Nine Stakes, Five Graded, Support Middle Jewel of Triple Crown
Undefeated Stakes Winner Chez Pierre Pointed to 121st Dinner Party (G2)
Sophomores in Spotlight in Chick Lang (G3), Sir Barton, James Murphy
BALTIMORE – A total of 245 nominations were made to eight Thoroughbred stakes, four graded, worth $1.15 million in purses that help support the 147th running of the Preakness Stakes (G1), the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, Saturday, May 21 at historic Pimlico Race Course.
The $1.5 million Preakness will go off as Race 13 on a blockbuster 14-race program that begins at 10:30 a.m. EST and concludes with the $100,000 UAE President Cup (G1) for Arabian horses. Preakness post time is scheduled for 7:01 p.m. EST.
Pimlico’s oldest stakes race and the eighth-oldest nationwide, having debuted in 1870, the $250,000 Dinner Party (G2) at 1 1/16 miles on the grass for 3-year-olds and up had 26 horses nominated for its 121st running including defending champion Somelikeithotbrown, a length winner last spring after running second in the race in 2020.
Somelikeithotbrown is one of three nominees trained by Mike Maker, along with Atone, fourth in the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) and April 15 Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) this year, beaten a total of 2 ¾ lengths, and Field Pass, whose multiple graded-stakes wins include the 2021 Baltimore-Washington International Turf Cup (G3) over the Pimlico turf.
Lael Stables’ Chez Pierre is undefeated in five career starts, three in France and two this year in the U.S., the most recent coming by 5 ½ lengths in the one-mile Henry S. Clark April 23 over Laurel Park’s world-class turf course, a race where Field Pass ran third. The 4-year-old is trained by Arnaud Delacour, runner-up in last year’s Dinner Party with Talk Or Listen, who also nominated Eons, a multiple stakes winner including the 2019 Kent (G3).
Also prominent among Dinner Party nominees are 2020 Louisville (G3) winner Admission Office; 2019 Virginia Derby (G3) and Parx Fall Derby winner English Bee; 2019 Commonwealth Turf (G3) winner Mr Dumas; 2019 Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Roadster; 2021 Twilight Derby (G2) winner Subconscious; and stakes winners Camp Hope, It Can Be Done, Oceans Map, Shamrocket, Tango Tango Tango and You Must Chill.
The filly and mare companion to the Dinner Party is the $150,000 Gallorette (G3), also at 1 1/16 miles, which attracted 25 nominations including multiple graded-stakes winner Technical Analysis from trainer Chad Brown, a three-time Gallorette winner (2012, 2013, 2015). Graham Motion, last year’s winning trainer with Mean Mary, nominated Crystal Cliffs, winner of the April 2 Sand Springs in her lone 2022 start, and stakes-placed Go Big Blue Nation.
Deciding Vote captured the Gallorette’s traditional local prep, the one-mile Dahlia April 23 at Laurel, and is also nominated, along with multiple graded-stakes winner Alms; Bellagamba, a Group 1 winner in Argentina; Champagne Lady and Dahlia runner-up In a Hurry for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey; 2021 Regret (G3) winner Gam’s Mission; 2020 Miss Grillo (G2) winner Plum Ali; and stakes winners Fille d’Esprit, Out of Sorts and Saranya.
Maker also won the $150,000 Maryland Sprint for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs in 2021, and has Special Reserve among this years’s 25 nominees. Special Reserve subsequently won the Iowa Sprint and Phoenix (G2) and has not raced since finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).
Also nominated are Disco Pharoah, winner of the Maryland Sprint’s local prep, the April 16 Frank Y. Whiteley; 2021 Tom Fool (G3) winner Chateau; Feb. 5 Toboggan (G3) winner Drafted; Jalen Journey, promoted winner of the 2021 De Francis Dash (G3) last fall at Laurel, and stablemate Jaxon Traveler, a two-time stakes winner in Maryland; graded-stakes placed Absentee, County Final and War Tocsin and stakes winners Bankit, Beren and Willy Boi.
Rounding out the undercard’s graded-stakes action is the $200,000 Chick Lang (G3) for 3-year-olds sprinting six furlongs. Its 34 nominees include four from Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, who won four sprint stakes in Maryland in 2021 including the Chick Lang, which he has captured in back-to-back years with Yaupon (2020) and Mighty Mischief.
Asmussen’s quartet is stakes-placed All in Sync; Chasing Time, shortening up after finishing off the board in the Rebel (G2) and Arkansas Derby (G1) in successive starts; Cogburn, beaten a neck in the six-furlong Bachelor April 30; and 2021 Hopeful (G1) winner Gunite. Stakes winners Cynergy’s Star, Doctor Jeff, Happy Soul, Kavod, Lightening Larry, Local Motive, Provocateur; Rotknee Run Curtis Run and Scaramouche and the undefeated Old Homestead and Super Love are also nominated.
The $100,000 Sir Barton for 3-year-olds that have not won an open sweepstakes was most popular among horsemen with 42 nominations led by Ethereal Road, the Rebel (G2) runner-up who was entered but scratched from the May 7 Kentucky Derby (G1) by Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. The scratch allowed Rich Strike into the body of the field, which he would upset at odds of 80-1.
Also prominent among Sir Barton nominees include the trio of recent maiden winner Complete Agenda, March 5 Gotham (G3) runner-up Dean’s List and Varatti from Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher; Midnight Chrome, third in the 2021 Remsen (G2); Mr Jefferson, runner-up in the Federico Tesio April 16 at Laurel; and New York-bred stakes winner Barese.
Multiple stakes winners Cilla, Dontletsweetfoolya, Hey Mamaluke, Joy’s Rocket, Kaylasaurus and Street Lute are nominated to the $100,000 Skipat for fillies and mares 3 and up sprinting six furlongs, along with Euphoric and Joyful Cadence, respectively 2-3 in the 2021 Miss Preakness (G3) at Pimlico, separated by a head; and Chilean Group 2 winner Cheetara.
The $100,000 James W. Murphy for 3-year-olds going one mile on the grass attracted 38 nominations led by Joe, a multiple stakes winner on dirt that was named Maryland’s champion juvenile of 2021. Ex-claimer Shake Em Loose, a two-time dirt stakes winner that is under consideration for the Preakness by owner-trainer Rudy Sanchez-Salomon, is also nominated.
Completing the stakes action is the $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint, a five-furlong dash for 3-year-ols and up whose 34 nominees include True Valour, Grateful Bred and Battle Station, the respective top three finishers from the 5 ½-furlong King T. Leatherbury April 23 on the grass at Laurel and multiple stakes winner Carotari.
Entries will be taken and post positions drawn for the Preakness Day program Monday, May 16.