2012 Preakness will have a two horse also-eligible list

The Maryland Jockey Club approved the addition of a two-horse also-eligible list for the Baltimore classic, the second jewel in the U.S. Triple Crown. The decision comes just days after Churchill Downs decided to include a list of up to four also-eligible horses for the 2012 Kentucky Derby.  “It is very similar to what Churchill is doing for the Kentucky Derby,” Maryland Jockey Club racing secretary Georganne Hale said.

A maximum of 14 horses can start in the Preakness, which in 2012 is scheduled to be run on May 19 at Pimlico Race Course. If more than 14 horses enter, up to two horses could be included on an also-eligible list. Those horses would be eligible to run if any of the field’s 14 entries are declared out of the race between the post position draw on Wednesday of Preakness week and the Friday morning before race day.

“It enables us to still run a full field of 14 if there is a late scratch by 9
a.m. [EDT] Friday morning,” Hale said. “We have set the deadline because on that afternoon, advanced wagering starts on the Preakness.”

In addition to adding an also-eligible list to its biggest race of the year,
the Maryland Jockey Club also approved its 2012 racing calendar, which includes 146 dates.

“We are very pleased to be racing next year,” Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas said. “I would like to personally thank Governor O’Malley, his chief legislative officer Joe Bryce, and the Maryland Racing Commission, especially John McDaniel, for mediating the process. This agreement provides a  foundation for continuing efforts to create a long-term solution to Maryland  racing.”

The Maryland Jockey Club will conduct a winter meeting at Laurel Park, a spring
campaign at Pimlico Race Course, and a fall meeting at Laurel Park. There will
be no live racing at the major Maryland tracks during the summer.