Prepping for the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico

Preparations for the 141st Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore have begun. The Preakness will be held on May 21, 2016 and is limited to 14 horses. Last year just eight horses ran in the 1 1/8 mile Preakness and American Pharoah blew them away in the slop in the second leg of his Triple Crown achievement. Eligibility for the Preakness is determined by earnings in previous races. That opens the door for horses who didn’t perform well enough in prep races to qualify for the Kentucky Derby, and other late bloomers who ran out of time to qualify.

The second jewel of the American Triple Crown, the Preakness attracts the Kentucky Derby winner along with other Derby participants. But with a two-week turnaround between the Triple Crown races, many Derby trainers elect to forego the Preakness citing a strain on their horses and a desire for more time between starts.

So while many horse racing fans focus on the lead up to the Kentucky Derby, there are plenty of promising horses to consider and watch for in the months leading up to the Preakness Stakes. Some potential value and under the radar horses who don’t compete in the Kentucky Derby can be found running in the Derby Trial and Illinois Derby in April.

Nearly half of the past 75 Preakness winners have spent the opening months of their three-year old campaigns racing in Florida. So watch for non-Derby qualifiers who run in the Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park January 30, and the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream on February 27.

The month of April will have some key races to watch leading up to the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, so follow the ponies and their preparations and results at these stakes races below.


Florida Derby              April 2           Gulfstream Park – Hallandale Beach, FL

Wood Memorial          April 9           Aqueduct Racetrack – New York City, NY

Blue Grass                    April 9            Keeneland – Lexington, KY

Santa Anita Derby      April 9          Santa Anita Park – Arcadia, CA

Arkansas Derby          April 16         Oaklawn Park – Hot Springs, AR

Lexington                     April 16          Keeneland – Lexington, KY

Hampton Court to Stand at Spendthrift

Australian group I winner Hampton Court will be making a move stateside, as it was announced he will stand the 2016 breeding season at the Spendthrift Farm, which is located near Lexington.

Hampton Court will be the latest participant in the farm’s popular ‘Breed Secure’ and ‘Share The Upside’ programs.

“We are excited to be able to offer American breeders the opportunity to ‘Share The Upside’ or ‘Breed Secure’ on Hampton Court, a record-breaking grade I winner by one of the world’s very best stallions over the course of the last dozen years,” said Spendthrift Owner B. Wayne Hughes.

Hughes went on to say: “Redoute’s Choice is Danehill’s best son at stud, and Danehill was Danzig’s best son at stud. We believe Hampton Court can be an important and unique stallion for American breeders from a highly successful sire line, and we look forward to showing him off to those who want to stop by the farm and see him.”

Fees for ‘Breed Secure’ and ‘Share The Upside’ have been set at $7,500 for Hampton Court. Breeders who take part in the ‘Share The Upside’ program earn lifetime breeding rights that begin in 2017 after paying the stud fee and having access to just one live foal. For those uninterested in taking part in either program a one-time $6,000 stud fee is available on a typical stands-and-nurses contract.

Hampton Court’s biggest career victory came as a three-year-old at the $500,000 Spring Champions Stake (AUS-I), where he broke a 16-year-old course record, winning the race in a time of 2:00.19.