A revived regional racing series, designed to pump more purse money into Mid-Atlantic tracks, will debut Preakness weekend at Pimlico Race Course.
The MATCH Series, with $450,000 in owner and trainer bonuses covering five thoroughbred divisions, will take place at tracks in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
The series previously ran for five years in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and Alan Foreman, general counsel for the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and the creator of the concept, said horsemen have asked him about it ever since.
Foreman said he’s “delighted” the series, funded by horsemen’s groups from each of the participating states, will return. He said it’s a testament to growing regional cooperation in the sport.
The competition will begin with the Skipat Stakes and the Jim McKay Turf Sprint on May 18, Black-Eyed Susan Day. It will continue on May 19, Preakness Day, with The Very One Stakes and the Maryland Sprint Stakes.
The series will run all summer and conclude Sept. 15-16 with races at Laurel Park, and PARX and Presque Isle in Pennsylvania. The overall top-earning owner will receive a $50,000 bonus and the overall top-earning trainer a $25,000 bonus.