Digest (May 12): Field of 14 entered for Pimlico Special, its biggest field since 1988

The $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3), lengthened this year to 1 ¼ miles for the first time in history, drew the biggest field since its revival in 1988 as 14 were entered for Friday’s race at Pimlico Race Course. The 49th running of the Pimlico Special, on the eve of the 144th Preakness Stakes (G1), is one of seven stakes races on the 14-race card, highlighted by the 95th running of the $250,000 Xpressbet Black-Eyed Susan (G2). Also on tap are the $150,000 Adena Springs Miss Preakness (G3), $150,000 Caplan Brothers Glass Allaire duPont Distaff (G3), $100,000 Maker’s Mark Hilltop, $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint and $100,000 Fidelity First and Blackwell Real Estate Skipat. Not since Blushing John beat 11 in the 1989 edition have more than 10 horses entered the Special.

The 49th running of the Pimlico Special, on the eve of the 144th Preakness Stakes (G1), is one of seven stakes races on the 14-race card, highlighted by the 95th running of the $250,000 Xpressbet Black-Eyed Susan (G2). Also on tap are the $150,000 Adena Springs Miss Preakness (G3), $150,000 Caplan Brothers Glass Allaire duPont Distaff (G3), $100,000 Maker’s Mark Hilltop, $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint and $100,000 Fidelity First and Blackwell Real Estate Skipat.

Because of the configuration of the one-mile oval at Pimlico, 10-furlong races are a rarity. Indeed, the track record for the distance was set back in 1988 by Mazotti, who covered 1 ¼ miles in 2:01 4/5.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 1 ¼-mile race at Pimlico,” said trainer Todd Pletcher, who took back-to-back editions of the Special with Revolutionary and Commissioner in 2014 and 2015 and has entered the duo of You’re to Blame and Rally Cry.

“Not every horse can get 1 ¼ miles,” he added. “You need to get a good run to establish a good position, and get into a comfortable rhythm. I think it plays to [my horses’] strengths.”

College baseball: Navy scored eight runs in the top of the 12th inning to secure a 10-2 victory over Lehigh and sweep the best-of-three Patriot League semifinal series. The Midshipmen will face the winner of Army West Point and Holy Cross in the best-of-three final series Friday through Sunday.

Women’s college tennis: Johns Hopkins’ NCAA Tournament run came to end with a 5-0 loss to Amherst in the Sweet 16.

Boxing: Jarrett Hurd of Accokeek was welcomed into the ring by the Washington Redskins marching band. He left in a manner familiar to his favorite football team recently, losing to an opponent from Philadelphia. Challenger Julian Williams unanimously outpointed Hurd on Saturday night at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Va. in front of the defending champ's home fans to take the IBF, WBA and IBO super welterweight titles. Williams (27-1-1) knocked down Hurd (23-1) in the second round and stayed on his feet throughout. While both fighters appeared in danger at times, Williams clearly believed he won in the later rounds. The judges agreed, scoring it 116-111, 115-112 and 115-112, as did Hurd's corner. Earlier, middleweights Matt Korobov (28-2-1) and Immanuel Aleem (18-1-2) fought to a majority draw, although it was originally announced as a majority decision in Korobov's favor. In the other co-feature, super lightweight Mario Barrios (24-0, 16 KOs) improved on his perfect professional record with a second-round knockout of Juan Jose Velasco.

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