York on Tuesday, he said.

source: press release

Overnight Ratings Spike 12% for NBC Preakness Broadcast

Is Horse Racing Dead?

With viewers perhaps sensing a special horse in undefeated Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) winner Justify, overnight ratings for NBC’s Preakness Stakes (G1) increased 12% compared with last year’s broadcast.

Source: Overnight Ratings Spike 12% for NBC Preakness Broadcast

Kentucky Derby winner Justify hot favorite for the Preakness Stakes

Kentucky Derby winner Justify hot favorite for the Preakness Stakes CNN Kentucky Derby winner Justify draws No7 post for Preakness Stakes The Guardian Is it time to widen the gap between Kentucky Derby and Preakness? The Augusta Chronicle Justify followed a tricky path to win Kentucky Derby.

Source: Kentucky Derby winner Justify hot favorite for the Preakness Stakes

2018 Preakness Notes – Part II

Press Release

Quip Ready, Fit Sunday after Breezing 4F
With trainer Rodolphe Brisset aboard, Quip turned in his final timed work for the 143rd Preakness Stakes Sunday morning, breezing a half-mile in 48.20 seconds at Keeneland.
The WinStar Farm homebred son of Distorted Humor, co-owned by WinStar, China Horse Club and SF Racing, covered the first quarter of a mile in 24.40 and was timed in 23.80 for the second quarter. Quip was alone on the track at Keeneland at 6:30 a.m. and beat the heat that spiked later in the morning.
“He did exactly what we wanted and exactly his usual half-mile, out five-eighths,” Brisset said. “There was nothing fancy. We don’t need anything fancy anyway. We’re ready. He’s fit. We let him go off a little faster than 25 and came home in 23, and he galloped out (six furlongs) in 1:12 2/5. That’s his usual. He was by himself. We didn’t want to do more than this.”
Quip won the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and was second in the Arkansas Derby(G1) to accumulate more than enough points to qualify for the Kentucky Derby, but his connections opted to pass on the Derby and point to the Preakness. A primary reason was that the colt needed more time between races than three weeks from the Arkansas Derby to Kentucky Derby. Also WinStar had interests in three other Derby runners, including the eventual winner, Justify.
Brisset said he likes how Quip looks and is training entering the Preakness.
“He’s shown all the signs that he is back to his own self,” Brisset said. “The race in Arkansas and the trip was pretty hard on him. We gave him an easy week and a half after the Arkansas Derby. We didn’t lose anything because he has been galloping on a daily basis. Then we decided to pick the weather last week – breezing on Thursday (May 3) before the Kentucky Derby to beat the rain. That gives us a good 10 days between his last breeze and this one today. It’s good timing. Now we don’t have to do anything much, just keep him on his basic, regular galloping.”
Quip will be flown to Baltimore on Wednesday. Florent Geroux, who has been aboard for his five career starts, will ride Quip in the Preakness.
Bravazo Turns in 4F Maintenance Breeze
Calumet Farm’s Bravazo, the winner of Fair Grounds’ Risen Star (G2) who was sixth in the Kentucky Derby after being well-beaten in the Louisiana Derby, worked a half-mile in 50 3/5 seconds at Churchill Downs early Sunday morning in preparation for the Preakness Stakes.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas said he hadn’t seen the official time but had wanted something in the range of 50 seconds. He didn’t need the clocker’s splits to know Bravazo finished nicely.
“I don’t know what the splits were, have no idea,” he said. “I don’t pay any attention to that. I just want to see how they go. What were the splits? Had to be slow first.”
The official splits were 13 seconds for the first eighth-mile, 25 2/5 for the quarter-mile, 38 for three-eighths, with Bravazo going the final eighth-mile in 12 3/5 seconds and galloping out five-eighths of a mile in 1:04 4/5.
“He just ran eight days ago,” Lukas said. “He doesn’t need much.”
Calumet Farm and Lukas teamed in 2013 to win the Preakness with Oxbow, extending the historic Lexington farm’s record number of victories in the race to eight. It was the sixth for Lukas, who along with trainer Bob Baffert would tie the all-time record with another win. R.W. Walden won the Preakness seven times from 1875-1888.
Lukas’ other Preakness candidate, last summer’s Grade 1 Hopeful winner Sporting Chance, who was a troubled fourth in the Pat Day Mile (G3) on the Derby undercard, was scheduled to work a slow half-mile but wound up galloping.

