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Jockey Flavien Prat celebrates aboard Never Explain after winning the Dinner Party Stakes on the 2023 Preakness undercard.

2023 Preakness Undercard Results

Date: 5/20/2023

Fans in attendance at Pimlico for the Preakness Stakes (G1) were treated to a marathon 14-race card with the first race off at 10:35am. Conditions were typical for mid May, with sunny skies and temperatures in the high 70's most of the day, the main track fast and the turf course firm, however the Preakness itself was run under dark clouds and the UAE President Cup under light showers. Officials did not announce an attendance figure for Saturday alone, instead announcing that a combined 65,000 people attended over the 2 days (Black-Eyed Susan Friday and Preakness Saturday), with the numbers also including those attending the InfieldFest featuring Bruno Mars.

A field of 7 older horses contested the $200,000 Dinner Party Stakes (G2) presented by Bulleit Bourbon over 1 1/8 miles on the turf, run as the Dixie for a number of years. Allowance winner and Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) 10th place finisher Hurricane Dream was sent off as the 6-5 favorite over 11-4 second choice Atone, winner of the Pegasus World Cup Turf but 9th in the Mervin Muniz (G2), and 3-1 third choice Emmanuel, 7th in the Makers Mark Mile (G1).

Jockey Tyler Gaffalione sent Atone to the lead first time by through fractions of 23.85, 47.40, and 1:11.23 while pressed by Emmanuel and stalked by 14-1 Rising Empire. Atone led to the 1/8 pole through 1 mile in 1:34.22 before tiring. 15-1 longest shot Never Explain, fourth early under Flavien Prat, came out 5 wide for room and rallied to win by 1/2 a length over favorite Hurricane Dream in a new course record 1:46.14. It was a head back to Emmanuel third
Full results chart from DRF

Left: Never Explain in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Shug McGaughey said, "I think it was great ride with Flavien (Prat). He saved ground. He got him to relax. He had horse when it came time. When he asked him, he was there. Whether he was going to get there or not, I don't know, but I knew he was running. Even without the blinkers he wants to pull a little bit. That was one of the good things about today. He got him to relax really well, where he had horse at the finish."

Right: Never Explain heads back to the barn after the race. Winning jockey Flavien Prat said, "It looked like the pace was honest, and I tucked myself in. I tipped him out turning for home, and he really dug in and was game today. On the form, it felt like anybody could win. Turning for home, I thought I had a chance. But I felt I wasn't the only one. It seemed like the horse coming outside of me helped me and pushed my horse."

Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Hurricane Dream returns after the race. Trainer Graham Motion said, "A little tough, but he ran well. I was very pleased with Hurricane Dream. Speaking Scout was unlucky. He said if he could have gotten through, he just didn't have anywhere to go." Jockey Joel Rosario added, "We broke fine. I just took my time with him, and he relaxed nicely for me. The winner was a little bit in front of me. My horse ran his race and had a great run to the finish. I felt for a second he might get there, but the winner just kept moving. The turf may be a little speed favoring today."

Right: Third place finisher Emmanuel in the post parade. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said, "We had a beautiful trip. Broke good, sat second where I bided my time. Then he tried all the way to the wire. It was a great race, and he ran very well."



Kicking off the stakes action, a field of 5 three-year-olds went 1 1/16 miles in the $100,000 Sir Barton Stakes sponsored by Brandon and Diannah Perry to Benefit The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. Jockey John Velazquez sent 2-5 favorite Arabian Lion to the lead first time by and he set fractions of 24.47, 48.13, and 1:11.22 while pressed by 26-1 Feeling Woozy and stalked by 35-1 longest shot Sheriff Ronnie. Arabian Lion opened up in the stretch, finishing 4 lengths ahead of late-running 3-1 second choice Tapit's Conquest in 1:41.13. It was a long 6 1/2 lengths back to 7-2 third choice Denington third
Full results chart from DRF

Left: Arabian Lion returns after the race. Winning jockey John Velazquez said, "I wanted to keep his mind on running because he got to the stretch and started drifting out. Obviously, he has changed a lot from two starts back when I rode him (fourth in Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita), because when I rode him, he was a bad fourth. It didn't seem like he wanted to go the two turns. He's a different horse from two starts back."

Right: Arabian Lion heads back to the barn after the race. Winning trainer Bob Baffert said, "I should have run him in the Preakness! I didn't think he could lose in the Lexington. He is such a beautiful horse. He is like a smaller version of Justify and I think he is just starting to wake up. What I saw today, and that time was pretty impressive, I think he [belonged] in the Preakness the way he ran today, and I probably should have put both of them in there. The Belmont is a possibility with him."



