Pimlico’s 37-Day Spring Meet Set for Thursday Opener

Pimlico’s 37-Day Spring Meet Set for Thursday Opener

50-Cent Pick 5, 10-Cent Rainbow 6 New This Season                      

BALTIMORE, MD., 04/01/15 – The 140th running of the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1) on May 16 will be greatly anticipated when the 37-day spring meet gets under way Thursday at Pimlico Race Course.

The Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown annually draws the Thoroughbred world’s attention to Old Hilltop, but racing fans and bettors can expect heightened levels of action, innovation and quality racing throughout Maryland Jockey Club’s premier meet.

Pimlico fans, who will receive free admission and a free live program on Opening Day, will also be offered a new wagering menu that includes the 50-cent Pick 5 and the 10-cent Rainbow 6 wagers for the new season.

The 50-cent Pick 5 figures to be particularly attractive to multi-race bettors, featuring an industry-low 12-percent takeout. The Pick 5, which will be offered on the last five races every day, will span Race 5 through Race 9 Thursday.

The 10-cent Rainbow 6, which has produced several life-changing payoffs at Gulfstream Park during the past few years, will be offered on the final six races each day, including Race 4 through Race 9 Thursday.

The Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot is paid out only when there is a single ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 60-percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 40-percent is carried over to the next racing day’s jackpot pool. The bet has produced payoffs as high as $6.6 million.

“This wager takes in all types of bettors, and I think it’s going to be a popular wager. Because it’s 10 cents, you will have guys playing it alone and others pooling their money as it grows,” Maryland Jockey Club handicapper Keith Feustle said. “And you don’t have to invest a lot of money to make money. You can invest $24 and, even if it’s on a day when it’s tough to beat the short prices, you will still be pleasantly surprised at the (consolation) payoffs.”

The key to success for multi-race bettors is knowing when to ‘single’ and when to ‘spread.’

“The Rainbow 6 is such a unique bet – a whole other beast,” Maryland Jockey Club handicapper and television host Gabby Gaudet said. “It’s going to be fun to construct tickets.”

Entered in Thursday’s fifth race, the first leg of the Pick 5 and second leg of the Rainbow 6, Mr. Lit (No. 4) is likely to draw a lot of ‘single’ attention. Installed as the 3-5 morning-line favorite in the 1 1/16-mile $5,000 claiming race, Mr. Lit finished third against $12,500 claimers at Aqueduct on March 27.  The 5-year-old gelding is trained by New York-based Michelle Nevin, who enjoyed much success with shippers during the recent Laurel winter meet while scoring with four of six starters.

Victor Carrasco, who has the mount aboard Mr. Lit, is scheduled to ride 4-5 morning-line favorite No. 3 Joey Whispers in the sixth race, a six-furlong sprint for $7500 claimers. Claudio Gonzalez, the leading trainer at the recent Laurel Park meet, is scheduled to saddle Joey Whispers, who finished a wide third at Thursday’s level at Laurel last time out.

Thursday’s featured eighth race may pose a tougher handicapping test for Pick 5 and Rainbow 6 bettors. The $42,000 first-level allowance event drew seven entries, including Northern Label (No. 3), the 9-5 morning-line favorite who finished second in a photo finish at Thursday’s allowance level at Laurel on Feb. 14.

The quest of bettors is to figure out when a favorite, even an odds-on favorite, is vulnerable to being upset by horses with more attractive odds.

“I’m always a guy who likes to take a stance against favorites. I think Northern Label may be a vulnerable favorite in the eighth race,” Feustle said. “I think Willie B Mine and Silver Legend could be live horses at fair prices.”

Willie B. Mine (No. 7), rated at 8-1 in the morning line, finished more than four lengths behind Northern Label while finishing sixth last time out at Laurel, but he raced extremely wide and had to be taken up in traffic. Silver Legend (No. 1), rated at 6-1 in the morning line, was claimed for $5000 out of a sixth-place finish. Kieron Magee, the leading trainer at Pimlico last spring, has a 34-percent next-out win rate with new claims.

“Obviously, in some of the tougher races you’ll want to use more horses, but you always want to try and beat the race favorite,” Gaudet said. “If you look at a sequence with a 4-5, I’d try to beat that favorite and find an alternative and beat the short-priced favorite.

“The big thing will be shopping for prices. Get creative, especially when turf racing comes around,” Gaudet added. “The prices here in the past at Pimlico have been phenomenal, with a lot of first-time starters paying some nice prices.”

Post time for the first race is set for 1:10 p.m.

Live racing will be held Thursday through Sunday prior to Preakness Weekend with the exception of Easter Sunday, April 5. Racing runs Thursday through Monday May 21-25; Friday through Sunday, May 29-31, and Thursday through Saturday, June 4-6.

