One crazy week: The week in social media
Racing at Pimlico. Photo by The Racing Biz.
A Maryland-bred colt has started a win streak for his three-year-old season, a bill passed that will keep the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico, and the coronavirus outbreak has turned the racing world upside down.
Here is the 411 on what racing fans in the Mid-Atlantic region have been talking about on social media over the past week:
Two straight for Field Pass
Three Diamonds Farm’s Maryland-bred colt, Field Pass, made his record for 2020 a perfect two for two over the past weekend, when he soared to victory in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway Park.
With Irad Ortiz Jr. in the pilot seat, Field Pass tracked the pace in third for most of the $250,000 contest before joining a heated battle with 6-5 favorite Invader in the stretch. The duo was clear of the rest of the competition but couldn’t quite shake the presence of each other as they stormed toward the wire. In the final strides of the race, Field Pass found an extra gear and surged past Invader to claim victory by a neck. The final time for the 1 1/8-mile event was recorded in 1:49.34.
Trained by Michael Maker, who has now won the Jeff Ruby Stakes on six occasions, Field Pass boosted his record to three wins from eight starts and has banked earnings of $291,210. Field Pass’s win is the colts first graded stakes victory, and second black-type win overall, as he won the ungraded Dania Beach Stakes one month prior to his victory on Saturday.
New money for Old Hilltop
The Racing and Community Development Act (Senate Bill 987) sailed through both houses of the Maryland State Legislature this week, passing the Senate and House easily hours prior to the adjournment — three weeks early because of the coronora virus — on Wednesday. Now it’s on to Gov. Larry Hogan.
Created in order to help fund the rebuilding of Pimlico Racecourse and Laurel Park, the bill is designed to allow Pimlico to remain as the home of the Preakness Stakes, and for Laurel Park to become the focal-point of racing for the majority of the year, as well as the full-time training center for Maryland racing.
The Racing and Community Development Act will allow the Maryland Stadium Authority to issue up to $375 million in bonds, with a minimum of $180 million to be used towards rebuilding Pimlico Racecourse and at least $155 million slated for Laurel.
Coronavirus wreaks havoc with schedules
The entire country has been taking great precautions during this time of uncertainty as the threat of the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the nation. The racing world has not been spared, as tracks across the country have closed to the public in a desperate attempt to halt the spread of the highly contagious virus.
In Maryland, all racetracks, off-track wagering sites, and casinos have been closed to the public until further notice. Fasig-Tipton has rescheduled its Mid-Atlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale. Previously scheduled to take place on May 18 and 19 at the Timonium Fairgrounds, the sale has now been reset to commence on May 26 and 27, with the under-tack show taking place on May 21 through the 23rd. The decision to delay the sale was made in response to the CDC suggesting that events attracting a crowd of 50 or more people be canceled for the next eight weeks.
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the $1 million Charles Town Classic, which was originally slated to be run on April 18, has now been postponed. The race will be rescheduled for a later date, which has not yet been released.
The Charles Town Classic isn’t the only prominent race to be rescheduled this year due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The Kentucky Derby, which is traditionally run on the first Saturday in May, has been rescheduled for September 5.
The running of the Preakness Stakes is likely to follow suit and is currently in discussion to be moved to a date later in September. An official date for the Preakness Stakes has not been decided but is likely to come out in the coming days.
The 146th Kentucky Derby will be rescheduled from May 2, 2020 to September 5, 2020
Additional Information ⤵https://t.co/PTHT2X5Gm2
— Kentucky Derby (@KentuckyDerby) March 17, 2020
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With her score in Saturday’s Weathervane Stakes, Hello Beautiful also moved to the top of the MATCH Series standings, one of four top contenders in action.
Fancy Her Up dominated the Rachel’s Turn Stakes in fast time on a Charles Town card where veteran Hypothesis and Run to Daylight also won stakes.
Steve Asmussen and Feargal Lynch teamed up to win Saturday’s G3 De Francis Dash, their second win in the race in four years.
Hello Beautiful is odds-on to win for the eighth time in nine starts at Laurel Park in Saturday’s $100,000 Weathervane Stakes.
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith will ride Saturday at Laurel for the first time in 14 years, with three mounts, including Roadster in the Polynesian.
Familiar foes – Golden Key, Aaron’s Tap and Hypothesis – meet in Saturday’s Last Enchantment S. at Charles Town, and juveniles meet in two other stakes.