They'll be off at Pimlico on April 2 for the spring stand. Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.

They’ll be off at Pimlico on April 2 for the spring stand. Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.

From a Maryland Jockey Club release

Pimlico Race Course announced today a spring schedule featuring 21 stakes races, including eight graded on Preakness Weekend May 15-16, and two unique bonuses for owners and trainers.  The stakes schedule is worth more than $4.2 million.

The 140th Preakness Stakes, the $1.5 million middle jewel of Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown to be run Saturday, May 16, will highlight a unique weekend that will include the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) for 3-year-old fillies, the $300,000 Longines Dixie Stakes (G2) for 3-year-olds and up on the turf, and the $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3) for 3-year-olds and up.

Preakness weekend will also include two bonuses, one for the possible return of any winner of a Triple Crown event, and another for trainers.

Pimlico will offer a $50,000 bonus to each owner and trainer who runs a horse in the Pimlico Special that has won a previous Triple Crown event. If a horse has won two Triple Crown events, the bonus will be $100,000 to both the trainer and owner.

Meanwhile, Pimlico will offer bonus money totaling $100,000 to trainers who run in a minimum of five stakes and starter races during Preakness weekend. The trainer with the most points will receive $50,000, second $25,000, third $12,000, fourth $7,000, fifth $4,000 and sixth $2,000.

For trainers to earn any part of the $100,000 point bonus, they must saddle a minimum of five horses in the Preakness, Longines Dixie, Pimlico Special, Black-Eyed Susan, James Murphy, Gallorette (G3), Chick Lang, Sir Barton, Deputed Testamony, Maryland Sprint Handicap (G3), Jim McKay Turf Sprint, Hilltop, Allair DuPont Distaff (G3), Miss Preakness (G3), Skipat and Kattegat’s Pride and The Very One.

Pimlico will also offer a Whips International Turf Starter Handicap for colts and geldings and fillies and mares which have run for $5,000 or less in 2014-2015 on April 4, May 2 and June 6. There will be a $5,000 bonus to the trainers of horses that have the most points after the series. Points will be awarded from first to third with every starter getting a point.

“The stakes schedule for Pimlico, as well as the new bonus opportunities, show our commitment to Maryland racing, its breeders, owners and horsemen, and our great fans,” said the Maryland Jockey Club’s Vice President and General Manager Sal Sinatra. “We believe there is great potential and growth in Maryland Thoroughbred racing.

“Obviously, we’re excited about Preakness weekend and the tremendous support we get from the state of Maryland, the people of Baltimore, the surrounding communities, and the horsemen. We believe the bonuses offered during Preakness weekend as well as those with our turf starter handicap series will make this a memorable spring.”

The stakes schedule will kick off Saturday, April 18 with six stakes totaling $575,000: the $100,000 Dahlia for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up at a mile on the turf; the $100,000 Federico Tesio for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles; the $100,000 Primonetta for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs; the $100,000 Henry S. Clark for 3-year-olds and up at a mile on the turf; the $100,000 Stormy Blues for 3-year-old fillies going five furlongs on the turf, and the $75,000 Geisha Stakes for Maryland-bred fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, at 1 1/16 miles.

Preakness Weekend begins Friday, May 15 with six stakes, four of them graded, including the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan, $300,000 Pimlico Special, $150,000 Allaire DuPont Distaff and $150,000 Adena Springs Miss Preakness. On Saturday, May 16 the 1 3/16 mile Preakness will be supported by seven other stakes: the Longines Dixie, Maryland Sprint Handicap, Gallorette, James W. Murphy, Chick Lang, Sir Barton and The Very One.

Racing begins at Pimlico Race Course April 2.