They know what it can be like to have a Preakness winner. Deputed Testamony's stud fees allowed them to move to their current location and expand their operation.

Visitors stopped by to see Deputed Testamony often. He was always jovial, Boniface said.

Nicole ended up caring for Deputed Testamony again late last June. Then the oldest living Triple Crown winner — and still the last horse with Maryland connections to win the Preakness — he had a similar routine. One day when Stall took him out of the paddock, he trudged slowly and seemed old.

“He just sort of stood there,” Stall said. “It was such a sad time for everyone.”

But on the way back to the stallion barn, Deputed Testamony came to. He reared up and pranced, wild one more time in front of his former caretaker.

He died in September.

Stall can't help but think of him now. And she remembers a replica of the Woodlawn Vase, given to the Preakness winner, on display at Bonita Farm.

When she lands in Baltimore next week, she'll reconnect with friends from high school and catch up with the Bonifaces. She'll think of Ben, whom she last saw last year when he and some friends were preparing for the Preakness.

“It will be emotional,” she said. “In so many ways. But we're lucky. Having a chance at that trophy, having a horse of that quality ... it's hard to believe it can happen.”

NOTES: Itsmyluckyday will have a new rider for the Preakness. Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez will replace Elvis Trujillo aboard the Gulfstream Park Derby and Holy Bull winner, who finished 15th in the Kentucky Derby. ... Five-time Preakness-winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas has firmed up the jockey assignments for his three Preakness candidates. He reported Wednesday morning that Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith will replace Jon Court aboard Will Take Charge, while Julien Leparoux will have the mount aboard Titletown Five and Gary Stevens will retain the mount on Oxbow.

Preakness field

Confirmed starters for the May 18 Preakness:

Orb (1st at the Kentucky Derby)

Oxbow (6th in the Derby)

Will Take Charge (8th in the Derby)

Itsmyluckyday (15th in the Derby)

Goldencents (17th in the Derby)

Departing (1st in the Illinois Derby)

Titletown Five (4th in the Derby Trial)

Still considering:

Normandy Invasion (4th in the Derby)

Mylute (5th in the Derby)

Vyjack (18th in the Derby)

Govenor Charlie (1st in Sunland Derby)

Street Spice (5th in Illinois Derby)

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