BALTIMORE, 03-30-11---Live racing in Maryland shifts to historic Pimlico Race Course Friday, April 1 for the spring meeting. The headline event of the eight-week stand is the 136th running of the $1 million Preakness® Stakes (Grade I), the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, on May 21. The marquee meet of the Maryland racing season, which ends with the Preakness Day card, will feature 22 stakes races for purses of $2.9 million. Preakness weekend features 16 stakes races for nearly $2.5 million.
“There is something unique about being at Pimlico during the spring,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. “With Preakness about 50 days away, the entire staff gets energized. We are looking forward to a tremendous meet, highlighted by a spectacular Preakness week.”
Preakness day will have nine added money races, including six graded events. In addition to the Preakness, the card will feature the Dixie Handicap (Grade II) and four Grade III races. 2011 Preakness InfieldFEST will include performances by recent Grammy Award winners Bruno Mars and Train. Both bands will play extended sets on the main stage in the public Infield.
In addition to the main stage headliners, the day-long multi-celebration festival experience will feature live music on the Jägermeister stage, entertainment and a variety of Maryland-branded food and beverage concessions. Tickets will be $40 in advance through Ticketmaster and the Preakness Ticket Sales Office and $50 during Preakness week. Two 160 feet MUG Club areas will be available in the Infield and another in the Top of the Stretch section. For an additional $20 to a regular admission to the public Infield or a Top of the Stretch ticket, fans receive a souvenir mug with unlimited refills of beer.The popular Beer Garden returns with $2 draft beer served from8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Premium seating is available in the Preakness Village, Clubhouse Turn Suites and Turfside Terrace locations. Visit www.preakness.com for more details. Preakness Day is the largest single day sporting event in the state of Maryland with attendance figures topping six-figures in eight of the last 10 years, including a record 121,263 in 2007.
The Preakness eve card features seven stakes races, six for fillies and mares, headlined by the Grade II Black-Eyed Susan Stakes. Pimlico has partnered with Susan G. Komen for the Cure® for the return of The People’s Pink Party. Highlights include the second annual Lady Legends For the Cure Race™, the inaugural Female Jockey Challenge and the welcoming of 87 breast cancer survivor guests for festivities including a special winners’ circle tribute and live performances in the Turfside Terrace by music stars Steel Magnolia, courtesy of Big Machine, and The Lunabelles.
OTHER SPRING PROMOTIONS
Friday, April 1 – Opening Day
Celebrate the return of live racing with free admission, a complimentary live program, $2 hot dogs and draft beers and a chance to win premium Preakness tickets. The nine-race card begins at 1:10 p.m.
Saturday, April 2 – Kick off with a Cook off
The third annual Chili Cook-Off, sanctioned by the International Chili Society, plus music in-between races by local sensation Dean Crawford.
Sunday, April 3 and Sunday, May 1 – Love is a Gamble…
Singles 35 and over will learn all about handicapping the races before meeting others one-on-one with racing-themed matching games. The $25 ticket includes admission, program, brunch and the event.
Thursday afternoons (April 7-14-21-28, May 5-12)
Entertain clients at Pimlico for a $22, four-course business person lunch and wager on a race or two.
Saturday, April 16 – Decanter Wine Festival, presented by Maryland Wineries Association
A Day of Maryland Wine & Racing. Enjoy a unique vantage point for all races while sampling fine Maryland wines with specialty food, all under white tents in the infield. Tickets for the 11 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. event are $30 general admission and $45 Decanter Pass upgraded ticket. Additional information can be found at www.MarylandWine.com.
Saturday, April 30 –Preakness Mystery Glass Giveaway
Official Black-Eyed Susan mystery glass, from Secretariat’s 1973 original to Lookin At Lucky’s 2010 version, for all $3 paid admissions.
Saturday, May 7 – Derby Day Preakness Prep Infield Party
The Infield is open on Kentucky Derby Day with The Plain White T’s and Sons of the Radio performing in the Beer Garden. Tickets for the concert are $30 for all ages, including a bottomless mug for those 21 and over. Unlimited soda and water will be available for all ages. Call Pimlico (410-542-9400) for tickets or visit www.ticketmaster.com.
Saturday, May 14 –“Down the Stretch for SGK” Preakness 5K
Organized by Corrigan Sports, runners will run the entire race within the grounds at Pimlico Race Course. Proceeds to benefit the Maryland Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.
Wednesday, May 18, Thursday, May 19 & Friday, May 20– Sunrise at Old Hilltop
See the Preakness contenders prepare for the middle jewel of the Triple Crown as fans get the opportunity to watch morning workouts and tour the stable area, including the famous Preakness Stakes barn. Admission is free for the 6-9 a.m. event.
“We are making an effort to make Pimlico more than just the Preakness,” Chuckas said. “We are excited about the potential on Derby Day by opening the Infield with a concert featuring The Plain White T’s who had a number one song in 2007. In addition, we have implemented a grassroots campaign-attending sporting events and festivals in the region and started a college patrol where area students are helping us market the Preakness.”
The meet will feature several new wagers. Pimlico has added a second Pick 4 and scrapped the Pick 6 in favor of a Pick 5 (races 5-9), with a reduced takeout of 18%. Wagering will also include 10 cent superfectas and 50 cent Pick 3’s, Pick 4’s and Pick 5’s.
“The goal is to make it affordable and create opportunities for the fans,” added Chuckas. “The 10 cent supers and 50 cent Pick 3, Pick 4 and Pick 5’s do just that.”