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Black-Eyed Susan Day
Calvin Borel celebrates aboard Rachel Alexandra on Preakness Day 2009
There was lots going on at Pimlico on Preakness day other than the races. There were the fans, parachute jumps, the Budweiser Clydesdales, and of course there is always the scenery. Here is a selection of photos from the week for your enjoyment, starting a few more from the Preakness including winner Rachel Alexandra and runner-up Mine That Bird. Just click the smaller one to see a bigger version.
|The finish of the Preakness showing all three of the top finishers: Rachel Alexandra, Mine That Bird, and Musket Man.||Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra gets her tattoo examined by horse identifier Shannon Spillman before the race.|
|The Preakness field going around the first turn with Rachel Alexandra and Big Drama out front and Mine That Bird in last.||Mine That Bird in the infield saddling area on the turf course.|
|They kept Rachel Alexandra very hidden after she arrived at Pimlico. This view was all you could see of her stall and she rarely came out.||Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird's stall with his workout saddle cloth drying on the rail. He came out often and was very easy to get in photos.|
|One of the big stories for this year was the drastic drop in attendance from 112,222 last year to 77,850 this year. This can be directly attibuted to the change in rules that didn't allow infield patrons to bring their own beer as they had in the past. As you can see from the photos, the infield was nearly deserted with more security than racegoers in some places. Despite the huge attendance drop, handle was up just proving those drunken infield revelers didn't even know there were races going on and with them gone people who actually were betting. For comparison, below is a photo of how crowded the infield was in the past.
|The traditional honor guard brings the Preakness trophies over to the winner's circle earlier in the card and the flowers for the winner waiting to be taken across.|
|The cupola in the Preakness winner's circle with the trophies set out waiting for the race.||The winner's circle on Thursday morning during the workouts.|
|The horses for the 6th race on Preakness day, the Deputed Testimony Starter Handicap, approach the starting gate with the sparsely attended "Top of the Stretch" area of the infield in the background.||The horses break from the gate for the Deputed Testimony Starter Handicap.|
|Bugler Sam Grossman from NYRA called the horses to the post on both Black-Eyed Susan and Preakness day.||One of the many Black-Eyed Susan vendors roaming the stands on Preakness weekend. This year beer was $6 and Susans were $8. For comparison, at the Derby a beer costs $7 and a Mint Julep is $9.|
|Retired jockey Laffit Pincay was on hand both Friday and Saturday to sign his new biography.||The connections of Mine That Bird had custom belt buckles made to celebrate their trip to the Kentucky Derby. They had them done before they even went, so the win just made them even more special.|
|When Pioneerof the Nile arrived on Wednesday, trainer Bob Baffert's pony Leo came with him. Baffert pointed to the brand on his hip, which is an underlined 3, and joked that if he wins another Derby they will have to mark out the 3 and replace it with a 4.||The Preakness trophy and the souvenir saddle cloths for the Preakness horses at the Alibi Breakfast on Thursday morning with Rachel Alexandra's on the end.|
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