Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness Stakes, opens April 3 for its 11-week spring meet. The session will feature 28 stakes -- 10 of them graded -- worth $3.6 million.
Eight stakes, including the $1-million Preakness, are scheduled for May 18. other stakes to be run that afternoon at the Maryland track are the $200,000 Dixie Handicap, the $200,000 Maryland Breeders' Cup Handicap, the $125,000 Gallorette Handicap, the $100,000 Hirsch Jacobs Stakes, the $100,000 Sir Barton Stakes, the $100,000 William Donald Schaefer Handicap, and the $100,000 Woodlawn Stakes.
The first stakes of the meet, the $50,000 Fire Plug, is set for April 13. On April 20, "Maryland Spring Challenge Day," five stakes -- the $125,000 Federico Tesio and four events for Maryland-breds -- are scheduled.
Post time at Old Hilltop is 1:10 p.m. Eastern time. The first race on opening day is named in honor of Sheri Garcia, the exercise rider who was killed in a training accident at Pimlico the week of March 24.
Jockey Travis Dunkelberger will return to Maryland on a full-time basis after a two-month stay in New York. Last year, he finished third in the country with 395 victories even though he missed six weeks with a broken collarbone and two more weeks for riding suspensions. Dunkelberger was fourth by wins in Maryland with 195.