BALTIMORE, 04-15-12---Abu Dhabi,capital of the United Arab Emirates, will join with Pimlico Race Course to host a Grade 1 race for purebred Arabian horses on Preakness Day, Saturday, May 19. The $1 million Preakness® Stakes (G1), the middle jewel of Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown, headlines the 14-race card.
The 14-race program also will feature the $75,000-added The President of the United Arab Emirates Cup, a Grade 1 race for Arabian horses. The race is limited to 14 horses and will be run on the main track at 1-1/16 miles.
The Maryland House Ways and Means committee passed an emergency bill during the General Assembly, which was signed into law by Governor Martin O’Malley April 10, authorizing Pimlico Race Course to conduct live racing of Arabian horses under certain circumstances. The race needs to be approved by the Maryland Racing Commission and is a topic is on Tuesday’s agenda, the date of its next monthly meeting.
“Adding the top Arabian race to what is already a first-class series of races will enhance the value of the day,” Pimlico president Tom Chuckas said. “We are pleased to partner with the UAE for this historic event and look forward to future opportunities.”
The President of the UAE Cup Series was established more than 20 years ago to promote and celebrate the Arabian breed internationally. It was the first international racing series for Arabian horses and continues to be considered as the world’s premier racing series for the breed. Last year’s running of The President of the United Arab Emirates Cup was held at Churchill Downs in mid-June, as part of the Stephen Foster card.
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will display its branded Formula 1 race car in the Pimlico corporate village. Visitors will have an opportunity to have photographs taken with the vehicle.
Preakness Day fans will have the opportunity to enter a sweepstakes drawing that has a grand prize of a Five-Star trip to Abu Dhabi.
Post time for Preakness Day is 10:30 a.m. The Preakness program will have eight added money races for Thoroughbreds, including five graded events. In addition to the Preakness, the card will feature the $300,000 Dixie Handicap (G2) and three Grade 3 races.
2012 Preakness InfieldFest will include performances by Grammy Award winner Maroon 5 and American Music Award winner Wiz Khalifa. Both artists will play extended sets on the main stage in the public Infield. The Darkness, Little Big Town and Mr. Greengenes will perform on the Jägermeister stage.