Championship racing returns to historic Pimlico Race Course Thursday for the opening of its 12-day Preakness Meet at Pimlico, highlighted by the 142nd renewal of the $ 1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1) Saturday, May 20.
The middle jewel of racing’s Triple Crown, the 1 3/16-mile Preakness is the centerpiece of an eight-stakes card that includes the $ 250,000 Longines Dixie (G2), $ 150,000 Gallorette Stakes (G3) and $ 150,000 Maryland Sprint (G3). Post time on Preakness Day is 10:30 a.m. for the 14-race program.
The 93rd running of the $ 250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) for 3-year-old fillies is the focal point of a seven-stakes program on Friday, May 19 along with the $ 300,000 Pimlico Special (G3), $ 150,000 Allaire DuPont Distaff (G3) and $ 150,000 Adena Springs Miss Preakness (G3). The day also marks the return of the Ultimate Girls Day Out, an entire day dedicated to the spirit and strength of women.
Racing will be conducted Thursday through Sunday with the exception of Sunday, May 21. The meet wraps up with a special Memorial Day program on Monday, May 29.
“We’re looking forward to a great Preakness Meet at Pimlico,” said Sal Sinatra, President and General Manager of the Maryland Jockey Club. “We just completed a great winter meet at Laurel and May has gotten off to an excellent start. Preakness horses have started arriving, including Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Always Dreaming, and the buzz is already beginning to build.”
A field of nine 2-year-old fillies will go 4 ½ furlongs on the main track in a $ 27,000 maiden claiming event to kick off Thursday’s nine-race program that begins at 1:10 p.m. There are also four races scheduled for the turf that attracted a total of 47 entries, an average of 11.7 starters per race.
Pimlico is once again offering bonus money totaling $ 100,000 to trainers who run a minimum of five horses in the 15 stakes races during Preakness weekend. The trainer with the most points will receive $ 50,000, second $ 25,000, third $ 12,000, fourth $ 7,000, fifth $ 4,000 and sixth $ 2,000.
Points are accumulated for finishing first (10 points), second (seven), third, (five), fourth (three) and having a starter (one) in the Skipat, Adena Springs Miss Preakness, Allaire DuPont Distaff, Black-Eyed Susan, Pimlico Special, Hilltop, Jim McKay Turf Sprint, Maryland Sprint, LARC Sir Barton, Chick Lang, Preakness, Gallorette, James W. Murphy, Longines Dixie and The Very One.
Preakness Week at Pimlico offers several events including Sunrise at Old Hilltop, where fans can have breakfast trackside while watching horses go through their morning exercise; the traditional Alibi Breakfast on Thursday, May 18; and Budweiser InfieldFest, one of the country’s most eclectic outdoor music festivals.
Headlining this year’s InfieldFest on Preakness Day is multi-platinum crossover artist Sam Hunt, joined by Grammy and Billboard award-winning electronic music artist Zedd, pop-punk award-winning and multi-platinum artist Good Charlotte, along with LOCASH, Preston Brust and High Valley. Additional information can be found on www.preakness.com.
The second-biggest day on the Maryland racing calendar behind Preakness day in terms of purses, attendance and handle, Black-Eyed Susan day features 14 races and events to benefit both Susan G. Komen Maryland and the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. Additional information can be found on www.blackeyedsusanday.com.
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