When, What, Where…
This Saturday, May 16, is the 134th running of the Preakness Stakes, the second race in the Triple Crown, held at Pimlico in Baltimore. Will Mine That Bird take home his second win on his way to a Triple Crown victory? Be there and find out!

The Players (in order of post position)
Big Drama/David Fawkes/ John Velazquez/ 7-5-1-1 /$890,250
Mine That Bird/Chip Woolley/Mike Smith/ 9-5-1-0 /$1,791,581
Musket Man/Derek/Ryan Eibar Coa /7-5-0-2/ $772,600
Luv Gov / D. Wayne Lukas /Jamie Theriot/ 10-1-3-1/ $62,896
Friesan Fire /Larry Jones/Gabriel Saez/8-4-1-1 /$603,265
Terrain /Al Stall Jr/ Jeremy Rose /8-3-1-1 /$512,084
Papa Clem /Gary Stute /Rafael Bejarano /7-2-2-0/ $890,940
General Quarters/ Tom McCarthy/ Julien Leparoux/ 12-3-3-1/ $641,735
Pioneerof the Nile /Bob Baffert/ Garrett Gomez /9-5-1-1 /$1,634,200
Flying Private /D. Wayne Lukas /Alan Garcia /11-1-4-0 /$193,080
Take the Points /Todd Pletcher /Edgar Prado /6-2-2-0 /$156,190
Tone It Down /William Komlo /Kent Desormeaux /6-2-2-1 /$54,720
Rachel Alexandra /Steve Asmussen /Calvin Borel /10-7-2-0 /$958,354

Hometown Horse
In the 12th post position this Saturday will be the hometown horse Tone It Down. The three-year-old colt is owned by Potomac’s Deborah and Mike Horning of M and D Stables and trained by Deborah’s father, former University of Maryland fullback, Willliam Komlo. This is their first Preakness entry.

The colt has strong ties to Maryland in his linage as well. He is the half-brother to the multiple stakes-winning Maryland filly Gin Taking. Both horses are out of Chattin who is the half sister to Rollodka.

Trained locally at Laurel Park, the colt only has $54,720 career earnings to his record and is considered a long shot for the Preakness, but hey, Mine That Bird was considered a long shot for the Derby so who knows what will happen? This horse does seem to have the home field advantage, having run well at Laurel all spring with a third place finish in the Federico Tesio on May 2 at Pimlico on Derby Day, he is the only horse to have run at Pimlico.

Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux will be Tone It Down’s jockey for Saturday’s race. Desormeaux was based out of Maryland for much of the 80s and has won the the Preakness twice; in 1998 aboard Real Quiet and last year aboard Big Brown.

Derby Winner Mine That Bird Arrives at Pimlico

On May 12, the 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird arrived in Baltimore, escorted by the Baltimore City Police department. The following is an account from the Maryland Jockey Club.

The Baltimore City police met Mine That Bird, [trainer Chip] Woolley and groom Charlie Figueroa, at the intersection of Interstate 70 and the Baltimore Beltway (I-695), clearing the way for a non-stop finish to the trip that took less than 10 hours.

The New Mexico-based trainer, who saddled Mine That Bird for a stunning 50-1 upset by nearly seven lengths in the Run for the Roses on May 2, reported that the van ride when “as smooth as silk” for the son of Birdstone, who will return to action in Saturday’s 134th running of the Preakness Stakes.

“He was calm all the way; ate his feed, cleaned up good; drank all his water,” said Woolley, a first-time visitor to Maryland.

Mine That Bird will bedded down in Stall 40, the traditional stall reserved for the Kentucky Derby winner in the Preakness Stakes Barn.

Mine That Bird checks out Pimlico with groom Charlie Figueroa.

The Lone Filly
After breezing at Churchill Downs on Sunday May 10, Kentucky Oaks winner Rachel Alexandra’s trainer Steve Asmussen and new owners Jess Jackson and Harold McCormick contemplated her possible Preakness run. With her Wednesday, May 13 official entry in the Preakness, the filly becomes the first Kentucky Oaks winner to compete in Maryland’s signature race. Rachel Alexandra has won five consecutive races.

One small conflict arose with her entry however. Jockey Calvin Borel rode both Rachel Alexandra and Mine That Bird to wins in Kentucky. Borel has decided to give up the ride on Mine That Bird for the Preakness and will stay with the filly.

Miss Preakness
The following is an account from the Maryland Jockey Club.
The Maryland Jockey Club announced on May 6 that Heather Radford, a student at the University Of Maryland, is the 2009 Miss Preakness. The 23-year-old animal equine studies major represented Pimlico Race Course at all of the Preakness Celebration activities, including the Preakness Parade and the post position draw for entries at on Wednesday May 13. Radford is an exercise rider for trainer John Melton at the Bowie Training Center.

Could This Be the Last Preakness?
Over the course of the last few months, the Magna Corporation, which owns several tracks around the country including Laurel and Pimlico, filed for bankruptcy and the state of Maryland issued a law to take hold of the Preakness if the need arises. So what does this mean for Maryland racing? And what about the Preakness Stakes?

Equiery Articles on These Topics
The Changing Face of Maryland Racing (pick up the May issue today or order one here)

Pimlico and Laurel Park’s Parent Company Files for Chapter 11 Protection

The Wolf Finally Came, Perhaps by Tim Capps

Slots – The Nonsense Continues by Tim Capps

Equiery Recommended Reading

Blood Horse.com

From Bad to Worse by Barry Rascovar

Complete Magna Bankruptcy Coverage from the Thoroughbred Times