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Dec 22, 2011

Also-eligibles approved for Preakness



Laurel, MD (Sports Network) - On the heels of also-eligibles being approved for the Kentucky Derby, the second jewel of thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown will also allow substitutes.

Beginning with the 2012 edition, the Preakness Stakes will permit two horses to be designated as also-eligibles. Churchill Downs announced last week that the Kentucky Derby will have four also-eligibles.

"It is very similar to what Churchill is doing for the Derby," said Maryland Jockey Club racing secretary Georganne Hale. "It enables us to still run a full field of 14 if there is a late scratch by 9 a.m. Friday morning. We have set the deadline because on that afternoon advanced wagering starts on the Preakness."

At its month meeting Tuesday at Laurel Park, the Maryland Racing Commission approved 146 days of racing in 2012 for Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course. The approval came after last week's agreement by the Maryland Jockey Club and Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association on the dates.

"We are very pleased to be racing next year," said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. "I would like to personally thank Governor O'Malley, his chief legislative officer Joe Bryce and the Maryland Racing Commission, especially John McDaniel, for mediating the process. This agreement provides a foundation for continuing efforts to create a long-term solution to Maryland racing."

Laurel Park will have a winter and fall meet in 2012 and Pimlico, home of the Preakness, will conduct a spring meeting. The Laurel Park winter race meet will begin on Wednesday, January 4 through Saturday, March 24.

The 137th Preakness Stakes will be held on Saturday, May 19.

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