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English Bee Stings Rivals in $100,000 James W. Murphy

May 18, 2019

BALTIMORE – Calumet Farm homebred English Bee, never far from the lead, dueled with pacesetter Real News through the stretch and edged clear late to earn his first career stakes victory in Saturday’s $100,000 James W. Murphy at Pimlico Race Course.

The 54th running of the James Murphy for 3-year-olds was the second of nine stakes, five graded, worth $2.8 million in purses on a 14-race program highlighted by the 144th Preakness Stakes (G1), the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.

English Bee ($11.40) was making his third start of the year and first since running fifth, beaten 1 ¼ lengths, in the Columbia Stakes March 9 at Tampa Bay Downs in his stakes debut. The winning time was 1:35.60 for one mile over a firm turf course.

Real News was comfortable up front going a quarter-mile in 24.65 seconds and a half in 48.70, tracked by 19-1 long shot Thomas Shelby as English Bee settled in third along the rail. Jockey Jose Ortiz tipped out around the far turn and engaged the leader, dug in and turned away her stubborn foe by a half-length.

Motion-trained Shootin the Breeze was third, with Grade 3 winner Current fourth after trailing the field early. Motion also won the Murphy with Two Smart in 1997 and Blaze and Blues in 2000.

First run as the Woodlawn Stakes, the Murphy was renamed in 2010 in honor of the longtime trainer of nearly 1,400 winners who spent much of his career in Maryland and passed away June 13, 2009 at the age of 82. In 1994, Murphy won the Pimlico Distaff (G3) and Miss Preakness (G3) during Preakness week.

$100,000 James W. Murphy Stakes Quotes

Graham Motion (Winning trainer, English Bee): “I think he was really unlucky in his last race at Tampa. He kind of got stopped coming off the turn right when he went to make his move. We all decided to wait for this race. He’s a real pro. He hasn’t done anything wrong. Glad to start off with a win. I haven’t looked much beyond this race but I think distance won’t be a problem.”

Jose Ortiz (Winning jockey, English Bee): “He broke really well. He was up front in the race. For a 3-year-old lightly raced in the game he’s very professional. He put me into a great spot and when I asked him to go, to push the nine at the 3/8ths-pole and then he ran very well. He’s certainly moving forward. He’s a big, strong colt.”

About Pimlico Race Course

Legendary 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, American Pharoah and Cigar thunder down the stretch in thrilling and memorable competition. For more information on Pimlico, visit www.pimlico.com.

The Stronach Group is North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, home of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida and is one of North America’s top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world’s largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; Xpressbet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is also a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry. For more information contact David Joseph at david.joseph@marylandracing.com or call 954.658.7156.