BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore gets ready to host the Preakness Stakes and a local resident has a big stake in the race.
Mark Viviano has more on a Baltimore homecoming.
Stuart Janney is a Baltimore County resident. He always goes to the Preakness, but this year, you could say he’s truly invested.
Early mornings leading up to the Preakness at Pimlico. At this time and in this place, you find the sport’s true fans. Stuart Janney is a true fan of horse racing.
Growing up in Baltimore, he knows the Preakness experience. But it’s turned up several notches this time, as Janney is home as co-owner of Orb, the Preakness favorite that won the Kentucky Derby.
“I’ve been coming out here Thursday or Friday morning since I was a kid. I don’t know how many I’ve missed, but not a lot of them. I always thought it was a wonderful thing to do, and I can just tell you it’s a lot better when you have a horse in the race. And it’s even better when you have a horse that just won the Kentucky Derby.”
Good for Janney, and good for Maryland. Local ownership of the top Preakness contender adds even more to what’s at stake.
“Hopefully this is putting them in the right direction. We’ll have a great Preakness, great attendance, which apparently looks like it will be, and better things to occur as time goes on,” he said.
Janney has teamed with fifth stable for decades of horse ownership, and their trainer is Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey.
“I am the most fortunate guy that could ever do this,” said McGaughey. “To have people like that, that have given me the leniency to operate this stable in the manner I am comfortable operating on it without any interference whatsoever.”
Janney’s stable has about 90 horses, Orb is the star of the group.
The Janney family has been in the racing business for decades, in fact, they can trace Orb’s bloodline about 60 years back.
And Jessica Kartalija has more on fan excitement.
Two days until Baltimore’s biggest party, where racing fans from around the world will be focused on the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes.
“It takes about 3,000 to 4,000 flowers,” a woman said.
In Baltimore County, a group of ladies sew a 40 pound blanket of flowers to be placed upon the winning horse.
“Everybody in the world watches the race, and I just feel like I touch a piece of history every year,” she said.
Mylute, who came in fifth at the Kentucky Derby, has a special tie to Charm City. Rosie Napravnik, who started her racing career at Pimlico, will ride Mylute again in the second leg of the Triple Crown.
“We are thrilled to have her. She’s the winningest jockey in America right now and has the most stakes wins as well. So we’re blessed to have her,” said Paul Bulmahn, Goldmark Farm.
Off the track, a tradition that dates back to the 1930s–the Alibi Breakfast–where trainers, owners and the media gather to talk shop, and tell a few horse tales as crews work to get Pimlico race course ready.
The Preakness is expected to draw a record breaking crowd.
If she wins, Napravnik would become the first woman jockey to ever do so at the Preakness.