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Preakness 145: Filly Swiss Skydiver Wins the Third Leg of the Triple Crown

The Filly Swiss Skydiver Wins the Third Leg of the Triple CrownFor the first time in the race's history, the 145th Preakness Stakes (G1) ran as the third jewel of the Triple Crown and the Preakness day entertainment experience was reimagined for the viewing audience at home. Swiss Skydiver, Jockey Robby Albarado, trainer Kenneth G. McPeek, and owner Peter J. Callahan, won the 145th Preakness Stakes (G1), finishing the 1 3/16-mile race in 1:53:28 minutes. Swiss Skydiver was the first filly since 2009 to win the Preakness Stakes. The Kentucky Derby winner and odds favorite, Authentic finished second and Jesus' Team took third. In addition to being crowned champion and taking home the Woodlawn Vase, Swiss Skydiver, only the 12th filly to win a Triple Crown race, qualified for the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) in November as part of the Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" Challenge Series.
 
Despite the absence of 130,000+ fans in attendance and three fewer Thoroughbred races than Preakness 144, the total handle for Preakness 145's 12-race, all-stakes program was a solid $51.2 million. The innovative efforts of 1/ST, the consumer facing brand of The Stronach Group, through its game-changing 1/ST BET app, the official betting app of Preakness 145, delivered a user-friendly digital experience that seamlessly brought the thrill of handicapping to users' homes.
 
The Preakness 145 program included the introduction of "The George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (GII)." Miss Marissa, Jockey Daniel Centeno, trainer James T. Ryerson and owner Alfonso Cammarota won the fan favorite, 1 ⅛-mile stakes race for fillies in 1:48:08 minutes. The renaming of the 96-year old race was done to honor the life and legacy of George E. Mitchell, a tireless community advocate for Baltimore's Park Heights neighborhood. Mr. Mitchell's three children and other family members were in attendance and presented the trophy to the winning connections.
 
Grammy Award-winning artist Wyclef Jean and Soulful Symphony Founding Artistic Director Darin Atwater together transformed the Preakness' musical traditions, including the National Anthem, Riders Up and the iconic Call to Post. The entertainment program celebrated Maryland's rich history and diversity and paid homage to the contributions of African-Americans in the sport. Call to Post, the iconic tradition that signals the start of the race, was presented for the first time as a contemporary mash-up in collaboration with Brian Newman, American jazz musician and Lady Gaga's band leader, and the Maryland Jockey Club's own trumpet duo, Sam Grossman and Beth Dixon. The entertainment program delivered a powerful rendition of the Bob Dylan classic "Knocking on Heaven's Door" performed by Wyclef Jean.
 
Jockeys riding in both the 145th Preakness Stakes and the George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes wore armbands inscribed with "ONE RACE" to call attention to the racial injustices experienced by so many and to reinforce the message of unity and hope.
 
"Despite looking much different this year, Preakness 145 delivered an unforgettable day of world-class Thoroughbred racing and entertainment," said Belinda Stronach, Chairman and President, 1/ST and The Stronach Group. "During a challenging time, Preakness 145 gave us the opportunity and platform to innovate and bring forward new and inclusive traditions reflective of the great City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland."
 
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the signature race did not include spectators. Celebrities, always a fixture of the Preakness, instead shared virtual greetings that were broadcast on NBC highlighting their Preakness picks and at-home celebrations, including actor and host Mario Lopez, TV host and stylist Jeannie Mai, actor JB Smoove, and singer-songwriter Kandi Burruss.
 
ANECDOTES:
 
Jockeys Robby Albarado on the filly Swiss Skydiver, and Florent Geroux riding Bob Baffert's Thousand Words donned JockeyCams on their helmets and gave fans at home the real time thrill of what it is like to ride, and for Swiss Skydiver, to win the Preakness!
Wyclef Jean together with Darin Atwater and Soulful Symphony delivered a powerful and moving rendition of Bob Dylan's classic "Knocking on Heaven's Door"
Governor Larry Hogan presenting the Woodlawn Vase from Old Hilltop's cupola to the 145th Preakness Stakes winning trainer, Kenneth G. McPeek
The iconic weathervane was painted with the winning silks by Dick Hagerman
 
ENTERTAINMENT GUESTS:
 
Wyclef Jean, Grammy Award-winning rapper, songwriter and producer
Darin Atwater, Founding Artistic Director of Soulful Symphony
Brian Newman, American Jazz Musician and Lady Gaga's Band Leader
 
VIPs/DIGNITARIES:
 
Bob Baffert, Hall of Fame Trainer
Dr. Dionne Benson, Chief Veterinary Officer, 1/ST RACING and The Stronach Group
Aidan Butler, Chief Strategy Officer, The Stronach Group and Acting Executive Director, California Racing Operations, 1/ST RACING
Craig Fravel, Chief Executive Officer, 1/ST RACING
Governor Larry Hogan, Governor of Maryland
Yumi Hogan, First Lady of Maryland
Sharon Middleton, State Delegate for Pimlico/Park Heights
George Mitchell Jr., and The Mitchell Family
Stuart Pittman, Anne Arundel County Executive
Brandon Scott, Baltimore Council President
Jimmy Vargas, Executive Vice President, Entertainment, 1/ST LIVE
David Wilson, Chief Marketing Officer, 1/ST
Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young, Mayor of Baltimore

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