02/18/2014 2:44PM

Pimlico stakes purses boosted by $875,000


The Maryland Jockey Club has committed an additional $875,000 to stakes purses this spring at Pimlico and created a new $100,000 bonus for trainers who run horses in the 15 stakes on Preakness weekend.

The changes, along with the complete 2014 Pimlico stakes schedule, were announced Tuesday after formal approval was granted by the Maryland Racing Commission.

Pimlico will offer essentially the same 25 stakes as in 2013, but those races will now be worth a collective $4.6 million, compared with $3.8 million a year ago. In addition to the previously announced increase of the Preakness purse from $1 million to $1.5 million, the Grade 2 Dixie got a $100,000 purse boost to $400,000 and the distance of the turf race was reduced from 1 1/8 to 1 1/16 miles. Seven other stakes received $25,000 purse hikes apiece to $100,000.

Gone from the schedule is the Grade 3, $150,000 Allaire DuPont Distaff, a turf route for fillies and mares that was part of the Preakness undercard. It will be replaced by the $100,000 Dahlia, also a turf route for fillies and mares.

Trainers who start at least five horses in the 15 stakes on Black-Eyed Susan and Preaknesss days (May 16-17) will be eligible to divide a $100,000 bonus, with points awarded on a sliding scale of 10-7-5-3-1 for each first- through fourth-place finish.

The winners of the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes and Miss Preakness Stakes on May 16 will receive a breeding season to Awesome Again and Ghostzapper, respectively, courtesy of Adena Springs.The 35-day meet will run from April 3 to June 7.