The Maryland Racing Commission approved the Pimlico spring stakes schedule at its monthly meeting Feb. 22 at Laurel Park. The headline event of the eight-week meeting beginning April 20 is the 130th running of the May 21 $1 million Preakness Stakes (gr. I), the middle jewel of the Visa Triple Crown.
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
The inaugural Xtra Heat Stakes, to be contested on April 30, will be a prep for the Adena Stallions' Miss Preakness (gr. III) held on the same day as the Special. Based at Laurel Park under the tutelage of John Salzman Sr., the sprinting sensation earned the Eclipse Award for top 3-year old filly in 2001 and won 25 stakes races during her career, the most added money victories by a filly or mare.
The opening Saturday of the spring stand (April 23) will include five six-figure stakes races and showcase Maryland-bred and Maryland-sired horses.
The meet will conclude June 12.