Derby Winner Mage Confirmed to Run at Preakness

Derby Winner Mage Confirmed to Run at Preakness
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

Editor's note: This story was updated May 16.

Maryland racing got some good news last week with confirmation that Kentucky Derby winner Mage will run in the 148th Preakness States on May 20.

The Preakness is a staple on the Maryland sports betting calendar.

After the colt won at Churchill Downs on May 6, Mage’s co-owner, Ramiro Restrepo, appeared to be leaning toward heading to Pimlico for the second jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown. 

However, after Kentucky Derby favorite Forte pulled out of that race at the last minute — and considering last year’s Derby victor, Rich Strike, didn’t run in the Preakness — there was an atmosphere of cautious optimism regarding Mage.

The concern for any horse that is being considered to run in the Preakness after winning the Kentucky Derby is the quick two-week turnaround between the two major races. And so with Mage, his connection wanted to see how he recovered after chasing down Two Phil’s in the stretch to win the Derby.

Restrepo said that Mage has had “a magnificent week of training” and that trainer Gustavo Delgado Jr. was “over the moon of how he's come back.”

“He's shown all the positive signs,” Restrepo continued. “So, it's on to Baltimore and crab cakes, here we come."

Crab cakes, of course, have been a must-have in the state long before the dawn of Maryland sports betting apps.

Maryland Jockey Club Needed a Break

After some tough events lately in Maryland horse racing, that kind of news must be welcomed by the Maryland Jockey Club.

The Maryland Jockey Club operates the Preakness Stakes and Pimlico, plus Laurel Park, for parent company 1/ST RACING, a Canada-based company that was previously known as The Stronach Group.

Maryland horse racing was reeling after a series of horse injuries and subsequent equine deaths at the Maryland Jockey Club’s other Maryland racetrack, Laurel Park. Racing was halted at Laurel briefly in late April as the track was inspected and suggestions made by an independent expert.  

The MJC runs the bulk of its racing calendar at Laurel Park and returns to Pimlico for just a few weeks each year, essentially for Black-Eyed Susan Day on May 19 and, most importantly, for the Preakness Stakes on May 20.

The Preakness draw for post position was on Monday (two days earlier than normal) and Mage drew the No. 3 post in the eight-horse field. 

Along with Mage, others that the Daily Racing Form has pegged as contenders are Blazing Sevens, Chase the Chaos, First Mission, National Treasure, Perform and Red Route One. — your source for Maryland sports promos — is sure to provide news and analysis on all the state’s major teams and big events like the Preakness.

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A longtime reporter and editor who began writing on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened, Bill covered the World Series of Poker and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for a decade.

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