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The People Behind Preakness, continued...


T en there was when Afl eet Alex almost fell in 2005 but still won. It was my fi rst time cover- ing the Preakness on my own radio show,” he remarked. Big Brown and Rachel Alexandra were mentioned as well as I’ll Have Another. “Doug O’Neil is always great to cover. He’s great with the media,” Stan said. “And then there is American Pharoah!” he


exclaimed. “I was in the infi eld when the skies opened up. T at was an epic rain storm! And what an impressive perfor- mance that horse gave.”


Coleman Blind Stakes Coordinator


Coleman Blind has been the


Stakes Coordinator for the Maryland Racing Commis- sion for the past nine years but grew up in the industry and has worked for the racing of- fi ce since 1970 in a variety of positions. He galloped horses at Timonium and worked the in-gate with his father Eddie, who was the of- fi cial starter for 35 years. His uncle Eric was a jockey who rode in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and his brother Frank was also a starter for a while before becoming a golf


pro. In addition to working at tracks outside of Maryland, Blind was a National Steeplechase Association steward for many years at races up and down the East Coast. But after working 47 Preakness Stakes, there


“Secretariat. I was a patrol judge at the quarter pole. Just an awesome horse.” - Coleman Blind, stakes coordinator


is only one that Blind considers the most memorable, “Secretariat. I was a patrol judge at the quarter pole. Just an awesome horse.” Oh, and he also has a photo from 1948 of him and his father and trainer “Uncle Jimmy” Jones of Calumet Farm standing with Triple Crown winner Citation. “Sunday Silence, Easy Goer and I’ll Have Another were all great winners as well,” he added. As the Stakes Coordinator, Blind is the one who speaks with trainers and owners to invite them to run horses at Pimlico and Laurel in their stakes races. “Basically I try to sell our races to get people to come,” he explained. T en on entry day, he will follow up with


the connections of the various horses who are nominated to fi ll the race card. “T ings are a little bit diff erent for the Preakness,” he said, explaining that there are early, late and supple- mental nominations. In addition, the winner of


the April 22 Federico Tesio Stakes at Laurel gets an automatic spot in the Preakness and the winner of the Weber City Miss Stakes, also at Laurel, gets into the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes. Blind will be at the Kentucky Derby and will talk with trainers after the race to secure entries into the Preakness and help make arrange- ments to get these horses to Pimlico. “Some- times this can be diffi cult as there are only two weeks between the two races,” he stated. “T e winner always comes if he is fi t enough. A lot of this job is communication and building re- lationships with horsemen across the country.” Although the Preakness Stakes is clearly the


crown jewel of Preakness weekend, there are in total 15 stakes races on the Friday and Satur- day of Preakness week. “My job is to get the best of the best to come and race on those two days,” Blind said, adding that he has a staff of three who help make sure that each race is full. “What is really cool about the Preakness is that a lot of Eclipse winners or nominated horses have run in it and then gone on to do more things. It is a nice feeling to see these horses continue to run well.”


Heading to Black-Eyed Susan Day or Preakness? Send your photos to editor@equiery.com!


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