The eyes of the racing world will focus on Baltimore’s Pimlico Racecourse this Friday and Saturday for Preakness weekend. Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming will try to win his second straight Triple Crown leg Saturday at 6:45 PM. Both race programs are packed with under card stakes races and intriguing wagering options for horseplayers. Virginia connected horses are sprinkled throughout Friday’s Black Eyed Susan card including a pair of stakes contenders.
Dance Queen, owned and bred by Pat Schuler of Charlottesville, is entered in the $100,000 Hilltop Stakes while Made Bail, who is owned, trained and bred by Susan Cooney, will compete in the $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint. The respective races are the 8th and 10th of a 14 race card that begins at 11:30 AM.
Dance Queen is a 3 year old daughter of To Honor and Serve. The Kentucky-bred is 2-for-2, with wins in a maiden claimer at Gulfstream and an allowance optional claimer at Tampa Bay. Made Bail, a 5 year old Closing Argument gelding, will make his 28th start Friday. The Virginia-bred enters the race fresh off an allowance runner-up at Keeneland this spring. He has four wins and six runner-up finishes.
Larry Johnson has a mare and a filly in back-to-back races to kick off the high profile weekend. His My Magician is in the first race — a $55,000 allowance optional claiming event. The 5 year old daughter of Street Magician has career earnings just shy of $200,000 from 21 starts. Johnson’s Do What I Say is another daughter of Street Magician. The 4 year old filly, who will make her first start of 2017, is in a similar $55,000 test.
Wildcard Stables’ Zone Defence makes her fourth career start in a $52,000 allowance, carded as the fourth race. The 3 year old daughter of First Defence has one win under her belt. Wilcard Stables is comprised of Bob Bouse from Richmond along with trainer Flint Stites.
Mr. & Mrs. Bertram Firestone bred a competitor in the sixth race — Armoire, who has 2 wins from 5 starts. The 4 year old Artie Schiller filly, bred in Virginia, will battle in a $55,000 allowance optional claimer.
Finally, Virginian Diana McClure owns and trains Ms Eileen, a 5 year old New York bred mare who will compete in the 12th race — a $52,000 sprint allowance. The 5 year old Chapel Royal mare makes her first start of the year but brings experience of 21 starts into the race.