2018 Preakness Notes – Part I

Press Release

BALTIMORE – Kentucky Derby (G1) runner-up Good Magic will run in the 143rd Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course, trainer Chad Brown announced on Sunday.
The morning after Good Magic finished 2½ lengths behind Justify over the sloppy track at Churchill Downs, Brown said he would take the colt back to his base at Belmont Park, spend a week observing how he came out of the race, consult with the owners and then make a decision.
“The horse has just been training very well since the Derby,” Brown said. “He bounced out of the race in great condition and I think he deserves a chance in the race. He’s doing great.”
Like most trainers, Brown does not typically run a horse back in two weeks, but he said Good Magic had shown him that he is ready for the Preakness.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for the horse,” he said. “I really don’t have anything else planned for him before, say, either the Haskell (G1) or the Jim Dandy (G2) anyway. That said, I wouldn’t do it just because he’s going to get a bit of a freshening. He has to be doing well, and he’s doing exceptionally well. He’s doing far better than I expected exiting the Derby. It’s remarkable to see how well the horse is moving and his energy level. He already has his weight back. He just looks great. I’m excited about it.”
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This will be the fourth consecutive year that the top two finishers in the Kentucky Derby have a rematch in the Preakness. In each of the last two years, the Derby runner-up finished ahead of the Derby winner in the Preakness. Brown acknowledged that Justify presents an imposing challenge for his colt.
“It’s a tall order,” he said. “The horse is unbeaten and to a degree untested. He ran a great race in the Derby and he is clearly the horse to beat. We’re going to need to close the gap on him somehow. We’re going to need to improve. Even though our horse ran an excellent race in the Derby and earned a lot of respect from everybody, he needs to again move forward and we need to have Justify come back to us a little bit. I think that the margin that I saw between the two horses is not out of the question that we’ll be able to make up that difference.”
Good Magic, co-owned by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Farm, broke his maiden winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and was voted the Eclipse Award as the 2-year-old male champion. This year, he was third in the Fountain of Youth (G2) and won the Blue Grass (G2) prior to the Kentucky Derby. e Five purchased Good Magic for $1,000,000 as a yearling at Keeneland and subsequently sold a 50 percent share to Stonestreet, which bred the colt.
Brown, 39, has won the Eclipse Award as the champion trainer the past two years. He won the 2017 Preakness with Cloud Computing in his debut in the race.
Good Magic is scheduled to ship to Baltimore on Monday and will gallop on the track Tuesday morning.
Barnes in ‘Awesome Position’ with Baffert, Justify
Justify made a visit to the starting gate and had a routine gallop Sunday morning at Churchill Downs as the Kentucky Derby winner prepares for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes and an attempt to stay on course for a Triple Crown sweep.
“He stood in the gate, we jogged down the stretch a little ways and then galloped a mile and a half,” said assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes, who is overseeing Justify’s training while Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is in California. Baffert is expected to arrive in Louisville Sunday night, with Justify flying to Baltimore on Wednesday.
As Baffert’s chief assistant, Barnes is a familiar sight at Churchill Downs –
and everywhere from Monmouth Park to Mountaineer, from Oaklawn Park to Belmont Park, Saratoga in August and Dubai in March, wherever Baffert has a quality stakes horse hitting the road.
Justify, the heavy favorite to annex the Preakness Stakes after running his record to 4-for-4 with his coronation in the Kentucky Derby, is yet another Baffert star placed in Barnes’ care while on the road.
He’s the latest in an almost unfathomable sequence where Baffert has had American Pharoah, the 2015 Triple Crown champion, Arrogate, the world’s all-time money-earner who raced in 2016-17 and now, Justify, who became the first horse since Apollo (1882) to win the Kentucky Derby without racing at 2. The stable has uncorked so many record-setting horses that a horse such as 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Bayern barely makes the discussion.
“It’s an awesome position to have, and I’m just blessed to be here,” said Barnes, whose first full year with Baffert was 1999, when the barn had the champion filly Silverbulletday. “I can’t imagine doing anything else. These horses are like once in a lifetime horses coming through the barn. We just keep enjoying it while they come, because you never know when you might have a slow year.
“I’ve trained on my own; it’s a tough go. I like dealing with this caliber of horses, prefer to be at this level. So I’d rather just stay right here. You put in a lot of hours. It’s a dedication thing. Luckily my wife works with us, so I get to spend a lot of time with her. Maybe not at home, but we’re at the barn every day together. It’s worked out for us, we’ve been married 32 years. Just keep going along here as long as it lasts,” he added.
Barnes’ wife, top-notch exercise rider Dana Barnes, has worked for Baffert since 1998. Jimmy heard there could be an opening for an assistant in the stable, asked Baffert to keep him in mind, was hired and wound up being the chief assistant when Eoin Harty went on his own in 2000.
Barnes previously had worked for Hall of Famers Charlie Whittingham and Jerry Hollendorfer, as well as David Hofmans, who saddled Touch Gold for a 1997 Belmont Stakes (G1) victory over the Baffert-trained Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Silver Charm.
