Preakness Stakes: News and notes before the race

Filly Ria Antonia will run; Rachel Alexandra won in 2009

A race such as the Preakness Stakes generates plenty of tidbits. Here are some:

--This will mark the first time in the history of the 139 years of the race that a female will be involved in all three major aspects of the race. A filly, Ria Antonia, will run. A trainer, Linda Rice, will saddle Kid Cruz. And a jockey, Rosie Napravnik, will ride Bayern.

--Bob Baffert will saddle Bayern, and if he wins, it will be Baffert's sixth Preakness victory. He would join his friend, Wayne Lukas, in second place among trainers. First is Robert Walden, who won seven in the late 1890s.

--The last filly to enter the Preakness won it. That was Rachel Alexandra in 2009. The owner, the late vintner Jess Jackson of Kendall-Jackson wine, was so certain of his filly's victory that he invited three reporters down to his infield tent hours before the race so they'd have some victory quotes and anecdotes.

--Ben’s Cat has proven he owns the Jim McKay Turf Sprint. The Maryland-bred horse won the $100,000 race for the third time in its ninth running Friday after rain moved the five-furlong race from turf to dirt. The field was whittled to five because of scratches.


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