Live racing on the Maryland circuit shifts to historic Pimlico Race Course April 20 for the spring meet. The headline event of the eight-week stand is the 130th running of the $1 million Preakness Stakes (gr. I), the middle jewel of the VISA Triple Crown, on May 21. Post time for 37 of the 39 racing days will be 1:10 p.m. "We are always thrilled to go back to Pimlico in the spring, it is our signature meet of the year," said Lou Raffetto, chief operating officer of the Maryland Jockey Club. "The focus has been on the Preakness for quite some time. It is an exciting time and we are looking forward to showcasing the best of Maryland racing." The marquee meet of the Maryland racing season will feature 26 stakes races for purses of $4 million. Fourteen of the added-money races, including all 10 of the graded stakes for the meet, are slated for Preakness week, including nine on Preakness day. The Pimlico Special (gr. I) tops the May 20 card that features four other stakes races. The Special's $500,000 purse helps make the day the second biggest on the Maryland racing calendar. The opening Saturday of the spring stand will include five six-figure stakes races. Three of the added money races on The Spring Festival of Racing card will showcase Maryland Million-nominated or Maryland-bred runners. Three of the state's leading breeding farms are each sponsoring a race and have donated seasons to two stallions, which will be given to the breeders of the top two finishers of their races. The meet will conclude on June 12.
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