“I tend to point myself toward good stables, yes, absolutely,” Barnes said. “I’ve been very fortunate to end up dealing with great horses for a long time now.”
Diamond King ‘Right on the Money’ in 5F Breeze 
Cash is King, LC Racing and D.J. Stable’s Diamond King turned in his final work for the 143rd Preakness with a five-furlong breeze Sunday morning at Parx Racing in Bensalem, Pa.
Frankie Pennington was aboard as the stakes-winning son of Grade 1 winner Quality Road went in 1:01.50 over a sloppy main track in company with 4-year-old gelding Colonel Juan. Diamond King galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.53.
“Everything went super, very good. It was exactly what I was looking for,” trainer John Servis said. “I told him I was looking for around 1:01 and then let him gallop out on his own … so it was right on the money.”
Diamond King has worked twice since his victory in the 1 1/8-mile Federico Tesio Stakes April 21 at Laurel Park that earned him an automatic berth into the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. He breezed a half-mile on his own in 50.21 seconds May 6 at Parx.
“He went in company today because he works better in company than he does by himself. He can be a bit lazy,” Servis said. “I’m very happy with him. I’m tickled to death. I think he’s doing great.”
Considering the weather and the forecast, Servis was relieved to get Sunday’s work in as planned,  rather than have to push it back to Monday.
“Very much so,” he said. “It was a sealed racetrack. It wasn’t the best racetrack in the world but the bottom was good. I would have preferred a fast racetrack, but for a wet track it was very good, actually.”
Diamond King will have an easy day Monday and will remain at Parx until later in the week. All Preakness horses must be on the grounds by noon on Thursday, May 17.
“He’ll walk tomorrow and then I’ll just play it by ear after that,” Servis said. “I’ll see how he comes out of this work and how everything is and adjust his schedule accordingly.”
Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, who notched his second Preakness victory last year aboard Cloud Computing, has been named to ride.
Justify figures to be a strong favorite in the Preakness, and Servis was complimentary of the Kentucky Derby winner.
“He’s very impressive. Especially as good as he did it, and as good as he looks, it’s just hard to imagine that was only his fourth start,” he said. “He’s a good horse. He might be a great horse. I think we’re finding that out.”
Lone Sailor Confirmed for Preakness; Ortiz Jr. to Ride
Owner G M B Racing on Saturday evening tweeted that the Tom Amoss-trained Lone Sailor, its Louisiana Derby (G2) runner-up and Kentucky Derby eighth-place finisher, will run in the Preakness and that Irad Ortiz Jr. has the mount.
“When we got into this thing in 2014, on the back of our silks are three crowns, the Triple Crown,” said Greg Bensel, the senior vice president for communications for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints and NBA Pelicans, who also oversees G M B Racing for Gayle Benson, now the owner of the Saints and Pelicans following husband Tom Benson’s death March 15.
“A lot of people don’t particularly know that’s what it stands for,” Bensel said of the G M B’s silks design. “But our goal is always to run in the Triple Crown races, to run at the highest level. We’ve always dreamt of the Kentucky Derby, and we’ve been fortunate enough to have three in the last three years. We’ve won the Woody Stephens at Belmont, but the Preakness and Baltimore have always been a place we’ve wanted to run and be a part of that.”
G M B Racing was represented in the 2016 Kentucky Derby by Mo Tom (8th) and Tom’s Ready (12th), who went on to win the Woody Stephens (G2) on the Belmont Stakes undercard.
“Our horses, although they ran eighth and 12th in 2016 (in the Derby), our head guy, Mo Tom, was a guy who’d lose a lot of weight and couldn’t really bounce back. This guy, Tom Amoss gave us a good report Derby night, a great report the next day. I’m talking about him eating his whole tub, lively, got the look in his eye, went out for a full gallop a couple days later, full of energy, full of spunk. So no reason to not think about the Preakness,” Bensel said.
“Then you want to take a peek at the field. You want to see what Justify is doing; you want to see who else is entered; you want to see how big the field is because he’s a deep closer,” he added. “You saw how he got held up by (a stopping) Free Drop Billy in the Derby, and then he lost a shoe. So he was running against all odds in that Derby, and still he came fighting hard in the slop to be eighth. We’re hearing that we’re probably going to have a lot of wetness and moisture in Baltimore this week. We hear the field will be somewhat lighter. Justify or no Justify, we are on go. All systems point to go for us.”
Irad Ortiz Jr. has picked up the mount aboard Lone Sailor, who was ridden by James Graham in the Derby.
“We called on Irad Ortiz here. No disrespect to James Graham. We love James Graham; he’s been great to us. But we’re going to try something a little different here and take our chance,” Bensel said. “We’ve got a horse with a big engine, who is healthy, who’s sound, who’s full of energy. And why not?”
Lone Sailor galloped Sunday morning at Churchill Downs and will fly to Baltimore Wednesday. Amoss said the colt definitely deserves another chance with the cards reshuffled.
“The caveat here is that it was a very sloppy track Derby Day,” Amoss said. “But having said that, it’s hard to not want to take a chance against a group that didn’t come home very fast in the Kentucky Derby. Our horse, like many others, got in trouble in the race and we’d like another shot at this group. I have great respect for the group, and I thought going into the Kentucky Derby that the race went through California – which it turned out to do. But I’m looking forward to getting another chance at what hopefully is a fast track, although looking at the weather ahead, it looks like more rain.”

