- The Washington Times - Friday, May 18, 2012

BALTIMORE — Kent Desormeaux got his start as a renowned jockey in Maryland in the late 1980s, so he seemed the perfect fit for local horse Tiger Walk in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.

But Desormeaux was removed from the Preakness on Friday after he failed a breathalyzer test at Belmont Park. The state of New York requires daily tests, and Desormeaux’s blood-alcohol level was .05.

He will be replaced by Ramon Dominguez, who has won two straight Eclipse Awards as the nation’s top jockey.

“It was a team decision,” Tiger Walk trainer Correas said. “Ramon is a great rider. We’re happy to have him.”

Tiger Walk is owned by Maryland graduate and Under Armour founder Kevin Plank’s Sagamore Farm.

“We’re trying to run a professional operation and can’t have any distractions this weekend,” general manager Tom Millikin wrote in a Twitter post Friday. “We spoke with Kent and wished him well.”

Desormeaux has won three Eclipse Awards and has captured the Kentucky Derby three times, the Preakness twice and the Belmont Stakes once.

Dominguez has never won the Preakness.

Pletcher rolls in Black-Eyed Susan

Trainer Todd Pletcher doesn’t have a horse in the Preakness, but he enjoyed his spoils in Friday’s Black-Eyed Susan Stakes as In Lingerie finished first and Disposablepleasure second.

“That was a big effort to run 1-2 like that. I’m pleasantly happy,” Pletcher said. “I think [In Lingerie] made a big step forward to be one of the leaders of her division today.”

In the other big race Friday, Alternation eked out a victory in the Pimlico Special, holding off a hard-charging Nehro by a nose. Nehro finished second in last year’s Kentucky Derby.

Napravnik wins again

Rosie Napravnik is becoming one of the nation’s best young jockeys regardless of gender. On Friday, she defended her title in the Female Jockey Challenge, winning two of the four races she rode in for the competition. Napravnik won $10,000 to build on her lead among female riders in the U.S. with 93 victories and $4.6 million in purses this year.

“I haven’t had much luck in these challenges, but I guess it all changed today,” she said. “We had a great run. I had a couple of price horses that came in and ran well, so it’s great. I’m really glad to come back on my home turf and represent a little bit.”

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