Preakness Stakes

Saturday May 16, 2015: Pimlico Race Course



Preparations: May 14th and 15th

Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah has settled in at the Pimlico Stakes Barn to await his next challenge. He is one of two Preakness contenders trained by Bob Baffert, and is owned by Ahmed Zayat.
Baffert's wife, Jill, and their son, Bode, visit American Pharoah after his Thursday morning gallop and bath.
Danzig Moon, who was fifth in the Kentucky Derby, is trained by Mark Casse.
Dortmund, a son of 2008 Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown, is Baffert's other entrant in Saturday's race.
The last Preakness contender to arrive at Pimlico is Divining Rod, who made the trip by van from Fairhill Training Center Thursday morning.
Divining Rod, a colt by Tapit, is owned by Roy and Gretchen Jackson. This is the first time they will have a horse in the Preakness since Barbaro's ill-fated run in 2006.
Kentucky Derby runner-up Firing Line gallops Friday morning.

Dortmund, third in the Kentucky Derby, exercises on the Pimlico track.
Bodhisattva's owner, Jose Corrales, also trains him.
Jorge Alvarez is American Pharoah's regular exercise rider.

American Pharoah has a distinctive, abbreviated tail, thought to have been partly chewed off by a pasture mate when he was younger.
Tale of Verve enjoys some grazing time after his morning work.

Race Day

American Pharoah, who has drawn post number one for the Preakness Stakes, leads the group of eight contenders in the walk from barn to track. Jorge Alvarez, left, and groom Eduardo Luna accompany him.

Gripping the hand of his son Bode, Bob Baffert follows his Derby winner onto the track.
Mr. Z was 13th in the Kentucky Derby, and his owner at the time–Ahmed Zayat–vowed that he would give the horse a rest and not run him in the Preakness. But by May 13th, Zayat had sold Mr. Z, and trainer D. Wayne Lukas had entered him in the Preakness for new owner Calumet Farm.
Heavy, wind-driven rain falls as the horses, including Danzig Moon, take part in the post parade.

The rain, accompanied by thunder and lightning, prompts racegoers to abandon their seats and rush for cover, but the horses proceed toward the starting gate.
The track quickly turns sloppy for Tale of Verve and the rest of the field.
Mr. Z, Ramon Vazquez up, races close behind leader American Pharoah as they pass the stands for the first time.
Mud flies as the horses round the clubhouse turn.

A sloppy track suits American Pharoah, who leads from gate to wire.
Victor Espinoza and American Pharoah win the Preakness Stakes by seven lengths.
Jimmy Barnes, assistant to trainer Bob Baffert, leads fourth-place finisher Dortmund (Martin Garcia up) to the unsaddling area.

Victor Espinoza waves to the crowd as he and American Pharoah return from the gallop-out.
American Pharoah wears the traditional Preakness winner's blanket of flowers: yellow blooms altered to look like black-eyed Susans, which are not in season at race time.
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