California Chrome.  Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.

This horse — California Chrome — won’t be back at Old Hilltop this year. But Maryland Jockey Club officials hope the bonus program lures other popular runners. Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.

From a Maryland Jockey Club release

Preakness day highlights a unique weekend at Pimlico that will include the return of the Ultimate Girls Day Out on Preakness eve, May 15, along with the running of the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) for 3-year-old fillies, the $300,000 Longines Dixie (G2) for 3-year-olds and up on the turf, and the $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3) for 3-year-olds and up.

It could also be a lucrative weekend — if you have the right horses.

Pimlico is offering 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 also 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.

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

The goal of the bonuses is simple: to create an incentive for owners and trainers to bring big-name horses to Old Hilltop, and to encourage them to run as many as possible.  If the bonus program works as designed, it could promote fuller fields with more “name” horses.


In addition to a 14-race program, Preakness day includes the 2015 InfieldFest headlined by Grammy nominees Armin van Buuren and Childish Gambino. Additional information can be found on

The second-biggest day on the Maryland racing calendar behind Preakness day in terms of purses, attendance and handle, Black-Eyed Susan day features 13 races and events to benefit both Susan G. Komen Maryland and the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.

New to Pimlico this year are a Pick 5 wager with an industry-low 12 percent takeout, as well as a 10-cent Rainbow 6 on the last six races of each race day. The popular multi-race wager has produced life-changing payoffs at Gulfstream Park, including $3.59 million in 2013 and a pick six-record $6.6 million last May.

The Rainbow 6 will be offered on the last six races of each day at Pimlico. 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 jackpot pool. The bet has produced payoffs as high as $6.6 million.

A 1 1/16-mile dirt test for 3-year-olds that serves as the local Preakness prep, the $100,000 Federico Tesio will help kick off Pimlico’s stakes schedule on an April 18 program that offers six stakes worth $575,000.