LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Wednesday, May 17, 2017) – The racing week at Churchill Downs kicks off Thursday at 5 p.m. (all times Eastern) with an eight-race card that features a 1 1/16-mile allowance race on the Matt Winn Turf Course with six stakes-winning or stakes-placed horses.

Carded as Race 5 with a post time of 6:56 p.m. (all times Eastern), the allowance event is comprised of trainer Brad Cox’s coupled entry of five-time winner Special Ops and 2016 Fair Grounds Handicap (Grade III) winner Chocolate Ride; 2015 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) winner Airoforce; the turf debut of 2016 Southwest (GIII) winner Suddenbreakingnews; Claiming Crown Emerald Stakes runner-up Flashy Chelsey; and multiple graded stakes-placed Bondurant for trainer Ian Wilkes.

“This is a tough race,” Wilkes said. “I think my horse has a bright future ahead of him in some of the top graded stakes but I was looking to get a little bit of confidence under his belt off of his last couple of starts. We’ll certainly get our money’s worth in this race.”

The field from the rail out (with jockeys and morning line odds): Special Ops (Florent Geroux, 3-1); Flashy Chelsey (Corey Lanerie, 10-1); Silent Waters (Ricardo Santana Jr., 12-1); Bondurant (Brian Hernandez Jr., 5-2); Suddenbreakingnews (Joe Rocco Jr., 5-1); Chocolate Ride (Shaun Bridgmohan, 3-1); Blarp (James Graham, 10-1); and Airoforce (Julien Leparoux, 3-1). The following horses were entered as “Main Track Only” entrants in the event the race is transferred to dirt: Guest Suite (Hernandez, 3-1); Money Flows (Miguel Mena, 2-1); Egyptian (Graham, 6-1); and Raagheb (Lanerie, 4-1).

Twilight Thursday has all of the elements that have made the celebration a fan favorite during the past two years: live racing, live music (, food from many of Louisville’s most popular food trucks and $1 draft beer. Admission gates open at 4 p.m. and the first of the Twilight Thursday’s eight races has a post time of 5 p.m.

The 20-cent Single 6 Jackpot has a carryover of $16,641 and covers Races 3-8 starting at 5:58 p.m.

ADVANCE WAGERING FOR PREAKNESS AVAILABLE ON FRIDAY – Advance wagering on Saturday’s 142nd Preakness Stakes (Grade I) at Pimlico Race Course near Baltimore will be offered all day Friday at Churchill Downs.

Admission gates open Friday at 11:30 a.m. (all times Eastern) and the first of nine races is 12:45 p.m. General admission is $3.

Friday’s feature race at Pimlico is the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (GII) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles. It goes as Race 11 at approximately 4:50 p.m. Similar to the Oaks/Derby Double, Pimlico will offer the Black-Eyed Susan/Preakness double, which requires bettors to pick the winners of both races.

The pageantry of the Preakness will be featured prominently at Churchill Downs on Saturday with the simulcast of the 1 3/16-mile race scheduled for 6:45 p.m. (all times Eastern) – which comes after the final live race at 5:51 p.m. Video and audio of the races from Pimlico will be shown on select television monitors throughout the facility, and between races on the massive Big Board when they don’t conflict with live action.

Churchill Downs admission gates will open Saturday at 11:15 a.m. and the first of 11 live races is 12:45 p.m. General Admission is $5, reserved seating is $10 and reserved dining packages are $47. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at Guests at Churchill Downs will have an opportunity to enjoy a taste of the Preakness with The Black-Eyed Susan, the event’s official drink that will be available at locations throughout the track (complete with commemorative glass). Also, Levy Restaurants plans to sell Crab Cake Sandwiches on the second floor of the Clubhouse.

Last call for drinks will be “Call to the Post” for the Preakness, and all dining rooms will remain open through the big race.

MEET LEADERS – Through nine days of the 38-day Spring Meet, 12-time Churchill Downs leading rider Corey Lanerie holds a 19-11 lead over Brian Hernandez Jr. in the jockey Standings. Florent Geroux is in third with 10 wins and Julien Leparoux and Ricardo Santana Jr. are tied for fourth with eight victories each. … Only two wins away from 600 lifetime victories at Churchill Downs, Steve Asmussen leads the trainer standings with seven wins. There is a four-way tie for second between J.R. Caldwell, Brad Cox, Greg Foley and Ian Wilkes with five wins each. … Asmussen also holds the top spot in the owner standings with three victories. There is a six-way tie for second with John Oxley, Juddmonte Farms, Keene Thoroughbreds, Kirk and Judy Robison, Midwest Thoroughbreds and Whitham Thoroughbreds, all with two victories each. … Friday is Senior Day at Churchill Downs where guests 60 and up can enjoy lunch and a day at the races in Millionaires Row for only $24. … Sunday features a Stakes & Eggs brunch in the Stakes Room for $45 ($22 for children).

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