Justify is the early prohibitive favorite in the Preakness

Justify is the early favorite in the Preakness, but he’s also far from a sure thing

D. Wayne Lukas chimes in on this year’s 2nd jewel in the Triple Crown.  “Yes, [the field] can beat him,” Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who has two Preakness entrants, said last week. “But it’s going to be very difficult. But you have to look back down the years. Who would have thought Barbaro would have got beat? Who would have thought Fusaichi Pegasus would have got beat? Who would’ve thought that any of these horses that were heavily favored out of the Derby [would lose]? It’s [Justify’s] race to lose. … But you can’t mail it in.”

Baltimore Sun coverage of the 2018 Preakness Stakes

Source: Justify is the early favorite in the Preakness, but he’s also far from a sure thing

G3 Peter Pan Stakes Today at Belmont

Saturday’s Grade 3, $350,000 Peter Pan at Belmont Park has long been a historic race for 3-year-olds on the New York racing circuit. In addition to honoring a champion, the 1 1/8-mile race has served as a stepping stone towards a start in the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes, which will have its 150th running on June 9.

Carded as Race 10, the 64th running of the Peter Pan is one of five stakes, including four graded, on a stacked Man o’ War Day card that is highlighted by the Grade 1, $700,000 Man o’ War.

Gary Broad’s Core Beliefs headlines a field of eight and will make his fifth career start after finishing third behind eventual Kentucky Derby winner Justify in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on April 7. That effort marked the Quality Road colt’s second try at routing around two turns after he beat four others to break his maiden almost a month earlier. The Peter Eurton-trained Kentucky-bred offered two third-place finishes in sprints while being sent postward with blinkers.

“He’s doing very well.” Eurton said. “We’re very proud of him, no complaints. We were very pleased with his last race, as it was his first race against winners, and now especially against the cailber of horse we now know we were running against in Justify. I mean he was trying to win, it wasn’t like he was really far back, he was there at the three-quarters, and was running throughout, but we were real pleased with him and how he ran.”

Although Eurton and his connections said he doesn’t want to get too far ahead of the next start, there is a plan for the next six weeks.

“The ideal would be for him to win, come out of it liking the track and then go on to the Belmont, but we’re going to take it one race at a time for now,” he said.

Jockey Tyler Baze, who got the call aboard Core Beliefs for the first time in the Santa Anita Derby, will make the trip to New York and will try to work out a trip from the rail.

Federico Tesio winner Diamond King enters off of that three-quarter length victory at Laurel Park on April 21, and looks to add his third stakes win, which began with his ground saving 1 ½ length score in the Heft on December 30 also at Laurel Park.

