Live racing returns to Pimlico Race Course on Thursday for the opening of its 37-day spring meet, highlighted by the 140th Preakness on May 16. The middle jewel of the Triple Crown, the 1 3/16-mile race will anchor an eight-stakes card that includes the Longines Dixie (Grader 2), Gallorette Handicap (G3) and Maryland Sprint Handicap (G3). In all, 21 stakes races worth $4,325,000 will be offered during the marquee meet of the Maryland racing season, which concludes June 6. Fans will see several improvements and new wagering opportunities during the meet, including a Pick 5 with an industry-low 12 percent takeout; a 10-cent Rainbow 6; the broadcast of its spring meet in high-definition television; more than 150 new televisions and a renovated and updated Sports Palace. Live racing will be held Thursday through Sunday before Preakness weekend, except for Easter on April 5. Racing runs Thursday to Monday May 21-25; Friday to Sunday May 29-31; and Thursday to Saturday June 4-6. Thursday's opening-day card features nine races, including a field of seven older sprinters in the featured $42,000 allowance going 5 furlongs on the main track. First-race post time is 1:10 p.m.