Pimlico MATCH Series races draw 130 nominations
Ben’s Cat won the 2016 Jim McKay Turf Sprint. Photo by Laurie Asseo.
From a Maryland Jockey Club release
The first four stakes in the 2018 MATCH Series (Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championships) have attracted a combined 130 nominations. The Series begins May 18-19 at Pimlico Race Course in Maryland as part of Preakness and Black-Eyed Susan Stakes weekend.
The $100,000 Skipat Stakes for fillies and mares at six furlongs, and the $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint for 3-year-olds and up at five furlongs run on May 18, Black-Eyed Susan Day. The $100,000 The Very One, a $100,000 event for fillies and mares at five furlongs on the turf, and the grade III, $150,000 Maryland Sprint Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs, run May 19 on the Preakness undercard.
The Very One (Filly & Mare Sprint—Turf) has the most nominations at 39, followed by the Maryland Sprint (3-Year-Olds and Up Sprint—Dirt) with 34, Skipat (Filly & Mare Sprint—Dirt) with 30, and the Jim McKay (3-Year-Olds and Up Sprint—Turf) with 27. Roughly 75% of the total number of horses nominated to the four races are conditioned by trainers based in the Mid-Atlantic region or New York.
Entries for the Friday, May 18, program will be drawn Sunday, May 13. Entries for the Saturday, May 19 Preakness card will be taken May 20.
“The nominations were strong and I hope that gives us a good sign of full fields,” Maryland Jockey Club President Sal Sinatra said. “It should kick off a competitive series in each of the divisions we’re hosting Preakness weekend. Based on the nominations there is a lot of participation from Mid-Atlantic trainers, which is good for the overall series.”
Following Preakness weekend, the next race in the series, the $100,000 Salvator Mile at Monmouth Park May 26, is the first stakes in the 3-Year-Olds and Up Long—Dirt division. On June 2 at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, male and female turf sprinters will be featured in the $200,000 Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup and $100,000 Penn Ladies Dash, respectively.
The MATCH website (www.matchseries.com) is now live and will be updated regularly with news, features, race previews and recaps, and other information. The lists of nominees are available under each race header.
The MATCH Series is comprised of 25 stakes, five in five divisions, through mid-September. Purses total $2.9 million, while bonuses total $490,000.