By Quality Road, Diamond King steadied for a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Swale at Gulfstream on February 3 in between both victories, his second graded race start since his stakes debut in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club at Keeneland. That start, his third after winning his first pair, was foiled when he clipped heels and lost rider Frankie Pennington while heading into the first turn at Churchill Downs.

The winner of four races from six starts for trainer John Servis gets Hall of Fame rider Javier Castellano in the irons and drew post 5.

Shortleaf Stable’s High North shipped up from Churchill Downs this week for trainer Brad Cox, and looks to return to graded stakes competition after starting in three Grade 2 races, the Kentucky Jockey Club, Risen Star and Rebel in which he ran fourth, fifth and seventh respectively.

The son of Midnight Lute was given a bit of class relief and outfitted with blinkers in the Northern Spur Stakes on April 14, his last start, and he responded with a 2 ½ length victory. It was his second victory since he broke his maiden in his third career start at Keeneland. The lone runner with a race over Belmont’s main track, High North was second to Avery Island in his second career start on September 30. His stakes victory and equipment change could be the confidence boost the colt needed.

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“He’s doing real well,” Cox said. “I think the blinkers helped, and I think because he was a little closer to the pace than his previous two races, I think it worked out well for him.”

Florent Geroux, who debuted aboard High North in the Northern Spur, will make the trip to secure the mount and will break from post 6.

A debut in blinkers, and the benefit of Belmont Park’s 1 1/8-mile chute will play a role in reversal for Lothenbach Stables’ Gotta Go, who enters off an 11th place performance in the Grade 2 Blue Grass on April 7 at Keeneland. The Shanghai Bobby colt turned in a sixth-place finish in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth on March 3 at Gulfstream which followed a second place performance in the Grade 3 Swale at Gulfstream on February 3, the first race of his sophomore year.

Trainer Ian Wilkes hopes the Peter Pan’s one turn could help his Kentucky-bred get back on track.

“He’s doing well and the plan at the moment is to go to New York,” Wilkes said. “He looks like he’s improving. If he wasn’t, we wouldn’t come. I’m going to put blinkers on him and go back to one turn. I’m happy with the way he’s going.

“His last couple of races have been subpar and it might be due to the fact it was two turns; that’s what I’m going to find out,” he added. “I’ll put some blinkers on him and make him a little more focused.”

Gotta Go ended his 2-year-old year with a 13th-place finish in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club at Keeneland, the colt’s first graded stakes start after he captured the Street Sense by a head at Churchill Downs on October 29.

Gotta Go will be joined by regular rider Chris Landeros and will break from post 7. Bringing the most race experience to the group will be Arindel’s colt Transistor who will make his Belmont Park debut after 12 starts in Florida at Gulfstream and Gulfstram Park West for trainer Rudy Rodriguez.

The Forty Tales colt was fourth in his debut then followed with two eighth-place finishes on grass before he started at Gulfstream Park West, where he returned to dirt and responded with a strong second, short by a head at the wire. The Florida-bred added another runner-up finish before trying two turns where he offered another second and a third place finish seemingly benefitting from the added distance.

Transistor broke his maiden by a neck at 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream on February 8, but was cut back to seven furlongs where he came with a late kick to finish in an allowance start and then closed for third in the Roar on April 21, and has been working well towards Saturday.

“So far, so good,” Rodriguez said. “We’re taking a big chance, but we want to take the chance against these. He looks like he wants to go that long, he likes distance, and he’s a 3-year-old that’s getting better and better, so let’s hope he keeps going.”

Transistor will be ridden by Luis Saez and will break from outside post 8.

Just Whistle will carry the colors for owner Helen K. Groves in the Peter Pan, making just his fourth career start for trainer Michael Matz. Fifth in his debut at Delaware Park on August 9, the Pioneerof the Nile colt floated a bit in the stretch at Gulfstream before finishing a half-length behind eventual Kentucky Derby starter Hofburg in his second start. The pace-stalking type returned break his maiden as the favorite at Keeneland, and now will face tougher with a chance to go forward.

“He’s lightly raced, but he’s a real nice horse,” Matz said. “We’ll see what happens. We’re taking a really big step up to a bigger stage right here, and if it came up tough we’d probably skip and look elsewhere. We’re looking to ship up Saturday morning and run.”
Just Whistle will be ridden by Joel Rosario, aboard for the second straight time and will break from post 3.

