Pimlico Partners With Susan G. Komen For The Cure® For Return Of The People's Pink Party On Black-Eyed Susan Day

Lady Legends Race II, Female Jockey Challenge and Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes Headline Preakness Eve Card


BALTIMORE, February 28, 2011---For the second consecutive year, Pimlico Race Course and the Maryland Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, announced today a partnership to raise funds to aid awareness and research to take place on Black-Eyed Susan Day, Friday, May 20, 2011. Seventy-five percent of the funds raised will go to the Komen Maryland Affiliate to use for community outreach programs in Maryland and twenty-five percent will be used for life-saving breast cancer research.

In addition to the 87th running of the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (Grade 2) for 3-year-old fillies, the day will feature an encore performance by retired female riders in the Lady Legends For the Cure Race II™ and a jockey challenge with six of the top active lady riders.  The Black-Eyed Susan Stakes will be broadcast live on VERSUS.

“We are pleased to partner with the Maryland Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure for the second straight year to fight breast cancer,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas.The inaugural People’s Pink Partyraised $100,000 for Komen last year and featured the historic Lady Legends Race, one of the highlights of Preakness weekend 2010. The eight retired riders created a buzz around the track, generating interest and excitement that energized fans. Switching the jockey challenge to an all-female format will add spark to the Preakness Eve event. We look forward to another dynamic and worthwhile Black-Eyed Susan Day and thank everyone for their support of an organization truly making a difference in the lives of those impacted by breast cancer.”

Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure and it launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, the organization is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors.

“Komen Maryland is delighted to again take part in the Black-Eyed Susan Festivities,” stated Robin Prothro, Executive Director of Komen Maryland. “This partnership provides a generous platform for people to better understand the education, screening and treatment programs provided by our grantees in communities throughout the state and the financial support we provide for national research at Maryland institutions. We look forward to working jointly with the Maryland Jockey Club as we strive to create a world without breast cancer.”

The Lady Legends For the Cure Race

2010 Lady Legends with Georganne Hale - Photo Credit: Jim McCue/MJCThe 2010 Lady Legends For the Cure Race™ was the first ever pari-mutuel race showcasing retired female riders, two of whom are breast cancer survivors.  Profiled on NBC Sports, the race was also filmed as the climatic ending to the feature length documentary in production, JOCK, chronicling the story of the first generation of lady jockeys.

Gwen Jocson won the inaugural race aboard Honor in Peace for her 764th career victory. Jocson, who won 376 races in 1991 on the Philadelphia Park-Atlantic City circuit, tore ligaments in her hand while exercising for John Servis earlier this winter and will not defend her title.

The 2011 field features the seven other initial participants plus Abby Fuller.

  • Andrea Seefeldt-Knight (second in ‘10)---one of only two women to have ridden in both the Preakness Stakes (Looming-1994) and Kentucky Derby (Forty Something-1991). Became the first female rider to win the Pennsylvania Derby aboard Valley Crossing, which paid $158.60.
  • Mary Russ-Tortora (third in ‘10)---the first female rider to win a Grade I race when she captured the Widener Handicap at Hialeah on Feb. 27, 1982 aboard Lord Darnley.
  • Mary Wiley-Wagner (fourth in ‘10)---breast cancer survivor, who briefly returned as an active rider after the 2010 race only to retire again for this event.
  • Patti “PJ” Cooksey (fifth in ‘10)---breast cancer survivor was the first female to ride in the Preakness (Tajawa-1985) and ranks third all-time among female riders with 2,137 wins. Also had a mount in the Kentucky Derby (So Vague-1984).
  • Barbara Jo Rubin (sixth in ‘10)---made history as the first woman to win a pari-mutuel race in the United States when she guided Cohesion to victory at Charles Town on Feb. 22, 1969.
  • Jennifer Rowland-Small (seventh in ‘10)---a pioneering jockey in Maryland in the 1970’s, winning 192 races.
  • Cheryl White (eighth in ’10)---the first African-American female rider, won five races at the Fresno Fair on Oct. 19, 1983.
  • Abby Fuller (new shooter)---captured the NYRA’s Filly Triple Crown in 1985 aboard Mom’s Command, a filly owned and bred by her father. Won a career-best 145 races that year.

The 2011 race will include $20,000 in bonus prizes. In addition to her earnings in the race, the winner will receive another $6,000. Other prize money: $4,000 (second), $3,000 (third), $2,500 (fourth), $1,500 (fifth) and $1,000 (sixth through eighth). Pimlico will match the amount wagered on the 2011 winner and make a contribution to Komen Maryland.

I am so looking forward to this. The outpouring of support was unbelievableand it will be hard to duplicate,” said Wiley-Wagner, wife of Maryland Jockey Club starter Bruce Wagner. “The thing I will do differently this year is spend more time with the other Lady Legends. Andrea, Jennifer and I were training at Laurel and we missed out on a lot of the antics at Pimlico earlier in the week. Who would have thought Barbara Jo Rubin, in her early 60’s, would be such a character? She, her husband Gordy, PJ Cooksey and all the others. This is the classiest group of women I have ever had the good fortune to meet and ride with. We are going to have great fun again.”

