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Eight Stakes Races Highlight Preakness Undercard
BALTIMORE, 05-14-09---Saturday’s thirteen race card at Pimlico Race Course is fully loaded with nine stakes races, including seven graded events, topped off by the 134th Preakness Stakes, which is race twelve on the program. Saturday’s first post is 10:15 a.m. with the $1.1 million Preakness set for 6:15 p.m. on NBC.
The undercard has a flurry of added-money events. Race eleven is the historic GR II Dixie Stakes, to be run over the turf at 1-1/8th miles. The entry of Proudinsky and Musketier is listed as the program favorite. Both are German-breds; the former is the stronger half of the entry and is trained by Bobby Frankel, the latter is conditioned by Roger Attfield. Proudinsky is a two time winner of the Mervin Munez Handicap on the turf at the Fair Grounds.
Monba, who finished last in the 2008 Kentucky Derby, will test his routing ability for the first time on the grass after posting a runaway victory in the Ben Ali on the synthetic track at Keeneland.
Monba’s co-owner Don Lucarelli said, “We’ve wanted to try the horse on the turf for a while. We actually went out to Santa Anita hoping to get the horse on the turf and it was rained off. This is an ideal opportunity. We hope we don’t get much rain and we get a true read on the horse going over the surface. He’s by Maria’s Mon. The horse has done is best running on synthetics. We’re just thinking that the horse may step up and if that’s the case we’ll probably try to pursue a turf career a little bit. This will be a good test to see how he does over the surface. He really hasn’t trained over it. Hopefully we get a good read on him with a good surface to judge it.”
Race ten is the six furlong Maryland Sprint Handicap GIII for three-year-olds and up headlined by Laurel Park based-Ah Day, trained by the legendary King Leatherbury, who is five for seven at the distance. The son of Malibu Moon faces seven others including Ravalo, a local runner from the Donald Barr stable who won the Allen’s Prospect Stakes at Pimlico last year.
The Woodlawn Stakes, a one mile test on the turf for three-year-olds, is race nine. Ten runners are entered. Affirmatif is the program favorite. He has only started twice, but he won his first start by nine lengths and came back to just get just miss in a grassy allowance test at Keeneland. John Velazquez has the mount for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Sprinters will go six furlongs on the main track in race eight, the GIII Hirsch Jacobs Stakes. Taqarub, the morning line favorite, is three for five lifetime. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, he will be ridden by Alan Garcia.
The GIII Gallorette Handicap, which is race seven, will see eight fillies and mares race 1-1/16th miles on the turf. Dynaforce is the overwhelming favorite. She won stakes in France before arriving in the U.S., where she romped in the Grade I Flower Bowl at Belmont Park last fall. Garrett Gomez has the mount for trainer Bill Mott.
Maryland-bred routers are set to go in race six, the Deputed Testamony Stakes. The race is 1-1/16th miles on the main track and has attracted eleven runners, topped by Sumacha’hot (2-1) and Norjac (5-2), who will vie for post time favoritism.
The GIII William Donald Schaefer Stakes is the fourth race of the day. Seven runners are entered, topped by the lukewarm favorite Ready Set, a Michael Matz trainee. Julien Leparoux has the mount. Others listed to start in the 1-1/16th mile quest are Real Merchant, a router from Chili and Cave’s Valley, who will represent the barn of Mike Trombetta.
The first added money race on the card is race two, the GII Allaire duPont Distaff Stakes. A field of seven is entered to race 1-1/16th miles, topped by the even money favorite entry of Sea Chanter and Skylighter.