BALTIMORE, 03-10-09---After a meeting late last month, the Maryland Jockey Club and Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (MTHA) have agreed to reduce the Pimlico Race Course spring meeting from 31 to 20 days in order to maintain a $160,000 purse structure on the overnight during the stand. The industry faces a nearly $2 million shortfall in the purse account during the current Laurel Park winter meeting.

The Maryland Racing Commission has approved the change. Live racing will begin at the historic track on Saturday, April 18 and end Saturday, May 23.

“This decision had nothing to do with last week’s Chapter 11 filing,” said Tom Chuckas, president and chief operating officer of the Maryland Jockey Club. “We felt it was best to address the situation sooner rather than later in the year. We would like to thank the MTHA for working with us for the best solution as this gives us an opportunity to compete with surrounding states within our purse structure. We are looking forward to the Pimlico meet, especially Preakness week when the best thoroughbreds in the country come to Baltimore.”

The Pimlico stakes schedule, which includes the $1 million Preakness® Stakes (Grade I), the middle jewel of racing’s Triple Crown, on May 16 will be announced at the next racing commission meeting on March 17.

“Our racing secretary, Georganne Hale, has done a terrific job of maintaining an attractive stakes program, especially Preakness week,” added Chuckas. “We are in a difficult period and the battle becomes more challenging each day.”


April 18-19

April 23-24-25-16

April 30-May 1-2-3

May 7-8-9-10

May 14-15-16

May 21-22-23

The Pimlico meet was reduced to eight weeks in 2005 and has been 31 days (racing four days a week) the last three seasons.

The 59-day Laurel winter meeting concludes Saturday, April 11. Laurel is scheduled to have a brief summer meeting in August and a 16-week fall stand after Labor Day.