Blended Citizen, the also-eligible entrant in the Kentucky Derby, will instead make his 10th career start in the Peter Pan after failing to draw in to the Classic last Saturday. He is the lone starter in the race to carry a graded stakes victory after he debuted with blinkers and prevailed by a neck in the Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Steaks on March 17 at Turfway Park which led to his fifth-place finish in the Grade 2 Blue Grass.

The colt by Proud Citizen ships in from California for trainer Doug O’Neill and will break from post 4 under jockey Kyle Frey.

Jackpot Ranch’s Zing Zang will make his eighth career start for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen following a ninth-place finish in the Blue Grass after he faced the task of drawing the rail amid the field of 14 that day. A rough trip in the Grade 2 Rebel for sixth followed his fifth place result in the Grade 3 Southwest in the mud at Oaklawn Park on February 19.

The colt by Tapit stepped up against tougher in the Grade 3 Lecomte and finished fourth to begin his 3-year-old campaign after ending with his maiden win in his third start.
The late-running Zing Zang will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. and will run from post 2.

Source: NYRA

Championship Pimlico Meet Opens Today. Highlighted by Preakness Day

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Championship racing returns to Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md., Thursday for the opening of its 12-day Preakness Meet at Pimlico, highlighted by the 143rd running of the $1.5 million, Grade 1 Preakness Stakes Saturday, May 19.

The Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, the 1 3/16-mile Preakness anchors eight stakes on a 14-race card that includes the $250,000 Dixie (G2), $150,000 Gallorette Stakes (G3) and $150,000 Maryland Sprint (G3). Post time on Preakness Day is 10:30 a.m.

Justify, undefeated winner of the Kentucky Derby (G1) May 5, will attempt to give Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his record-tying seventh victory in the Preakness. All four of Baffert’s previous Derby winners have gone on to win the Preakness, including 2015 Triple Crown champion American Pharoah.

The 94th running of the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) for 3-year-old fillies is the focal point of a 14-race program on Friday, May 18, that offers seven stakes including the historic $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3), $150,000 Allaire DuPont Distaff (G3) and $150,000 Adena Springs Miss Preakness (G3). Post time is 11:30 a.m.

Racing will be conducted Thursday through Sunday with the exception of Sunday, May 20 (the day after the Preakness). The meet wraps up with a special Memorial Day program on Monday, May 28.

“We’re thrilled to get the Preakness Meet at Pimlico started Thursday,” said Sal Sinatra, president and general manager of the Maryland Jockey Club. “Pimlico is legendary, and the Preakness, Black-Eyed Susan and Pimlico Special are historic and significant events on the sporting calendar. The Stronach Group has done an incredible job improving the customer experience here with upgrades in food and beverage, a revamped infield layout that will connect Infield guests with the races, upgrades to the Preakness Village and Turfside Terrace and new Wi-Fi throughout the clubhouse and infield.

“Horsemen throughout North America are committed to providing world-class racing during the Preakness Meet at Pimlico, full fields, and great racing on the main track and turf course. We’re excited about what has become one of the best boutique race meets in the country.”

A field of seven 3-year-olds and up will go 1 1/16 miles over the turf course in a $23,000 claiming event to open Thursday’s nine-race program that begins at 1:10 p.m. Five races have been carded for the grass attracting 54 entries, an average of 10.8 per race.

Thursday’s feature comes in Race 5, a $47,000 third-level optional claiming allowance at 1 1/16 miles on the grass that drew multiple stakes winner O Dionysus and stakes-placed Grandiflora, Barney Rebel, Dattt Melody and Southside Warrior. Warrioroftheroses, third in the 2016 Pimlico Special, is entered for main track only.

Pimlico will also serve up a nine-race program Friday, May 11, that features five turf races that saw 68 horses entered, an average of 13.6 per race.

Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado enters the Pimlico meet on the verge of becoming only the eighth rider in Thoroughbred history to reach 7,000 career victories. A 24-time leading rider in Maryland from 1991-99, he stands at 6,997 and is named in two of nine races both Thursday and Friday.

Pimlico is once again offering bonus money totaling $100,000 to trainers who run a minimum of five horses in the 15 stakes races during Preakness weekend. The trainer with the most points will receive $50,000, second $25,000, third $12,000, fourth $7,000, fifth $4,000 and sixth $2,000.

Points are accumulated for finishing first (10 points), second (seven), third (five), fourth (three) and having a starter (one) in the Skipat, Miss Preakness, Allaire DuPont Distaff, Black-Eyed Susan, Pimlico Special, Hilltop, Jim McKay Turf Sprint, Maryland Sprint, LARC Sir Barton, Chick Lang, Preakness, Gallorette, James W. Murphy, Dixie and The Very One.

