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The Pimlico Special is an American thoroughbred horse race held at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland in mid May. It is raced on dirt over a distance of 1 3/16 miles (9.5 furlongs). The race is currently open to horses age three and older and offers a purse of $300,000.
The Pimlico Special was first run in 1937 and was won by that year's U.S. Triple Crown winner War Admiral who went on to be voted the American Horse of the Year. In 1938, the Pimlico Special was host to one of American racing's historic moments when Seabiscuit defeated War Admiral in a much anticipated match race. That race was covered by almost every major newspaper, magazine and radio station of the time. Discontinued after 1958, the race was revived as a handicap event in 1988 and made a graded stakes race one year later in 1989. The race was not eligible for grading in 2011 because it had not been run the previous two years.
Nineteen Pimlico Special winners or runners-up have gone on to win a Championship for Horse of the Year or an Eclipse Award as the best horse in their divisions. The latest was Invasor in 2006; others include Mineshaft, Lemon Drop Kid, Real Quiet, Skip Away, Blushing John, Tom Fool, Coaltown, Citation, Assault, Stymie, Armed, Twilight Tear, Devil Diver, Whirlaway, Challedon, Kayak II, Seabiscuit and War Admiral. The Pimlico track record for 1 3/16 miles is held by Farma Way who ran the distance in 1:52 2/5 while capturing the 1991 Pimlico Special.
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