2019 Preakness Stakes post positions announced

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The 144th Preakness Stakes is wide open without Kentucky Derby winner Country House or Maximum Security, who crossed the line first but was then disqualified for interference.

The May 18 race is set to run 13 horses with early favorite Improbable, a horse with the same trainer, jockey and owner as 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify, leading the field. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith joined the Improbable team after riding 30-1 Cutting Humor to 10th in the Derby.

Four horses ran in the Kentucky Derby: Improbable (4th), War of Will (7th), Win Win Win (9th) and Bodexpress (13th).

What to know about the 2019 Preakness Stakes

Below are the post positions for the 2019 Preakness Stakes, including current odds as of May 15.

1. War of Will (4-1)
Trainer: Mark Casse
Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione

2. Bourbon War (12-1)
Trainer: Mark Hennig
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

3. Warriors Charge (12-1)
Trainer: Brad Cox
Jockey: Javier Castellano

4. Improbable (5-2)
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Jockey: Mike Smith

5. Owendale (10-1)
Trainer: Brad Cox
Jockey: Florent Geroux

6. Market King (30-1)
Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
Jockey: Jon Court

7. Alwaysmining (8-1)
Trainer: Kelly Rubley
Jockey: Daniel Centeno

8. Signalman (30-1)
Trainer: Ken McPeek
Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr.

9. Bodexpress (20-1)
Trainer: Gustavo Delgado
Jockey: John Velazquez

10. Everfast (50-1)
Trainer: Dale Romans
Jockey: Joel Rosario

11. Laughing Fox (20-1)
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.

12. Anothertwistafate (6-1)
Trainer: Blaine Wright
Jockey: Jose Ortiz

13. Win Win Win (15-1)
Trainer: Michael Trombetta
Jockey: Julian Pimentel

Watch the 2019 Preakness Stakes only on NBC and NBCSN. Coverage on NBCSN begins Friday, May 17 at 3 p.m. ET with the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes and continues on Saturday May 18 at 2 p.m. before moving to NBC at 5 p.m. Post time is set for approximately 6:50 p.m. See the full broadcast schedule here.

Appeals court strikes down federal horseracing rules act

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NEW ORLEANS — Congress unconstitutionally gave too much power to a nonprofit authority it created in 2020 to develop and enforce horseracing rules, a federal appeals court in New Orleans ruled Friday.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, or HISA, is “facially unconstitutional.”

The authority created by the act was meant to bring uniform policies and enforcement to horseracing amid doping scandals and racetrack horse deaths. But the 5th Circuit – in two rulings issued Friday – ruled in favor of opponents of the act in lawsuits brought by horseracing associations and state officials in Texas, Louisiana and West Virginia.

The Federal Trade Commission has the ultimate authority to approve or reject HISA regulations, but it can’t modify them. And the authority can reject proposed modifications.

Three 5th Circuit judges agreed with opponents of the act – including the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and similar groups in multiple states – that the setup gave too much power to the nongovernmental authority and too little to the FTC.

“A cardinal constitutional principle is that federal power can be wielded only by the federal government. Private entities may do so only if they are subordinate to an agency,” Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan wrote for the panel that ruled in the Texas case.

The same panel, which also included judges Carolyn Dineen King and Kurt Engelhardt, cited the Texas ruling in a separate order in favor of horseracing interests and regulators challenging HISA in a different case.

The chair of the horseracing authority’s board of directors said it would ask for further court review. Friday’s ruling could be appealed to the full 5th Circuit court of the Supreme Court.

“If today’s ruling were to stand, it would not go into effect until January 10, 2023 at the earliest,” Charles Scheeler said in an email. “We are focused on continuing our critical work to protect the safety and integrity of Thoroughbred racing, including the launch of HISA’s Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program on January 1, 2023.”

The ruling was criticized by Marty Irby, executive director of the Animal Wellness Action organization. “Over the course of three Congresses, the most brilliant legal minds on Capitol Hill addressed the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act’s constitutionality and ultimately decided that the Federal Trade Commission’s limited oversight was sufficient,” Irby said in an email.

Among the subjects covered by the authority’s rules and enforcement were jockey safety (including a national concussion protocol), the riding crop and how often riders can use it during a race, racetrack accreditation, and the reporting of training and veterinary records.

Animal rights groups, who supported the law, pointed to scandals in the industry involving medication and the treatment of horses.

Duncan wrote that in declaring HISA unconstitutional, “we do not question Congress’s judgment about problems in the horseracing industry. That political call falls outside our lane.”

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, hailed the ruling on Twitter, calling HISA a “federal takeover of Louisiana horse racing.”

Fractional interest in Flightline sells for $4.6 million

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Keeneland says a 2.5% fractional interest in Breeders’ Cup Classic champion Flightline has sold for $4.6 million during a special auction before the start of its November Breeding Stock Sale.

Brookdale Farm’s Freddy Seitz signed the ticket for an undisclosed client, the track announced in a release. The sale comes a day after ownership of the 4-year-old son of Tapit retired the unbeaten colt following his record 8\-length victory in Saturday’s $6 million, Grade 1 Classic at Keeneland. Flightline likely locked up Horse of the Year honors with his fourth Grade 1 victory in six starts by a combined victory margin of 71 lengths – dominance that has drawn comparisons to legendary Triple Crown champion Secretariat.

Flightline will begin his breeding career next year at Lane’s End Farms in Versailles, Kentucky, but a stud fee has yet to be determined. West Point Thoroughbreds, part of the bay colt’s ownership, offered the fractional interest. Seitz said the buyer wanted to “make a big splash” and get more involved in the business.

“With a special horse like (Flightline) all you can do is get involved and then just hope for the best,” Seitz said in the release.

“There has never been a horse that has done what he has done for however many years, back to Secretariat. You just have to pay up and get involved, and this is kind of what he’s thinking.”