Tenfold photo courtesy of Jon Kral/Maryland Jockey Club
Today is Saturday, May 19, 2018, Armed Forces Day. It is also Preakness Stakes 143 Day. The Preakness takes place at Pimlico in Baltimore, Maryland, about an hour north from the United Stakes Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Combine those three things and you have the perfect set up for a pair of longshots to win the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
LONE SAILOR is trained by Tom Amoss, the son of a Navy veteran who served during World War II. The bay colt is owned by G M B Racing, or Gayle M. Benson. She is the wife of the late Tom Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans who passed away March 15 at the age of 90.
Lone Sailor was named after Tom Benson, another WWII Navy veteran. In 2007 he was awarded the United States Navy Memorial Foundation’s Lone Sailor Award, which is bestowed upon veterans “who have distinguished themselves, drawing upon their Sea Service experience to become successful, in their subsequent careers and lives, while exemplifying the core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment.”
It would be fitting for a horse named after a recently deceased Navy veteran, one who did so much for his community, to win the 143rd Preakness Stakes.
TENFOLD, on the other hand, is running for a great cause. The Steven Asmussen trainee has been sporting a camouflage blanket to promote Homes for Our Troops (HFOT), a charity that builds mortgage-free homes specially adapted for severely injured military veterans.
Sentient Jet, which donates funding and marketing resources to Homes for Our Troops, and Tenfold’s owner, Ron Winchell, partnered to help raise awareness of the charity. During Preakness Week, Sentient Jet hosted HFOT veterans Brandon Huff, John Smith and Steven Curry. Those three, along with retired Gen. Richard Cody (Ret.), board chairman of Homes for Our Troops, will be guests of the Maryland Jockey Club at the Preakness.
Huff and his wife, Netta, visited with Tenfold on Thursday, petting the Preakness who was held by assistant trainer Scott Blasi. That horseman’s son, Blayne Prochaska, is in the National Guard.
What better way to raise awareness of such a great cause than for Tenfold to win the Preakness Stakes and parade around in the special camouflage blanket emblazoned with Homes for Our Troops?