Maryland, My Maryland!

Maryland, My Maryland!
Photo: Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club

I’ve learned a few thing since I moved to the Old Line State. First off, Old Bay is not just for crab cakes! It goes in and on everything, including drinks. I’ve also learned that the horn is the first, actually the only part of a car people learn to use. Now, the most important thing I’ve come to know is that Preakness Week is by far the best week of the year!

It is only Tuesday, but the party is in full swing. My schedule is crazy loaded with parties here and tours there. In fact, today I was up at 4:30 AM for Sunrise at Old Hilltop. Let me just say, this tour is a must if you ever find yourself in Baltimore during Preakness Week! My day did not end there though! Swing by The Paddock View Facebook page and Twitter account to check out photos from my morning at the beautiful Sagamore Farm. Stay tuned because I will be posting pictures all week long of the various events and racing as we inch closer to Preakness 141.

Amid the celebration, I’ve been able to study the Friday’s Black-Eyed Susan card. I thought about writing a lengthy analysis, but that would not be very Maryland of me! I’ve quickly realized that Marylanders love to tell it like it is; they are honest and straight to the point. So let’s get to it!

Skipat Stakes (R3): Fantastic Style has never finished off the board. I doubt she will here against weaker company.

Pimlico Special Handicap (R7): I backed the local, Page McKenney, in the Charles Town Classic and will do so again here. I am out for revenge in the rematch against Stanford at a longer distance.  

Jim McKay Turf Sprint (R8): Got to handicap from the heart here and root for the 10 year old pride of Maryland, Ben’s Cat!

Allaire DuPont Distaff (R9): This race is wide open, so I am going to play it safe. It is hard to go wrong with the Pletcher/Velazquez duo, so I will take Mei Ling for the win.

Hilltop Stakes (R10): Miss Katie Mae is looking to make her second start off of a long layoff. I like her chances to grab a victory stateside with the red hot Irad Ortiz Jr aboard.

Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (R11): The main event features a couple returners from the Kentucky Oaks. All eyes are on Land Over Sea, but I look to the other returner Go Maggie Go for some value. I’ll blame her Oaks finish on the troubled trip and give her another chance.

Adena Springs Miss Preakness (R13): Quick Release returns to her preferred distance in the final stakes of the day. Hopefully she can send me home a winner!

Meet Jason Wood

I was born with an endless love for horses and racing. My dad owned several horses, so my favorite memories are either at the track or in the barn. I always tell my friends that I could read a racing program before I knew the alphabet! The Illinois racing circuit was home for many years. The majestic weeping willows along the backstretch of Arlington soon gave way to the warm winter nights under the lights at Sam Houston. I spent some time in Maryland and now find myself back at Sam Houston Race Park! Just like a stakes winner, I seem to always be shipping somewhere new!

My dad has passed on to the big track in the sky, but this sport allows me to carry a piece of him with me every time I walk around the track. I feel like I am a winner every time I get to be a part of racing, even if my pick doesn’t leave the starting gate!

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