By: Pimlico Race Course Press Release
Championship racing returns to legendary Pimlico Race Course Thursday for the opening of its 12-day Preakness Meet at Pimlico, highlighted by the 144th running of the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1) May 18.
The Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, the 1 3/16-mile Preakness anchors nine stakes on a 14-race card that includes the $250,000 Maker’s Mark Dixie (G2), $200,000 Chick Lang (G3), $150,000 Gallorette Stakes (G3) and $150,000 Maryland Sprint (G3).
The 95th running of the $250,000 Xpressbet Black-Eyed Susan (G2) for 3-year-old fillies is the focal point of a 14-race program May 17, that offers seven stakes including the historic $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3), $150,000 Allaire duPont Distaff (G3), and $150,000 Adena Springs Miss Preakness (G3). Post time is 11:30 a.m.
Racing will be conducted at Pimlico Thursday through Sunday with the exception of May 19. The meet wraps up with a special Memorial Day program May 27.
“We’re excited about returning to Pimlico and the quality racing we’re expecting over the next month,” said Maryland Jockey Club President and General Manager Sal Sinatra. “The turf course is in pristine condition, so we’re expecting great turf racing with competitive fields. Obviously, Preakness Week is very special and we’re looking forward to watching many of the top horses compete here as well as all the events throughout the city that are associated with Preakness.”
A field of seven 3-year-olds and up will go five furlongs over the turf course in a $30,000 starter optional claiming event to open Thursday’s nine-race program that begins at 1:10 p.m. Race 2 is a $33,000 maiden special weight for 2-year-olds going 4 1/2 furlongs on the main track.
Thursday’s feature comes in Race 8, a $45,000 second-level optional claiming allowance at 1 1/16 miles that drew stakes winner and multiple graded-stakes placed Aveenu Malcainu; Throw the Fade, a winner of three straight who is the 8-5 program favorite; and Warrioroftheroses, third in the 2016 Pimlico Special.
Pimlico will also serve up a nine-race program Friday, May 10 kicked off by a $33,000 maiden special weight at 4 1/2 furlongs on the main track for juvenile fillies. F
Feargal Lynch, now riding in South Florida, captured last year’s Preakness Meet title with nine wins. Trevor McCarthy, Maryland’s overall champion in 2014 and 2016, has won three consecutive meet titles since returning to the colony last fall after moving his tack to New York to start 2018.
Jerry Robb tied with Pimlico-based Mary Eppler and Kieron Magee to lead all trainers in wins during last year’s Preakness Meet with five apiece.
The Maryland Jockey Club is once again offering bonus money totaling $100,000 to trainers who run a minimum of five horses in the 16 stakes races, nine graded, worth $3.8 million in purses 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, Miss Preakness, duPont, Black-Eyed Susan, Pimlico Special, Maker’s Mark Hilltop, Jim McKay Turf Sprint, Maryland Sprint, Chick Lang, Preakness, Gallorette, James W. Murphy, Dixie, The Very One, and Earle I. Mack Foundation Sir Barton to benefit the TAA and Man o’War Project.
There will also be bonus money totaling $50,000 for trainers with the most points in non-stakes races during Preakness weekend. The points are accumulated in similar fashion with $25,000 going to the leader, $10,000 to second, $7,500 to third, $2,500 to fourth and $1,000 to fifth.
Seven guaranteed multi-race wagering pools will be offered over Preakness weekend. On May 17 the Late Pick 5 (Races 7-11), offering an industry-low 12% takeout, and Pick 4 wagers covering Races 8-11 and 11-14 will each be guaranteed at $300,000.
On Preakness Day there will be guaranteed pools of $2 million in the Pick 4 covering Races 10-13, $1 million in the Late Pick 5 (Races 9-13), $500,000 in the Pick 4 spanning Races 6-9 and $250,000 in the early Pick 5 (Races 2-6).
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 May 14 through May 17; the traditional Alibi Breakfast May 16; and the 11th annual InfieldFest, one of the country’s most eclectic outdoor music festivals.
Headlining this year’s InfieldFest on Preakness Day are Norweigian DJ, producer and songwriter Kygo, who holds the world record for fastest 1 billion streams on Spotify; Maryland native and three-time Grammy Award nominated rap artist Logic; global superstar Diplo, breakout rapper Juice Wrld, DJ Frank Walker, and Australian house and techno producer Fisher.