BALTIMORE, 05-12-12---Preakness week unofficially started this morning at Pimlico Race Course with the running of the “Down the Stretch for SGK” Preakness 5k. All 643 runners began the race by breaking off through the starting gate. The entire 3.1 mile race took place on Pimlico property, which included one trip around the famous dirt course, finishing in the famed Infield.
Neville Davey, a 37-year-old from Menlo Park, Ca. finished in 16:01, 62 seconds ahead of Gabriel Rodriguez. Davey’s girlfriend, Heather Tanner won the female division in 18:21, 40 seconds ahead of two-time defending champion Sherry Stick.
“What a great experience,” said Davey. “We are in town to visit Heather’s parents for Mother’s Day and decided to run about a week ago. Her father and sister also ran today. I run in a lot of road races back in San Francisco so it was fun to run on the track. We’ll be back next year and plan on staying through the Preakness.”
Tanner grew up in Howard County and graduated from Centennial High School. Her parents reside in nearby Towson.
Doug O’Neill, the trainer of Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another participated as did every member of Team O’Neill. Stable pony Lava Man, who earned nearly $5.3 million during his racing career, led the runners around the track.
“We just want to embrace everything about the event,” O’Neill said. “Who knows if we’ll ever be back so why not enjoy the entire Preakness experience and be part of the Baltimore community.”
The race kicked off a busy Preakness week schedule of events for O’Neill, who will attend the premier of the “Horses in Cinema” series at the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring tonight where he will meet Secretariat’s jockey Ron Turcotte. Tomorrow, he and the team will attend the Baltimore Ravens rookie mini-camp in Owings Mills. On Tuesday, the 43-year-old will pay a visit to the Johns Hopkins Children’s Hospital before moving on to Orioles Park at Camden Yards to throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the O’s game against the New York Yankees . On Wednesday, he and jockey Mario Gutierrez will visit the Boys & Girls Club at CC Jackson Recreation Center, near Pimlico.
WIN: Neville Davey, 37, Menlo Park CA 16:01
PLACE: Gabriel Rodriguez, 34, Baltimore, MD 17:03
SHOW: Steven Levin, 49, Reisterstown, MD 17:42
WIN: Heather Tanner, 33, Menlo Park CA 18:21
PLACE: Sherry Stick, 33, Eldersburg, MD 19:01
SHOW: Kelly Rhodes, 35, Alexandria, VA 20:43
Other notable runners included Sheldon Russell, Maryland’s leading rider, who finished ninth overall in 19:26, and trainer Tim Keefe, who placed 16th in 21:11. Keefe is expected to saddle Eighttofasttocatch in Friday’s $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3). Russell will have the mount.
Every runner received a beer stein adorned with the Preakness 5k Logo. Runners will receive a 10% discount on any regular infield admission ticket to the 2012 Preakness InfieldFest, featuring headliners Maroon 5 and Wiz Khalifa. The 137th running of the Preakness® Stakes, the middle jewel of racing’s Triple Crown, takes place at Pimlico next Saturday, May 19. First post is 10:30 a.m. with Maryland’s signature race scheduled for 6:18 p.m.
Baltimore sports marketing and event management company Corrigan Sports Enterprises, Inc. (CSE) organized the event. Part of the proceeds will benefit the Maryland Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.
CSE is well known to both area runners and Preakness attendees. The company puts on the annual Baltimore Marathon, which attracts more than 25,000 runners from all over the world, and also arranged the participation of World Champions and reigning Olympic Gold medalists Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers in this year’s National Volleyball League tournament at Preakness InfieldFest. It will be the only event the U.S. Olympians will play domestically prior to the 2012 games in London.
Pimlico has partnered with Komen Maryland for the return of The People’s Pink Party to raise funds to aid awareness and research for breast cancer on Black-Eyed Susan Day, Friday, May 18. Highlights include the third annual Lady Legends For the Cure Race™, a Female Jockey Challenge and the welcoming of 88 breast cancer survivor guests for festivities with a special winners’ circle tribute.The Preakness eve card is headlined by the $300,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) and the $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3).