The $200,000 Chick Lang Stakes (G3) presented by Case IH featured a field of 7 three-year-olds sprinting 6 furlongs on the main track. Saudi Derby (G2) runner-up and San Vicente (G2) winner Havnameltdown was sent off as the 4-5 favorite over 7-2 second choice Super Chow, winner of the Hutcheson Stakes, and 5-1 third choice Ryvit, winner of the Bachelor Stakes.

Jockey Tyler Gaffalione sent Ryvit to the lead out of the chute through an opening quarter in 22.23 while pressed by Havnameltdown and stalked by Super Chow. At the 3/8 pole Havnameltdown broke down, unseating jockey Luis Saez, as Ryvit continued to lead through a half in 44.49. In the stretch opened up a 4 length lead in 56.74. 6-1 Prince of Jericho, last early, put in a strong rally but Ryvit easily held him off to win by 1 3/4 length in 1:09.33. It was a long 4 lengths back to 11-2 fourth choice Frosted Departure third. Sadly, Havnameltdown sustained a fractured left front fetlock and was euthanized on the track, while Saez, complaining of lower leg pain, was taken to hospital for X-rays which were negative.
Full results chart from DRF

Left: Ryvit heads to the winner's circle. Winning trainer Steve Asmussen said, "It's great that the horse won and proved himself. I think it's unfortunate that Keith (Asmussen, son and regular rider) broke his finger on Thursday. I'm proud of him for making the decision of putting the horse in front of himself. I think it says a lot and proves who he is. Somehow, I think he'll have plenty of my support when he comes back. The key to him has been getting away from the gates. Keith working him in the mornings and getting him to break is what turned him around. That's the only thing I said to Tyler, ‘If you can get him to jump well from the gates, you'll like how he responds.' And that his what he did."

Right: Favorite Havnameltdown walks over before the race. Trainer Bob Baffert said, "We never had an issue with him. We are so careful with all these horses, and it still happens. It is something that is disheartening. I feel so bad for that horse, and I just hope that Luis is ok. The way he was riding him; the horse was moving, he was going on with it. He looked like the winner, it's the worst feeling. And we grieve. We do grieve when these things happen. There is nothing worse than coming back and the stall is empty. He is a nice horse. He could not have been doing any better. It's sickening. I am in shock."



A field of 7 older fillies and mares contested the $100,000 Gallorette Stakes (G3) presented by Pepsi Zero over 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Plenty of Grace Stakes winner Whitebeam was sent off as the 4-5 favorite over 4-1 second choice Vergara, unraced since second in the Sands Point (G2) in October, and 11-2 third choice Princess Theorem, second in the Sand Springs at Gulfstream.

Jockey Jorge Ruiz sent 18-1 longest shot Traffic Song to lead first time by through fractions of 23.62, 48.68, and 1:12.93 while pressed by Whitebeam and stalked by Vergara. Turning for home, jockey Irad Ortiz sent Whitebeam to the front through 1 mile in 1:35.95. Kept to task by Ortiz, Whitebeam drew off late to win by 2 1/2 lengths over late-running 15-2 Sopran Basilea in 1:41.67. It was a neck back to 16-1 Bipartisanship third.
Full results chart from DRF

Left: Whitebeam in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said, "Beautiful trip. She broke so good, broke on top actually. I let her go into the first turn to get position. I took a hold of her, and she came back to me right away. So, I just waited for the time to go, and she came on really well. She's a nice one."

Right: Whitebeam heads back to the barn. Winning trainer Chad Brown said, "She's trained super since she came in to me over the winter from Juddmonte. I was actually very surprised she got beat the last time. She had an outside post in a short field and she kind of got jammed up off a slow pace, wide, pulling the whole way and just missed. It was sloppy trip. She came out of that and trained brilliantly. I think getting on the faster, firmer turf is really going to be beneficial for her. She just loved it out there today."


The $100,000 Skipat Stakes presented by Old Bay featured a field of 8 older fillies and mares sprinting 6 furlongs. Jockey Jevian Toledo sent 11-1 Princess Kokachin to the lead out of the chute through fractions of 22.58 and 45.14 while pressed by 5-1 third choice Edie Meeny Miny Mo and stalked by 11-2 fourth choice Olivia Darling. Turning for home Princess Kokachin opened up a 4 length lead through 5f in 57.10 but tired. 17-1 Cheetara, 6th early under Vincent Cheminaud, came out 6 wide for room and rallied to win by a neck over Olivia Darling in 1:09.95. It was another 1/2 length back to 5-2 second choice I'm the Boss of Me third, while 9-5 favorite Gunning finished 6th beaten 2 1/2 lengths.

Full results chart from DRF

Left: Cheetara in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Vincent Cheminaud said, "It was great to win this race. The pace is why we won today. It was perfect for her, very fast. Sometimes, I ride this filly next to the leader and she doesn't run well. She finished very well, she deserved this win. She likes to come from the outside."

