05/18/2011 1:08PM

First Preakness starter for 80-year-old Eddie Gaudet

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Concealed Identity wins the Federico Tesio at Pimlico on May 7.

Eddie Gaudet will be trying to complete his own Black-Eyed Susan/Preakness double – 40 years apart.

Gaudet, a mainstay of the Maryland circuit for decades after moving here from his native New England, won the 1971 Black-Eyed Susan with At Arms Length and will have his first Preakness starter Saturday with longshot Concealed Identity. His wife, Linda, co-owns Concealed Identity with Morris Bailey, a longtime Gaudet client.

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Gaudet, 80, has become a legend for being a top horseman and a practical joker.

“Eddie has won a lot of races and earned everybody’s respect,” said Larry Horning Jr., his brother-in-law and fellow trainer at the Bowie Training Center. “He’s also a lot of fun. He’s very engaging; he’ll talk to anybody. He talks about how the house when he was a kid had a dirt floor, how he’d gallop horses bare-footed. He’s got more stories than Mother Goose.”

Meanwhile, the Preakness will culminate a very memorable week for Bailey, a real estate developer, casino operator, and longtime horse owner and breeder. Last Saturday, Monmouth Park began what is scheduled to be a five-year tenure with Bailey as the track’s lessee from the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.