Thoroughbred racing returns to Pimlico Race Course on Thursday for the opening of the track’s 23-day Preakness Meet, highlighted by the 146th running of the $1 million Preakness Stakes on May 15.
Racing will be conducted Thursday through Sunday with no live racing May 16 or May 27. The meet wraps up with a special Memorial Day holiday program May 31. Post time will be 12:40 p.m. with exceptions on Preakness and Black-Eyed Susan day, as well as a 12:15 p.m. start May 1, Kentucky Derby day from Churchill Downs.
On-site viewing will be limited to 10,000 spectators.
The Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, the 1 3/16-mile Preakness anchors 10 stakes, six graded, worth $2.25 million in purses on a program that includes the 120th edition of the $250,000 Dinner Party for 3-year-olds and up on turf, Pimlico’s oldest stakes race and the eighth-oldest in the country, debuting in 1870.
Other graded-stakes on the Preakness undercard are the $200,000 Chick Lang for 3-year-olds sprinting 6 furlongs, $150,000 Gallorette for fillies and mares 3 and up going 1 1/16 miles on the grass, $150,000 Maryland Sprint at 6 furlongs for 3-year-olds and up, and $100,000 Arabian Derby for Arabian 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles. Preakness Day post time is 10:30 a.m.
The 97th running of the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan for 3-year-old fillies is the focal point of a Preakness eve program May 14 that offers six stakes, four graded, worth $1 million in purses. Among the supporting stakes are the $250,000 Pimlico Special for 3-year-olds and up at 1 3/16 miles, $150,000 Miss Preakness for 3-year-old fillies sprinting 6 furlongs, and $150,000 Allaire du Pont for fillies and mares 3 and up going 1 1/8 miles. Post time on Black-Eyed Susan Day is 11:30 a.m.
This year’s Preakness meet was originally scheduled to begin May 6 but had its opening pushed up two weeks when the continuing evaluation and renovation of Laurel Park’s main track necessitated its live race dates be transferred to Pimlico.
Spring Stakes Spectacular, a collection of seven stakes worth $750,000 in purses originally scheduled for Laurel Park’s spring meet, will help comprise Pimlico’s opening Saturday program. Leading the way is the $125,000 Federico Tesio, a win-and-in race for Triple Crown-nominated 3-year-olds to the Preakness being contested at Pimlico for the first time since 2015.
Serving as the Tesio’s co-headliner on the Spring Stakes Spectacular program is the $125,000 Weber City Miss, a win-and-in qualifier for 3-year-old fillies to the Black-Eyed Susan. It is joined by a pair of $100,000 dirt sprints, the Frank Y. Whiteley for 3-year-olds and up and Primonetta for fillies and mares 3 and older. With the change in venue, the Whiteley has been shortened from 7 to 6 furlongs, same as the Primonetta.
Also scheduled are the first three stakes of Maryland’s turf season — the $100,000 Henry S. Clark for 3-year-olds and up and $100,000 Dahlia for females 3 and older, both at a mile, and $100,000 King T. Leatherbury for 3-year-olds and up. Carded for 5 ½ furlongs at Laurel, the Leatherbury will be contested at five furlongs at Pimlico.
A field of eight 3-year-olds and up will go 1 1/16 miles in a $15,000 claiming event to kick off Thursday’s 10-race opening day program. Race 2 is a $40,000 maiden special weight for fillies and mares ages 3-5 sprinting 5 furlongs, also on the main track.