Baltimore, MD -- The Maryland Jockey Club today announced it has increased the purse for the Preakness Stakes (G1) from $1 million to $1.5 million. The middle jewel of Thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown is Saturday, May 17 2014 at historic Pimlico Race Course.
It is the first increase for the 1 3/16-mile classic since the purse was raised to $1 million guaranteed in 1998. Throughout the years, the Preakness purse has been among the highest in American racing.
"The Preakness Stakes is the centerpiece of a terrific stakes program that weekend," said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. "Seventeen of the twenty-six races on Preakness and Black-Eyed Susan days are stakes. With this increase the total value of our stakes program over the two-day period is nearly $4 million."
The May 16 card on Preakness eve features eight added-money races, headlined by the $500,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) and the $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3).
The Preakness undercard features eight stakes races, including the $300,000 Dixie Stakes (G2) and three $150,000 G3 stakes: the Maryland Sprint Handicap, the Gallorette Handicap and Allaire duPont Distaff Stakes.
"I support the move," said Maryland Racing Commission chairman Bruce Quade. "It is another step in bringing Maryland racing back to a preeminent spot in the racing landscape."
At its inauguration in 1873, the Preakness carried a value of $1,000. The first major increase occurred in 1919 when the race had a $25,000 value. It climbed to $100,000 in 1946 and in 1959 was raised to $150,000, the highest among Triple Crown races.
From 1979 to 1989, the purse rose four times from $200,000 to $500,000, before attaining its present status of $1 million.
Historic Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness® Stakes, the middle jewel in horse racing's famed Triple Crown, first opened its doors on October 25, 1870, and is the second oldest racetrack in the United States. Pimlico has played host to racing icons and Baltimoreans have seen the likes of legendary horses such as Man o' War, Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Affirmed and Cigar thunder down the stretch in thrilling and memorable competition. For more information on Pimlico, visit www.pimlico.com.
Pimlico Race Course is a Stronach Group company, North America's leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida and is one of North America's top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world's largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; Xpressbet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horse racing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America's premier supplier of virtual online horse racing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.