PREAKNESS TO ANCHOR ALL-STAKES CARD
Highlighted by the $1 million Preakness (G1), presented this year as the final jewel in a refashioned Triple Crown, the Maryland Jockey Club will serve up a total of 16 stakes, nine graded, worth $3.35 million in purses over Preakness weekend at Pimlico Race Course.
The 145th running of the 1 3/16-mile Preakness for 3-year-olds will anchor an all-stakes program of 12 races, seven graded, worth $2.7 million on Saturday, Oct. 3. It will be joined this year by the 96th renewal of the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2), one of the country’s premiere events for 3-year-old fillies, contested at 1 1/8 miles.
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Turf runners 3 and up will travel 1 1/16 miles in the $250,000 Dinner Party (G2), previously run as the Dixie, now in its 119th year. Pimlico’s oldest stakes race and the eighth-oldest in the country, it was named the Dinner Party for its 1870 debut and run at two miles.
Other grass stakes on the Preakness program are the $150,000 Gallorette (G3) for fillies and mares 3 and up, $150,000 Laurel Futurity for 2-year-olds and $150,000 Selima for 2-year-old fillies, each going 1 1/16 miles; and $100,000 James W. Murphy for 3-year-olds and $100,000 Hilltop for 3-year-old fillies at one mile.
Joining the Preakness Day lineup this year is the $200,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) at six furlongs for 3-year-olds and up. Other sprint stakes on the card are the $150,000 Miss Preakness (G3) for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs and $100,000 Skipat for fillies and mares 3 and up.
Rounding out the Oct. 3 stakes lineup is the $100,000 UAE President Cup (G1) for Arabians, contested at 1 1/16 miles for 4-year-olds and up.
The historic $250,000 Pimlico Special (G3) for 3-year-olds and up, returned to 1 3/16 miles after being contested at 1 ¼ miles in 2019, is the centerpiece of a Friday, Oct. 2 card that also serves as Claiming Crown Preview Day.
Each winner of the nine Claiming Crown Preview Day races will earn automatic entry and a stipend toward travel costs to the annual Claiming Crown Day program being held for the eighth consecutive year at Gulfstream Park. A similar preview was hosted at Laurel Park in 2015.
Preakness weekend will kick off Thursday, Oct. 1 with three stakes led by the $200,000 Chick Lang (G3) for 3-year-olds at six furlongs. It will be joined by a pair of five-furlong turf sprints, the $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint for 3-year-olds and up and $100,000 The Very One for fillies and mares 3 and older.
Live racing will be conducted at Pimlico this year from Sept. 24-26 and Oct. 1-3.
Nominations for all Thoroughbred stakes, excluding the Preakness, close Thursday, Sept. 17. Nominations for the UAE President Cup for Arabians close Saturday, Sept. 19.