02/19/2013 2:34PM

Pimlico stakes get purse hikes with casino money


Pimlico Race Course has increased the purses for a large number of its stakes races for 2013, including a $200,000 bump for the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, as the track’s share of subsidies from Maryland casinos accumulates.

The Black-Eyed Susan, for 3-year-old fillies, will have a $500,000 purse this year, compared with $300,000 last year. The purses for the Grade 3 Maryland Sprint Handicap and the Grade 3 Allaire DuPont Stakes will be increased $50,000 each, from $100,000 last year to $150,000 this year. Three $75,000 stakes that have not been run in at least a year at Pimlico were also restored to the schedule.

All told, Pimlico plans to distribute $3.775 million in purses for 21 open stakes during the 36-day meet, which is scheduled to begin April 4 and end on June 8, with racing conducted on a Thursday-through-Sunday schedule. The total amount of purses distributed in open stakes is up $625,000 from the open-stakes program last year, Pimlico said.

Midway through 2012, Maryland’s largest casino opened near Pimlico’s sister track, Laurel Park. Maryland’s racing industry receives subsidies from the state’s casinos, and the opening of the new facility has resulted in a sizeable increase in the amount of those subsidies.

Pimlico’s spring meet will be highlighted by the May 18 Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown. The Preakness undercard will include seven stakes races, including the $300,000 Pimlico Special, an historic race for older horses that was restored to the schedule last year after being canceled off and on during the past decade.

The Black-Eyed Susan will highlight the card on Preakness Eve. Six other stakes are also scheduled for the card.