2015 Pimlico Events

Historic Property, Iconic Races, Eclectic Events

Thursday, April 2
            Opening Day - Free admission, free live program, and $2 hot dogs and domestic draft beers.

Saturday, April 4
            Giveaways - T-shirt giveaway and 3-Buck Cup giveaway (22 ounce cup good for $3 domestic drafts from April 4 through June 6 (excluding May 15-16).

            Jockey Celebration Day – To benefit Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF). Have a chance to win a Jockey Fan Pack, including a photo with the winning jockey, commemorative picture frame, gift set and $50 betting voucher. Watch Maryland’s top riders compete in a Rody Pony Race. Fans placing donation “bets” on the winner receiving a PDJF hat. Autographed 8x10 photo featuring jockeys Trevor McCarthy, Sheldon Russell, Jevian Toledo, Victor Carrasco and Forest Boyce for $10 donation to PDJF.

Sunday, April 12
            Chasin' for Children - Kids competing in five exhibition races on track. For more information and registration go tohttps://www.usponyracing.com/welcome/register-for-an-event/events/

Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19
            Decanter Wine Festival - Unlimited wine samplings, tasting glass and admission to the races. $30 general admission. $50 includes large tasting glass, wine carrier, and exclusive samples of each winery's "Decanter Wine" (Premium Label Wine)

Saturday, April 25
            Racing 202 - Handicapping seminar on the Pimlico program and upcoming Kentucky Derby. Lunch included. Begins at 11:15 in the Jockey Club overlooking the track. $45 per person. Advance purchase required.

Saturday, May 2
            Kentucky Derby Day at Pimlico - Watch and wager on the Kentucky Derby. Derby party on apron.

Sunday, May 3

            Canter for the Cause - Walk, trot or canter your horse or pony across historic Pimlico. From 6-11 a.m. Entry fee and registration is required and close on April 27. Call the Pimlico Ticket Office at 877.206.8042

Sunday, May 10
            Mother's Day Brunch – Cost is $36 from 1-5 p.m. in Terrace Dining Room.

Tuesday, May 12 through Friday, May 15
            Sunrise at Old Hilltop - 20 minute walking tours of Pimlico from 6-9 a.m. For more information go to www.preakness.com/visitors-guide/events/7/Sunrise%20at%20Old%20Hilltop

Friday, May 15
            Black-Eyed Susan Day – Seven stakes races, including the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) and $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3). Enjoy the Morgan Stanley Ultimate Girls Power luncheon, wager on great racing, watch the Hooves and Heels Fashion event, shop for unique pieces at the Girls Galleria, and top off the day with an infield concert (artists TBD). For more information go to www.blackeyedsusan.com

            Ultimate Girls Day Out – Celebrating the spirit and strength of women to raise awareness for Susan G. Komen of Maryland and the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. Enjoy the Morgan Stanley Ultimate Girls Power luncheon, wager on great racing, watch the Hooves and Heels Fashion event, shop for unique pieces at the Girls Galleria, and top off the day with an infield concert (artists to be announced). For more information go to www.facebook.com/BlackEyedSusanDay

            Bet Like A Girl All-Female Handicapping Challenge – The top female handicappers in the world compete in a $30,000 tournament.

Saturday, May 16
            140th running of the Preakness Stakes- Nine stakes races highlighted by the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1). For more information go to www.preakness.com

            InfieldFest at the Preakness– An incredible and eclectic day of music featuring Grammy-nominated, electronic music DJ Armin van Buuren, Grammy nominated rap artist Childish Gambino, country singer Easton Corbin, progressive bluegrass band Trampled By Turtles, and southern rock band A Thousand Horses. For more information go to www.preakness.com/infield/infieldfest or www.facebook.com/InfieldFest.

Saturday, May 30 
            Brew and Bourbon Classic - An afternoon of beer tasting, bourbon sipping and live thoroughbred action. More than 60 beers and bourbons will be available. Advance tickets are $39. For more information go to www.brewandbourbonclassic.com.

            Racing 101 – Experience a full day at the track, from the barns to the winner’s circle, while learning about the sport from experts. Cost is $50 per person. Advance purchase required.

Saturday, June 6
            Belmont Stakes Day - Watch and wager on the Belmont Stakes, the final jewel of racing's Triple Crown.

Every Sunday, April 5 – May 31
            The Pimlico Sunday Brunch – Enjoy brunch overlooking historic Pimlico from the Terrace Dining Room. Cost is $28 plus tax (Mother’s Day $36); $10 for bottomless Mimosas.