Preakness 5.5 & Black-Eyed Susan 2.2 Prep Races This Weekend

LAUREL, MD.  01-28-11--Last summer MI Developments Inc. (MID), the majority owner of the Maryland Jockey Club, announced a pair of historic and unique bonus programs around Pimlico Race Course’s premier 3-year old races, called the “Preakness 5.5” and Black-Eyed Susan 2.2”.

Both programs allow east and west coast based 3-year-olds to qualify for the Preakness Stakes, the middle jewel of racing’s Triple Crown on the third Saturday in May and the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan, which headlines the Preakness eve card, by having the preliminary races at Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita Park, Golden Gate Fields and Portland Meadows, also MID tracks.

Three of the 14 prep races will take place this weekend, including the first for the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes. Nine 3-year-olds are entered in the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park Sunday afternoon.

Earlier on that same card, seven 3-year-old fillies are expected to face the starter in the Grade 2 Forward Gal Stakes. The other Black-Eyed Susan prep race takes place Saturday with the $80,000 Portland Meadows Oaks at Portland Meadows. The Black-Eyed Susan 2.2 series kicked off on Jan. 1 when Lilacsand Lace captured the California Oaks at Golden Gate Fields.

In addition to the purses earned in the qualifying races and the Preakness, the owner of a horse winning the bonus would receive $5 million and the trainer would get $500,000. The Black-Eyed Susan bonuses are $2 million (owner) and $200,000 (trainer). There is also a jockey bonus program, sponsored by AmTote.

Here is a breakdown of the qualifying races:

Preakness 5.5

Gulfstream Park-To qualify for the Preakness 5.5 at Gulfstream Park, a horse must win either the Holy Bull Stakes (Sunday, Jan. 30) or the Fountain of Youth (Saturday, Feb. 12), and then go on to win the Grade I Florida Derby on Sunday, April 3.

Santa Anita Park-To qualify for the Preakness 5.5 at Santa Anita Park, a horse must win either the Bob Lewis (Sat Feb. 12)or the San Felipe (Sat, Mar. 12) and then go on to win the Grade I Santa Anita Derby on Saturday, April 9.

Golden GateFields-The winner of the El Camino Real (Feb. 12) at Golden Gate Fields, will also qualify for the Preakness 5.5 if it goes on to win the Santa Anita Derby on Saturday, April 9. 

Black-Eyed Susan 2.2

Gulfstream Park-To qualify for the Black-Eyed Susan 2.2 at Gulfstream Park, a filly must win the Forward Gal Stakes (Sunday, Jan. 30) plus win the Davona Dale (Saturday, Feb. 26) and then win the Gulfstream Park Oaks on Saturday, April 2. 

Santa Anita Park-To qualify for the Black-Eyed Susan 2.2 at Santa Anita Park, a filly must win the Las Virgenes (Saturday, Feb. 5) plus win the Santa Anita Oaks (Saturday, March 5) and then win the Gulfstream Park Oaks on Saturday, April 2.

Golden Gate Fields-The winner of the California Oaks (Saturday, Jan. 1) at Golden Gate Fields, will also qualify for the Black-Eyed Susan 2.2 if she goes on to win the Santa Anita Oaks (Saturday, March 5) and then win the Gulfstream Park Oaks on Saturday, April 2.

PortlandMeadows-The winner of the Portland Meadows Oaks (Saturday, Jan. 29) will also qualify for the Black-Eyed Susan 2.2 if she goes on to win the Santa Anita Oaks (Saturday, March 5) and then win the Gulfstream Park Oaks on Saturday, April 2.

Fans will be able to follow the series on www.preakness.com.

-MJC-