Female Jockey Challenge

While the 2011 The People’s Pink Party welcomes back many traditions established in 2010, it will also add a new one, a Jockey's Challenge featuring six of the world’s top female jockeys competing in four races with points award­ed based upon their finish.

The jockey with the most points at the end of a four-race competition will be crowned champion. Riding assignments are determined by a drawing Sunday, May 15, and jockeys receive points for finishing first (12 points), second (6), third (4) and fourth (3) in each race.The champion jockey will earn $10,000. Other prize money: $7,000 (second), $6,000 (third), $4,000 (fourth), $2,000 (fifth) and $1,000 (sixth).

The six riders who agreed to take part are in alphabetical order:

  • Vicky Baze---ranks fourth all-time with 1,997 wins(thru Feb. 27, 2011). Won more than 200 races twice (1986 & 1993) and retired in 2001. Returned as a full-time rider in 2009 and won 152 races a year ago. 
  • Forest Boyce---Maryland’s leading rider in 2010 as an apprentice. Runner-up for Eclipse Award after a 129-win year. Won 106 victories from June 29-Dec. 18 and captured the Laurel Park summer and fall riding titles.
  • Rosie Napravnik---won 300 races in 2006, including 259 at Pimlico and Laurel Park. Earned her first victory at Pimlico aboard Ringofdiamonds in June 2005. Earned her 1,000th career winner in Oct. 2010 at the age of 22 and has $27 million in earnings. Currently the second leading rider in North Jockey Rosie NapravnikAmerica with 58 victories.
  • Chantal Sutherland---ranked 13th in North America last year with $8.8 million in earnings and is third all-time with over $40 million. Regular rider of Mine That Bird as a two-year-old in 2008. One of the stars of the reality show “Jockeys” on Animal Planet (2009).
  • Hayley Turner---the top female rider  in the United Kingdom with nearly 500 career winners. The 2005 champion apprentice is now considered one of the top ten riders in the country. In 2008, became the first female rider to ride 100 UK flat race winners during a calendar year.
  • Emma-Jayne Wilson---only female rider to win the Queen’s Plate, one of the three races in Canada’s Triple Crown series, when she guided Mike Fox to victory in 2007. Mounts have earned more than $37 million (fourth all-time) in just six years as a rider.

“I am really looking forward to riding against the best girls in the world. It should be competitive,” said Napravnik, who competed in last year’s challenge against seven male riders. “When I hit the head of the lane next to a guy I am very competitive but if it is any other female rider it is on. I don’t want any girls beating me. I love riding at Pimlico. The one big race I want to win is the Preakness because the track is home to me.”

All 14 Lady Legends and Jockey Challenge riders will take part in an autograph session prior to the card.

The People’s Pink Party

The People’s Pink Party will welcome 87 breast cancer survivors as guests to Pimlico, where they will be honored in festivities throughout the day, including a special winners’ circle tribute, and a live performance in the Turfside Terrace section by music stars, Steel Magnolia, courtesy of WPOC 93.1, the official radio sponsor of the event. The country music duo's debut single "Keep On Lovin' You" peaked at number four on the charts.

In recognition of Komen Maryland’s signature shade, Pimlico will be awash in pink on Black-Eyed Susan Day. The horses and pony riders on the track will sport pink saddletowels displaying the unity logo created exclusively to commemorate the day. Additionally, with the valets and starters proudly decked in pink gear, and the colorful linens, flowers and banners blanketing Pimlico, the signature shade of pink will artfully brand the day.

Pimlico will donate to Komen Maryland 10% of all Black-Eyed Susan Turfside Terrace ticket sales, including the Friday portion of the two-day Terrace ticket. Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com.

The Miss Preakness Pink Warrior returns for a second consecutive year, recognizing breast cancer survivors and individuals who have made a difference in the lives of those fighting breast cancer.  The winner, chosen in part through an on-line, interactive process featuring the contestant’s own stories, will be crowned Miss Preakness Pink Warrior in recognition of the popular anthem, “Pink Warrior”, celebrating the war against breast cancer, written and performed by Candy Coburn. Miss Preakness Pink Warrior will serve as the official ambassador of the Preakness, representing the Maryland Jockey Club at Preakness events throughout the week, including the presentation of the Woodlawn Vase on the storied cupola following the 136th Preakness Stakes® on Saturday, May 21.

The “Down the Stretch for SGK” Preakness 5k Race, organized by Corrigan Sports, will be run Saturday, May 14, with a new twist. In 2010, for the first time ever, runners circled the iconic track at Pimlico. This year, runners will run the entire race within the grounds at Pimlico Race Course.

For more information on Pimlico Race Course and the partnership with the Maryland Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, please visit www.preakness.com.

About Pimlico Race Course

Historic Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness Stakes®, the middle jewel in horse racing's famed Triple Crown, first opened its doors on October 25, 1870, and is the second oldest racetrack in the United States. Pimlico has played host to racing icons and Baltimoreans have seen the likes of legendary horses such as Man o’ War, Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Affirmed and Cigar thunder down the stretch in thrilling and memorable competition. For more information on Pimlico, visit www.pimlico.com.

About Susan G. Komen for the Cure®

Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen for the Cure is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure®, we have invested nearly $1.9 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit www.komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.