Preakness Stakes

Early Voting to Jim Dandy

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY- Klaravich Stables's GI Preakness S. winner Early Voting (Gun Runner) was shipped from Belmont Park to Saratoga Race Course Sunday and will run in the GII Jim Dandy July 30. Trainer Chad Brown announced that Early Voting will go in the Jim Dandy with stablemate Zandon (Upstart), rather than face another stablemate, unbeaten Jack Christopher (Munnings) in the GI Haskell S. July 23. Brown is aiming all three of his graded stakes-winning 3-year-old colts for Saratoga's signature race, the $1.25-million GI Runhappy Travers S. Aug. 27. He...

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Creative Minister Works for Belmont

Creative Minister (Creative Cause), coming off a third-place effort in the GI Preakness S., tuned up for the June 11 GI Belmont S. with a four-furlong work in :48.33 (2/5) at Belmont Park Tuesday. NYRA clockers caught Creative Minister marking off a quarter-mile in :24 over the fast track, rolling through without much urging from jockey Heman Harkie. Rounding the turn and heading for the wire, Harkie remained still aboard the grey colt who continued a steady rhythm down the stretch to complete the work in :48.33, galloping out five-eighths...

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Early Voting Gives Gun Runner First Classic Winner in Preakness

The story is a familiar one. Seth Klarman, Chad Brown and Jose Ortiz teaming up for a win with a lightly-raced colt in the second jewel of the Triple Crown. In 2017, the duo entered the Classic with a fresh horse, and played the spoiler when Cloud Computing (Maclean's Music) upended Classic Empire to take the GI Preakness S. Fast forward to 2022, history repeated itself with the same connections snagging Pimlico's marquee race with Early Voting (Gun Runner). The colt's victory also provided a well-deserved birthday gift for his...

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Blanford Has High Hopes for Crabs N Beer

When Crabs N Beer (Blofeld) goes postward against 10 foes in the James W. Murphy S. at Pimlico, he will carry the hopes of small breeders everywhere onto the big stage of the GI Preakness S. undercard Saturday. The 3-year-old gelding is owned by native Marylander Chas Blanford, who has been in the business just six years after taking over the Riders Up Farm of longtime breeder William Fossett. Blanford maintains a broodmare band of five and is dreaming of a first stakes win. "Bill Fossett is not my biological...

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Bevy of Bullets as Midlantic Breeze Show Concludes

TIMONIUM, MD - The final session of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale under-tack show, delayed an hour by overnight rains, concluded with 11 juveniles sharing the fastest furlong time of :10 flat, while a filly by Violence turned in the day's fastest quarter-mile work of :21 1/5 Thursday in Timonium. The Top Line Sales consignment was responsible for three of the furlong bullet workers Thursday, including a pair of fillies by freshman sire Sharp Azteca. A filly by Speightster (hip 484) was first to hit the :10 flat...

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Un Ojo Out of Preakness

Un Ojo (Laoban), upset winner of the GII Rebel S. earlier this year, will not be running in Saturday's GI Preakness S. as he continues to deal with a foot bruise which kept him out of the GI Kentucky Derby. "This morning his foot was a little warm again," trainer Ricky Courville told the Preakness media team. "The vets went over him, and he's not 100%. I'm dealing with the same thing. I guess the work [Saturday] kind of re-aggravated it." In addition to the defection of Un Ojo, Pimlico...

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Epicenter Sitting on Go for Preakness

Winchell Thoroughbreds' Epicenter (Not This Time) remained on target for Saturday's GI Preakness S. after a 1 1/2-mile gallop at Churchill Downs Sunday morning. "He seems to be pretty sharp," Scott Blasi, who oversees trainer Steve Asmussen's Churchill division, said of the GI Kentucky Derby runner-up and likely Preakness favorite. "I love how he's doing. He galloped today like that was nothing; walked off the track with good energy. We'll put a little work in him and go. Not much to do from here on out.... [but] win." Epicenter had...

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Beyond the Wire Earns MJC Award of Merit

Beyond the Wire, a Maryland-based Thoroughbred aftercare program, will be honored with the Maryland Jockey Club's Special Award of Merit during the Alibi Breakfast at Pimlico Thursday. The Special Award of Merit is presented to those who have made a positive impact on the racing industry. Past winners include Hall of Fame horsemen D. Wayne Lukas, Jerry Bailey, Ramon Dominguez and King Leatherbury; late Hall of Fame broadcaster Jim McKay, founder of the Maryland Million; and MJC track photographer Jim McCue. "We are honored and really appreciate the recognition, as...

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Early Voting Puts in Final Preakness Prep

GII Wood Memorial S. runner-up Early Voting (Gun Runner) put in his final breeze ahead of the upcoming GI Preakness S. Friday morning at Belmont Park, going five panels in 1:00.63 in company with SW Miles D (Curlin). Under jockey Jose Ortiz, The Chad Brown pupil went three-eighths in :36.40 before completing the five furlong move in 1:00.63 and galloping out six furlongs in 1:13 flat over the fast main track. "He hit the times just as I wanted and he galloped out super," Brown said of Early Voting. "If...

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Oaks Finishers All Well on Saturday; Preakness Next for Oath?

More than 12 hours after winning his fifth GI Kentucky Oaks with Briland Farm's Secret Oath (Arrogate), Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas was back on his pony leading his horses out to train Saturday morning at 5:15 a.m. He reported that his star filly came out of the race well and now has several options ahead of her, including the GII Black-Eyed Susan S. and the GI Preakness Stakes May 20 and 21, respectively at Pimlico. "She bounced back very quickly last night and she's very sharp here...

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Pimlico Spring Stakes Worth $3.8 Million

The Pimlico Spring Meet, highlighted by the GI Preakness S., will offer 16 stakes--10 graded--worth $3.8 million in purses. The $1.5-million Preakness anchors a program of 10 stakes, six graded, worth $2.75 million May 20. Leading the undercard stakes on Preakness Day is the $250,000 GII Dinner Party S. for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/16 miles on the turf. To be run for the 121st time, the Dinner Party is Pimlico's oldest race and the eighth-oldest in the country, first run in 1870. Other graded supporting stakes are the...

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312 Early Triple Crown Nominations

A total of 312 sophomores were nominated for this year's Triple Crown series at the early nomination deadline of Jan. 29. The number of early nominations slipped 4.3%, or 14 horses, from last year's total of 326. The nominated group is led by Grade I winners Corniche (Quality Road), Jack Christopher (Munnings), Pinehurst (Twirling Candy) and Rattle N Roll (Connect). Echo Zulu (Gun Runner), winner of last year's GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and likely 2-year-old champion female, is one of six fillies made eligible for the Triple Crown. Nominees...

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