For the first time since 1924 a filly won the Preakness Stakes yesterday. Three year old Rachel Alexandra defeated Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird.
The 134th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in Baltimore also saw a big drop in attendance. This year Pimlico started a ban on fans bringing their own beer and other beverages into the field.
Sparse crowd sees ‘Rachel’ become first filly to win in 85 years
By Ken Murray
Rachel Alexandra stumbled at the start and struggled down the stretch, but the heralded filly was still good enough to beat surging Mine That Bird to the wire in the 134th Preakness Stakes on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course.
The stirring, one-length victory proved to be vindication for all concerned – for owner Jess Jackson, who opted to send the 3-year-old filly against the boys; for Calvin Borel, who became the first jockey to abandon a Kentucky Derby winner for another Preakness horse; and for Mine That Bird, the smallish gelding with the giant finishing kick.
It was a historic race, the first Preakness victory by a filly since 1924 when Nellie Morse won, and the first time since 1906 that a filly (Whimsical) won here as a favorite. On top of that, Borel was the first rider to win the Derby and Preakness on different horses.
Unfortunately, an announced crowd of only 77,850, watched at Pimlico, a drop-off of nearly 35,000 fans from a year ago. The overall handle of $86,684,470 was the fifth highest ever for the Preakness – the second jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown.
Yesterday’s Washington Post has an article about the Preakness Stakes facing an uncertain future in Baltimore. Back in March Magna Entertainment Corp., the conglomerate that owns the Preakness filed for bankruptcy.