Right: Sixth place finisher and beaten favorite Gunning returns after the race. The Ken McPeek trainee has a record of 3 wins, 2 seconds, and 1 third in 6 starts, earning $272,835 for owner-breeder Grandview Equine.


The $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint presented by Guinness featured 8 older horses going 5 furlongs on the turf. 3-1 second choice Nothing Better and 7-2 third choice Beer Can Man dueled for the lead through fractions of 21.63 and 43.99 while stalked by 9-1 That's Right and 2-1 favorite Coppola. In the stretch, Nothing Better gained the lead but Beer Can Man fought back to win by a neck in 55.56, just 0.26 seconds off the course record. It was a long 3 1/2 lengths back to Coppola third.

Full results chart from DRF

Left: Beer Can Man in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Flavien Prat said, "He was really sharp down the backside, jumped well out of there, was traveling super. When we got to the turn, he kind of dropped the bridle and I was a bit worried. But as soon as we got into the stretch he really leveled off and kept on running. He's always showed talent. I think last time after a long layoff he was probably a bit rusty. Plus he was a bit fractious in the gate and we had to wait for him to be less fractious. So, it wasn't the best comeback, but it was a good set up for this race."

Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Coppola in the post parade. The Dale Romans trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 0 seconds, and 1 third in 9 starts, earning $159,626 for owner Hammer Time Stable.



The $150,000 Maryland Sprint Stakes (G3) presented by Big Ass Fans featured a field of 10 older horses sprinting 6 furlongs on the main track. Palos Verdes (G3) third place finisher Straight No Chaser was sent off as the 8-5 favorite over 11-4 second choice Nakatomi, 4th in the Commonwealth (G3) and 7-2 third choice Wondrwherecraigis off an allowance win at Laurel.

Jockey John Velazquez sent Straight No Chaser to the lead out of the chute through fractions of 22.44 and 44.66 while pressed by 6-1 Prevalence and stalked by Wondrwherecraigis. Turning for home, Straight No Chaser opened up a 4 length lead through 5f in 56.20, and drew off late to win by 7 1/2 lengths over Prevalence in a new stakes record 1:08.27. It was a nose back to Nakatomi third.
Full results chart from DRF

Left: Straight No Chaser in the winner's circle. Winning jockey John Velazquez said, "The break was awesome. I got told by the trainer, if one goes fast, you have to go a little bit faster. I just let him do what he wants to do. Pretty easy. That's exactly how it feels."

Right: Straight No Chaser heads back to the barn. Winning trainer Dan Blacker said, "In the last eight months he's improved a lot mentally. He's gotten much more mature, much more straightforward to be around. You can see he's shipped for two races now and done really well. He's just getting better, that's the crazy thing. He's a 4-year-old now. It just shows that sometimes with these horses you've just got to be a little patient. Luckily, we've got great owners who were allowing me to be patient and giving him time to mature. He's really just peaking now."



A field of 9 three-year-olds went 1 mile on turf in the $100,000 James W. Murphy Stakes presented by Four Seasons Baltimore. 4-1 second choice Funtastic Again set the pace under John Velazquez of 22.44 and 46.15 while pressed by 27-1 longest shot Fadethenoise and stalked by even-money favorite Nagirroc. On the far turn Nagirroc took over through 3/4 in 1:09.84. Kept to task by Flavien Prat, Nagirroc drew off to win by 3 1/4 lengths in a new course record 1:33.11. It was a neck back to 14-1 Circling the Drain third.
Full results chart from DRF

Left: Nagirroc in the winner's circle. The Graham Motion trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 2 seconds, and 2 thirds in 7 starts, earning $377,550 for owners Little Red Feather Racing, Madaket Stables, and William Strauss.

Right: Nagirroc gets hosed off on his way back to the barn.



The final event of the 14 race marathon was the $100,000 UAE President Cup (G1), a 1 1/16 mile main track contest for older Arabians. Diamond Gem AA was sent off as the 6-5 favorite in the field of 9 off an allowance win at Sam Houston over 9-4 second choice Quick Sand AA, winner of the Darley Special (G2), and 6-1 third choice RB Texas Hold Em, second in an allowance last out. Jockey J.D. Acosta sent RB Texas Hold Em to the lead first time by through fractions of 26.33, 53.11, and 1:20.28 while pressed by Diamond Gem AA and stalked by 14-1 AA Take a Chance. Turning for home Diamond Gem AA under jockey Angel Cruz took over the lead through 1 mile in 1:49.11, and held off RB Texas Hold Em the rest of the way to win by 3/4 length in 1:56.66. It was a long 6 1/4 lengths back to Quick Sand AA third.
Full results chart from DRF

Left: Diamond Gem AA in the winner's circle. The Jerenesto Torrez trainee improved his record to 5 wins and 1 second in 6 starts, earning $127,340 for owners Betty and Joseph Gillis.

Right: Diamond Gem AA heads back to the barn

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