There will also be bonus money totaling $50,000 for trainers with the most points in non-stakes races during Preakness weekend. The points are accumulated in similar fashion with $25,000 going to the leader, $10,000 to second, $7,500 to third, $2,500 to fourth and $1,000 to fifth.

Pimlico will serve as the launching pad for the renewed Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship (MATCH) Series, an assortment of 25 races at tracks in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania which originally debuted in 1997 and ran for five years.

The Maryland Sprint and Skipat, the latter for fillies and mares, open the dirt sprint division of the MATCH Series on May 18 and 19, respectively. The turf sprint division is kicked off with the Jim McKay Turf Sprint May 18 and The Very One for females May 19.

Seven guaranteed multi-race wagering pools will be offered over Preakness weekend.

On Friday, May 18 the Late Pick 5 (Races 7-11), offering an industry-low 12 percent takeout, and Pick 4 wagers covering Races 8-11 and 11-14 will each be guaranteed at $300,000.

On Preakness Day there will be guaranteed pools of $2 million in the Pick covering Races 10-13, $1 million in the Late Pick 5 (Races 9-13), $500,000 in the Pick 4 spanning Races 6-9 and $250,000 in the early Pick 5 (Races 2-6).

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 Tuesday, May 15 through Friday, May 18; the traditional Alibi Breakfast on Thursday, May 17; and Budweiser InfieldFest, one of the country’s most eclectic outdoor music festivals.

Headlining this year’s InfieldFest on Preakness Day are Post Malone, 21 Savage and Odesza on the event’s new 65-foot mega-stage designed to give attendees a view of the live racing. Also scheduled to perform are DJs Vice and Frank Walker. Additional information can be found at www.preakness.com.

Source: Press Release

Nilsen’s KY Derby Analysis with Wagering Strategies

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Derby 144 Analysis with Wagering Strategies & Spot Plays by Rich Nilsen

Get the complete analysis of the 2018 Kentucky Derby card with Nilsen’s professional selections for the big race.  Nilsen covers all 14 races on Derby Day and includes his written analysis on all 20 starters in the Run for the Roses!  Along with exacta and trifecta strategies for the KY Derby, Nilsen has three spot plays with wagers on the day.

As always this is a tremendous betting card, one of the best of year!

Rich Nilsen is the winner of 6 major handicapping tournament and a 14-time qualifier to the $3 million National Horseplayers Championship (NHC).  There are a lot of pretenders out there.  Get affordable, expert advice for this year’s amazing KY Derby card.

This sheet contains:

  • Top selections for all 14 races
  • Sophisticated Pace Scenario for all 14 races
  • 3 Spot Plays (Best Bets) on the undercard w/ wagering strategies
  • In-depth Analysis of the Kentucky Derby with comments on all 20 starters.
  • Two Value plays keyed in Exacta and Trifecta strategies.

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BONUS PACKAGE!

But that’s not all.  You can also get analysis for Kentucky Oaks Day which includes wagering strategies for the Oaks and 2 Spot Plays with wagers.  Nilsen covers all the stakes races on the card beginning with the G2 Eight Belles Stakes!  SIX Stakes races and 9 races in all!

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Rich Nilsen handicapperTestimonials

“Hey Rich.. Thanks for putting me on Tapwrit !! I liked him and Gormley and Irish War Cry… I had Tapwrit straight & the exacta.  Tapwrit & Gormley both had “dream trips”, But Gormley didnt want to go that far… Hey !! let’s give some love to Disco Partner for his new North  American record for 6 panels. I had him straight  and also knocked down the exacta of 2-4 for $42.00… Hope you had a good day & made some cash!  Thanks Again, ” ~ Wayne M.

“Rich, thanks for your terrific analysis of the Gulfstream Park [Rainbow Six 3/31/18].  I was able to hit the Pick 6 [paid $9,018 for twenty cents!].   Anyone out there who bets horses would be well advised to download your sheet on every major race day… thanks again for a job well done.” ~ Evan C.

“Great job, Rich!” ~ Jeff S.

“Rich: nice job Travers Day! Thanks to Arrogate, you gave me a good day. How in the world did you land on him? I suspect you’re doing some kind of voodoo pace analysis. If you ever decide to give lessons or a seminar, let me know.” ~ Kelley S.