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Pimlico Spring Meeting Opens Friday Afternoon
BALTIMORE, 03-28-12---Live racing in Maryland shifts to historic Pimlico Race Course Friday, March 30 for the spring meeting. The ten-race card begins at 1:10 p.m. Eastern. The headline event of the eight-week stand is the 137th running of the $1 million Preakness® Stakes (G1), the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, on May 19.
Live racing will take place four days a week on a Thursday through Sunday schedule (with holiday exceptions).
The marquee meet of the Maryland racing season, which ends with the Preakness Day card, will feature 22 stakes races for purses of $3.425 million, an increase of $525,000 from a year ago. Preakness weekend features 16 stakes races for $3 million.
“There is a special feeling about Pimlico because of the third Saturday in May,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. “But the entire meet is important to us. We continue to improve the promotions during the meet and made it a priority to update the racing experience with higher purses on Preakness weekend, which should bring better horses to Baltimore.”
Preakness day will have eight added money races, including five graded events. In addition to the Preakness, the card will feature the $300,000 Dixie Handicap (G2) and three Grade 3 races. 2012 Preakness InfieldFest will include performances by recent Grammy Award nominees Maroon 5 and Wiz Khalifa. Both artists will play extended sets on the main stage in the public Infield.
In addition to the main stage headliners, the day-long multi-celebration festival experience will feature entertainment and a variety of Maryland-branded food and beverage concessions. Little Big Town, The Darkness and Mr. Greengenes will also be playing full sets on the Jägermeister stage. InfieldFest tickets will be $50 in advance through Ticketmaster and the Preakness Ticket Sales Office and $60 during Preakness week. The popular MUG Club returns, offering fans a bottomless mug all day long for one all-inclusive $20 price. As in all prior years, the Maryland Jockey Club will continue to work closely with its beverage partners to ensure that responsible drinking policies and protocol are in place for all Preakness fans.
Premium seating is available in the Preakness Village, Clubhouse Turn Suites and Turfside Terrace locations. Visit www.preakness.com for more details. Preakness Day is the largest single day sporting event in the state of Maryland with attendance figures topping six-figures in nine of the last 11 years, including a record 121,263 in 2007.
The Preakness eve card features eight stakes races, headlined by the $300,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) and the return of the $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3). Pimlico has partnered with Maryland Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® for the return of The People’s Pink Party. Highlights include the third annual Lady Legends For the Cure Race™, the Female Jockey Challenge and the welcoming of 88 breast cancer survivor guests for festivities that will include a special winners’ circle tribute. Big Machine Records' hot new trio, Edens Edge, will perform live in the Turfside Terrace.
Pimlico has added a Twin-Tri to the wagering menu for the spring meet.
- Begins each Day With Race 7
- $1.00 minimum wager
- 25.75% takeout
- 50% to first half winners
- 50% of daily net pool available for the second half exchange wagers
- Carryover builds IF no second leg winners
OTHER RACING RELATED CHANGES
The Maryland Racing Commission recently passed two regulations that will begin at Pimlico.
In an effort to draw larger betting fields, horses will only be coupled for betting purposes if runners have commonality of ownership. Commonality of ownership means that the same person, persons, entity, or entities own at least 25 percent of a horse entered in a race and also own at least 25 percent of another horse entered in the same race.
“A lot of the trainers seem to have two or three horses that could fit into a race so to be able to separate them will help field sizes,” Pimlico racing secretary Georganne Hale said.
Same owner entries will be uncoupled only in stakes races.
Beginning with the Mister Diz Stakes on April 7, the purse distribution for stakes races (except the Preakness) will be modified. The connections of the third place finisher will receive 10 percent, down from 11. The extra one percent will now go to the sixth place finisher. The percentages for the first, second, fourth and fifth place finishers will remain at 60%, 20%, 6% and 3% respectively.
“I really think we are going to have a big meet,” added Hale. “We have more horses stabled here and trainers were not running towards the end of the Laurel meet in anticipation of Pimlico. Everybody gets excited when we have a change of scenery. We get to use the turf course each day, which only helps entries.”
Friday, March 30 – Opening Day
Celebrate the return of live racing with free admission, a complimentary live program, $3 draft beers, $2 hot dogs and pizza slices.
Friday afternoons (March 30-May 11)-Happy Hour At The Laughing Horse Café
16 oz drafts for $3, $5 drink specials and appetizers from $2 to $5. There is also a $5 appetizer coupon with valid college ID. A disc jockey will be on hand cranking out tunes.
Saturday, March 31 – Pimlico Open House
Free admission, racing excitement, meet & greets with racing personalities, chance to win an owner for the day experience, track tours, drawings for upcoming event tickets, on-track performances with Off Track Thoroughbreds from TPR and $3 drafts, $2 hot dogs & pizza slices.
Saturday BBQ’s On The Apron– Excluding April 14, May 5 and May 19
Sandwich & two sides for $6-$8, featuring the all-new Pimlico pit beef.
$24 Sunday Brunch (12:30-3:30 p.m.)– Excluding Easter and Mother’s Day
Terrace Dining Room will feature $24 brunch.
Saturday, April 14-Wild West Comes To Pimlico
BBQ and Brew Fest for $25, which includes western entertainment and country music standouts Detour for $25. An additional $10 for craft beer sampling. On-track events featuring trick riding, Roman riding, whips demo and bull herding. Apron entertainment including Lone Ranger & Trigger, mechanical bull, gunslingers and Native American dancers.
Saturday, April 21 & Sunday, April 22 – Decanter Wine Festival
A celebration of Maryland wine and racing. Samples and sales of fine Maryland wines, local artisans, specialty food and equine goods-all under infield tents. More info at www.DecanterWineFestival.com.
Saturday, April 28 –Preakness Mystery Glass Giveaway
Official Black-Eyed Susan mystery glass, from Secretariat’s 1973 original to Shackleford’s 2011 version, for all $3 paid admissions.
Saturday, May 5 –Derby Day Infield Concert and Food Truck Festival, 12-6pm
The Infield is open on Kentucky Derby Day from 12-6 p.m. Pimlico hosts an awesome infield concert with alternative rock sensation SafetySuit. Tickets for the concert are $30 for all ages, including a bottomless mug for those 21 + and unlimited soda and water for all ages. Call Pimlico (410-542-9400) or visit www.ticketmaster.com for tickets.
Saturday, May 12 –“Down the Stretch for SGK” Preakness 5K
Organized by Corrigan Sports, runners will complete the entire race within the grounds at Pimlico Race Course.
Sunday, May 13-Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch for $34 (12-4 p.m.) with a complimentary rose and glass of champagne for all moms with reservations.
Wednesday, May 16, Thursday, May 17 & Friday, May 18– Sunrise at Old Hilltop
See the Preakness contenders prepare for the middle jewel of the Triple Crown as fans get the opportunity to watch morning workouts and tour the stable area, including the famous Preakness Stakes barn, and catch a glimpse of the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales. Admission is free for the 6-9 a.m. event.