Pimlico Race Course's 10-week spring race meet gets underway April 4 highlighted by the 138th running of the $1 million Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 18.
The middle jewel of thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown is the centerpiece of Pimlico's stakes program which totals $3.775 million. An increase of $625,000 in the purse total for the 21 stakes is powered by a $200,000 boost to the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes on Friday, May 17.
Part of a race card that features seven stakes, the Black-Eyed Susan for 3- year-old fillies is now worth $500,000. Last year's race was won by In Lingerie, trained by Todd Pletcher.
The May 17 card will also feature the $300,000 Pimlico Special for older thoroughbreds. Pin Oak Stable's Alternation, trained by Donnie Von Hemel, won the 2012 running to go along with his Oaklawn Handicap win.
"Having a strong stakes schedule on Preakness weekend is important," said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. "We are working hard to increase the profile of the Preakness eve card. Increasing the purse of the Black-Eyed Susan by $200,000 is the first step in that direction. In addition, purses on overnight races during the meet will be raised 10-15 percent across the board, which should lead to larger fields and more wagering."
The Pimlico spring meet extends from Thursday, April 4 through Saturday, June 8 to coincide with the Belmont Stakes.