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Bugler Sam Grossman from NYRA calls the horses to the post for a race on Preakness Day 2008
There was lots going on at Pimlico on Preakness day other than the races. There were the fans, parachute jumps, the stealth bomber flying over, the Budweiser Clydesdales, and more. Here is a selection of photos from the day for your enjoyment, starting with a selection of 8 featuring Preakness winner Big Brown. Just click the smaller one to see a bigger version.
|Big Brown walks over from the barn to the infield saddling area and has his lip tattoo checked by horse identifier Denver Beckner before he is saddled. Before the race, a $50 million deal to stand Big Brown at stud at Three Chimneys was announced. Co-owner Michael Iavarone said, "I think the stud deal we made today might be able to pay for the tickets in the grandstand. I think we're going to be a thousand deep there. Bringing it back to New York has, as I said, is just a dream come true. New York has been captured by the moment even leading up to the Preakness. Now I expect the momentum to only build from here. Kent, myself and Rick, Rich, all, from New York area, and it's going to be a fun three weeks."|
|Big Brown gets saddled for the Preakness and a close-up from the post parade. Minority owner Paul Pompa said, "I'm very proud of the whole connection here. It's been a pleasure working with Mike (Iavarone). I have a lot of respect for Rick Dutrow. They made me a very fair deal. They took the risk. Anybody who has owned any racehorses knows that injuries are such a big part of the game, and these guys, they're not afraid. I stayed in, and I'm happy for my partners in the trucking business, UPS. I mean, marketing-wise, it's been great. The employees are producing more and everybody's morale is at an all-time high. Tt's a win-win situation for everybody. "|
|First time by in the Preakness with Big Brown in 4th on the rail, then after the race trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. celebrates with jockey Kent Desormeaux. After the race, Desormeaux said, "This is the best horse I've ever ridden. I said it. I've ridden all the horses across the country. (Casino Drive) is the only one that can even entertain Big Brown's stride. It's going to be exciting. He can run. He's a nice horse. It's another quarter of a mile. You know, there's so many hurdles. Can't wait to find out what happens but that's a cold exacta. I think just this guy knows what he's doing. I'm happy to be his pilot. The important thing is the horse came home safe and we get to move into the next town. He's going back to the barn only used half the tank."|
|Big Brown parades after the race and the cake for the post-Preakness party back by the stakes barn. Co-owner Richard Schiavo said, "I think the last two weeks have been pretty crazy. The next three weeks will be exciting. I know the phone, I think Mike and my phone has been going off. We have a lot of friends and family. Everyone will want to be a part of Big Brown and the Belmont Stakes. So, you know, I think we'll just try to stay as calm and as humble as we can but we're all excited about the opportunity, our chances in the final leg."|
|The Preakness infield, sponsored this year by Dos Equis Beer, is notorious for being rough, rowdy, and full of drunks. Fans are allowed to take their own beer in which probably adds to the situation. On the left is a typical sight on Preakness day, with a local teenager pushing a load of beer to the infield entrance for tips. Judging by the number of cases, they will have a really good time. On the right is a shot of all the infield fans, who probably never even saw a horse, exiting the track just while the horses are preparing to walk over to be saddled for the Preakness.|
|A view of the crowded stands on Preakness day just before the Dixie Stakes.||The Budweiser Clydesdales made a trip down the stretch during the afternoon.|
|The trophies for the Preakness are carried across to the infield winner's circle by an honor guard.||The blanket of black-eyed susans followed shortly after the trophies.|
|The Navy Seal paratroopers performed during the afternoon, despite the windy weather.|
|They did a good job of judging the wind speed and direction as all of them landed on target this year. After the paratroopers, the stealth bomber did a fly-by over the stands at Pimlico. Although it looks like he might hit the banner, he was far above it.|
|All weekend most of the jockeys and quite a few other people wore these stickers to honor the late Eight Belles.||There was also a tribute to the US troops in the infield winner's circle.|
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