Thursday, May 19, 2011
Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom is one of nine Kentucky-breds in the field of 14 3-year-olds contesting the 136th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in Baltimore on Saturday. That’s 64% of the Preakness field, roughly two-thirds, and twice the percentage of Kentucky’s share of the overall U.S. foal crop of 2008, when there were 9,420 foals born in the Bluegrass State from a total U.S. crop of 28,725 (32% of the total).
Two starters on Saturday were born in Florida, with one each from Pennsylvania, Virginia and the Preakness’ home state of Maryland.
The percentage of Kentucky-breds in the Preakness field is just about in line with the percentage of 2011 American Graded Stakes winners bred in Kentucky.
So far this year, of the 133 individual American Graded Stakes winners, 80 were born in Kentucky, or 60%. Florida, with 21, is next in line, at 16%. Florida-breds accounted for 11% of the 2008 U.S. foal crop, so their runners demonstrate quality, too.
California is next with 6 AGS winners, followed by Pennsylvania (5), Ireland (4), Germany and Ontario, Canada (3), Argentina, Great Britain, and New York (2 each), and Brazil, Illinois, New Zealand, Oklahoma, and Virginia (1 each).
At the highest level, Grade 1 races, Kentucky-breds have won 12 of the 21 run thus far in 2011 (57%). Florida-breds have won four (19%), with Argentina, Brazil, Illinois, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania with one each.
Will a Kentucky-bred win Saturday’s Preakness? The last time a horse born outside of the Bluegrass State won the Triple Crown’s middle jewel was in 2005, when Florida-bred Afleet Alex was victorious. He was the third consecutive non-Kentucky-bred to win the Preakness, following New York-bred Funny Cide in 2003 and Pennsylvania-bred Smarty Jones in 2004.