04/01/2014 1:35PM

Pimlico: Preakness meet opens, Jackpot 5 minimum lowered

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Broad Rule, winning the Fire Plug Stakes, goes in the Thursday feature at Pimlico.

Horseplayers on a budget will be happy to learn that the minimum bet has been lowered from 50 cents to a dime for the Pimlico Players Jackpot Pick 5. The revised version of the exotic wager debuts Thursday, when Pimlico launches its 35-day spring meet.

From opening day through May 3, any bettor with a unique 10-cent winning ticket on the Pimlico Pick 5 will receive a minimum of $50,000, plus a trip for two to the 2014 Preakness with seats in the Turfside Terrace section. As a 50-cent wager, the most recent Jackpot  5 at Laurel Park paid $87,835 on March 13.

Considered the marquee meet of the Maryland racing season, Pimlico spring will offer 25 stakes worth a collective $4.68 million, an increase of $875,000 from last year’s meet. As usual, the highlight comes on Preakness Day, featuring the 139th running of the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes, the second leg of racing’s Triple Crown. Nine stakes are on the Preakness card, including the Grade 2 Dixie Handicap and a pair of Grade 3 stakes, the Gallorette Handicap and the Maryland Sprint Handicap.

The Preakness received a $500,000 purse boost. The Dixie purse was raised to $400,000 and the race was shortened from 1 1/8 to 1 1/16 miles. Seven other stakes received $25,000 purse hikes apiece to $100,000.

The Preakness Friday card features eight stakes, headlined by the Grade 2, $500,000 Black-Eyed Susan and the Grade 3, $300,000 Pimlico Special.

A new bonus will be offered to trainers who run stakes horses on Preakness weekend. Trainers who start at least five horses in 15 of the stakes May 16-17 will be eligible to divide $100,000, with points awarded on a sliding scale of 10-7-5-3-1 for each first- through fifth-place finish.

“There is a special feeling about Pimlico because of Preakness weekend, but the entire meet is important to us,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. “We are excited to use the new and improved turf course on opening day and throughout the meet. Grass racing usually means larger fields and improved handle.”

The nine-race card on opening day includes the first two turf races this year in Maryland as well as the $50,000 feature, a fourth-level optional $40,000 claimer for older horses going six furlongs on dirt. The eighth race, it includes Major King, a five-time winner in Korea during 2013, including a Group 2 stakes going 1 1/4 miles, and Broad Rule, winner of the six-furlong Fire Plug at Laurel in January.

The two turf races on opening day are a $20,000 claimer at one mile (race 5), which drew a full field of 12, and a first-level allowance for fillies and mares going a mile (race 7), which drew 13 runners in the main body, plus three entered for the main track only.

Alberto More than 1 year ago
This Jackpot 5 is not a pari-mutuel wager and this wager is priced so that more than one bettor will hit it. A pari-mutuel wager means that all winning wagers are paid off. If the track diverts a portion of their side of the takeout towards a single winning ticket BONUS, then that would a pari-mutuel wager. Otherwise, in my opinion this is not a pari-mutuel wager.About time the LEGAL folks start checking these " crappy betting options"!!
michael More than 1 year ago
And still no money to fix the track up and no plans for it either. Chukas recent interview says they cant approach it till they see how the casino landscape in bmore shakes out. Best of luck, we love Md racing, but reducing distances in well known stakes is a bad idea.
Boyd Cord More than 1 year ago
At 20 cents. The pick 5 is now a Pick 4 , like GP's Pick 6 a Pick 5.
Walt Gekko More than 1 year ago
Good move by Pimlico to cut the Pick-5 to 10 cents as a jackpot wager. I would like to see NYRA dump the traditional Pick-6 and replace it with a 20-cent Rainbow version like Gulfstream has (Gulfstream has a 20-cent minimum to accommodate bettors in Canada who could not wager on it when it was a dime due to the Canadian tracks having nickel breakage) and also go to 20-cent Pick threes, Pick fours and Pick fives and 20-cent trifectas.
John Piassek More than 1 year ago
The Rainbow 6, while attracting massive jackpots, has proven to not be a very smart bet (because of the onerous takeout, among other reasons). Lowering the bet minimum on that many races to 20 cents is not so smart either. Why? It lowers payouts, making it tougher for a professional to beat the game- or for anyone to make big scores.
Boyd Cord More than 1 year ago
The only advantage is Taxes. Also from what we've learned at GP, everyone will ALL the last leg. I hit a couple small pick 6's at GP that way. ALL the last leg.
peter k More than 1 year ago
Bettor friendly idea but will not be hit till the last day . The .20 pk 6 @ gulf without a single winner did pay well so maybe this is good Am for it peter k
Bruce Epstein More than 1 year ago
King Leatherbury, how old is he? How many runners does he have? Thinking he's heading toward Jack Van Berg world, and going 1 for 85 per year.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
You couldn't carry Kings' jock... or Jacks'.
jackdsplns More than 1 year ago
Leatherbury and Van Berg are honest old school trainers that forgot more about training thoroughbreds than Milkshake Mullins , Ness , and all the other cheaters will ever know. King trains the magnificent Ben's Cat. Have some respect for the true legends of the game .
michael More than 1 year ago
Who cares how old, hes a hall of famer left out of the hall. And Jack is a great trainer with no juicers.
Boyd Cord More than 1 year ago
10 cents or 20 cents? That's way too low, they must have some big fields planned . you'll see me Saturday's on the backside by the racing office. Hope King Leatherbury has a few long shot going 5f on turf. Great live racing venue
Edward Nelson More than 1 year ago
Agreed...10cents is too low. Itll be very hard to be the single ticket. They shouldve left it as it was. I cant recall seeing it carryover above 100k. Maybe thats what they are trying to do though.
Walt Gekko More than 1 year ago
The idea is to build up the carryover and hope there is not one single ticket until at least Preakness day if not later.
Blake Jessee More than 1 year ago
There is no later after Preakness day..... That's been closing day for the meet the last few years im pretty sure.......So a large force out pool in the pick 5 would create a nice buzz, and lots of +EV money to go after for the punters..... And with the increment being lowered to .10c, it pretty much guarentee's there WONT be a unique ticket hit the entire meet, setting it up for a nice, big juicy pool for the bettors!!! So as long as your not 1 of the fools adding $$ to the kitty each day by thinking u have a shot of being a solo ticket, u will have an amazing +EV bet to go after on Preak Day 2014