05/13/2012 3:30PM

Pimlico Special attracts 10, led by Alternation

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Coady Photography/ Renee Torbit
Alternation, winner of last month's Oaklawn Handicap, may be a slight favorite in a field of 10 older runners for the Grade 3 Pimlico Special.

A terrific 13-race Friday card with seven stakes and no claiming events awaits Preakness eve fans at Pimlico in Baltimore, where the historic Pimlico Special is being revived after having been dormant since 2008.

The $300,000 Pimlico Special is being run as a Grade 3 event, having displaced what had been the William Donald Schaefer Handicap so as to retain its graded status. The 1 3/16-mile race drew some of the best older horses in training, including Alternation, Nehro, Hymn Book, Toby’s Corner, and Mission Impazible among the field of 10.

Alternation, with Luis Quinonez to ride, comes off a resounding victory in the Oaklawn Handicap and could come a slight favorite. The Pimlico Special (race 12) anchors a program that begins at noon Eastern and ends at 6:20 p.m.

In other Friday races of note:

* Grade 2, $300,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (race 10): Mamma Kimbo, withheld from the Kentucky Oaks by trainer Bob Baffert in favor of this 1 1/8-mile race, was assigned post 4 in a field of nine 3-year-old fillies. Mike Smith has a return call for a speedy filly who dominated the Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park last month.

In Lingerie (post 7, John Velaquez), who also was a major Oaks consideration by Todd Pletcher before taking a pass, looks like her main rival.

* $100,000 Skipat (race 6): Local standout Bold Affair figures to be tested by shippers Afleet Lass and It’s Me Mom in this six-furlong race that drew seven filly-and-mare sprinters.

* $100,000 Miss Preakness (race 8): Millionreasonswhy, third to Broadway’s Alibi as the 7-5 second choice in the Comely last month, and Gypsy Robin, a three-length winner of the Beaumont at Keeneland, are the principals among the nine 3-year-old fillies in this six-furlong race. Gypsy Robin is cross-entered in Tuesday’s Inaugural at Presque Isle Downs.

* $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint (race 9): Ben’s Cat, with Sheldon Russell riding for local training legend King Leatherbury, should be favored in what shapes up as the usual interesting mix of 12 older horses in this five-furlong race.

* $100,000 The Very One (race 11): Two 5-year-old mares exiting the Giant’s Causeway at Keeneland last month, Well Deserved (second) and Inspired (fourth as the favorite), look like deserving choices in this female counterpart to the Jim McKay. Eleven are entered.

* $100,000 Hilltop (race 13): Ten 3-year-old fillies, none of them stakes winners, make for an evenly matched finale, a 1 1/16-mile turf race that serves as the female counterpart to the James Murphy Stakes on Saturday.

* Lady Legends Race for the Cure (race 4): Eight retired female jockeys will compete for the third straight year in a six-furlong race for which riding assignments were randomly assigned. In post order, those jockeys are Cheryl White, Patti Cooksey, Zoe Cadman, Jennifer Small, Mary Wiley-Wagner, Barbara Jo Rubin, Jill Jellison, and Mary Russ Tortora. Also-eligibles can be used as substitute mounts if needed.

Entries for the Preakness and all other Saturday races will be drawn Wednesday.

 

 

st More than 1 year ago
Glad to see The Q on a championship horse