Preakness Stakes – http://www.preaknessstakes.org host track Pimlico Race Course has announced that they’ve partnered with the Maryland affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation on Black Eyed-Susan Day for the second straight year. The Komen Foundation is the world’s largest breast cancer organization and a perfect tie in for the Friday card highlighting the big race for fillies.
Much in the same way that Churchill Downs has used the Friday card culminating with the Kentucky Oaks to promote similar charities, the $250,000 Black Eyed Susan (G2) for fillies has a similar stature on Preakness weekend. 75% of the money raised through the partnership will go to the Maryland affiliate for community outreach within the state and 25% will be earmarked for life saving research projects.
In addition to the running of the Black Eyed-Susan, there will be several special events during the card highlighting the involvement of women in Maryland horse racing. There will be an ‘all star’ race of retired female riders in the Lady Legends For the Cure Race II and a jockey challenge with six of the top current female riders. The Black-Eyed Susan will be broadcast live on the Versus Network in the United States.
Maryland Jockey Club President Tom Cuckas was very enthusiastic in announcing the partnership:
“We are pleased to partner with the Maryland Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure for the second straight year to fight breast cancer. The inaugural People’s Pink Party raised $100,000 for Komen last year and featured the historic Lady Legends Race, one of the highlights of Preakness weekend 2010. The eight retired riders created a buzz around the track, generating interest and excitement that energized fans. Switching the jockey challenge to an all-female format will add spark to the Preakness Eve event. We look forward to another dynamic and worthwhile Black-Eyed Susan Day and thank everyone for their support of an organization truly making a difference in the lives of those impacted by breast cancer.”
The ‘All Star’ race of retired female jockeys—the ‘Lady Legends For the Cure Race II’—will include the eight participants in last year’s event — winner Gwen Jocson, Andrea Seefeldt-Knight, Mary Russ-Tortora, Mary Wiley-Wagner, Patti “PJ” Cooksey, Barbara Jo Rubin, Jennifer Rowland-Small and Cheryl White — as well as Abby Fuller who was aboard Mom’s Command for several graded stakes wins. The race will include $20,000 in bonus prizes. In addition to her earnings in the race, the winner will receive another $6,000. Prizes of $4,000 down to $1,000 will be awarded to the remaining participants based on order of finish. Pimlico will match the amount wagered on the winner and make a contribution to the Komen Foundation.
The Jockey Challenge will include four races on the Black Eyed Susan undercard with points awarded based upon their finish. The jockey with the most points at the end of the competition will be crowned champion. The six riders that agreed to take part are Vicky Baze, Forest Boyce, Rosie Napravnik, Chantal Sutherland, Hayley Turner and Emma-Jayne Wilson.