From a Maryland Jockey Club release
The Maryland Jockey Club today announced it has increased the purse for the Preakness Stakes (G1) from $1 million to $1.5 million. The middle jewel of Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown is Saturday, May 17 at historic Pimlico Race Course.
It is the first increase for the 1 3/16-mile classic since the purse was raised to $1 million guaranteed in 1998. Throughout the years, the Preakness purse has been among the highest in American racing.
“The Preakness Stakes is the centerpiece of a terrific stakes program that weekend,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. “Seventeen of the twenty-six races on Preakness and Black-Eyed Susan days are stakes. With this increase the total value of our stakes program over the two-day period is nearly $4 million.”
The May 16 card on Preakness eve features eight added-money races, headlined by the $500,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) and the $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3).
The Preakness undercard features eight stakes races, including the $300,000 Dixie Stakes (G2) and three $150,000 G3 stakes: the Maryland Sprint Handicap, the Gallorette Handicap and Allaire duPont Distaff Stakes.
“I support the move,” said Maryland Racing Commission chairman Bruce Quade. “It is another step in bringing Maryland racing back to a preeminent spot in the racing landscape.”
At its inauguration in 1873, the Preakness carried a value of $1,000. The first major increase occurred in 1919 when the race had a $25,000 value. It climbed to $100,000 in 1946 and in 1959 was raised to $150,000, the highest among Triple Crown races.
From 1979 to 1989, the purse rose four times from $200,000 to $500,000, before attaining its present status of $1 million.