04/15/2012 12:26PM

Pimlico wants to add Arabian stakes to Preakness program

Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
TM Texas Fred won last year's President of the United Arab Emirates Cup when the race was worth $50,000 and was the first race for Arabians ever contested at Churchill Downs.

Pimlico plans to run a Grade 1 race for Arabian horses on its Preakness Day card on May 19.

As part of its 14-race program that is highlighted by the $1 million Preakness, Pimlico would like to add the $75,000 President of the United Arab Emirates Cup, a 1 1/16 mile race on the main track.

The Arabian race is on the agenda and will be voted upon by the Maryland Racing Commission at its monthly meeting on Tuesday. The Maryland House Ways and Means committee passed an emergency bill during the General Assembly, which was signed into law by Governor Martin O’Malley on April 10, authorizing Pimlico to conduct live racing of Arabian horses under certain circumstances.

If approved, Pimlico would be co-host of the race with Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates.

“Adding the top Arabian race to what is already a first-class series of races will enhance the value of the day,” Pimlico president Tom Chuckas said. “We are pleased to partner with the UAE for this historic event and look forward to future opportunities.”

The President of the UAE Cup Series was established more than 20 years ago to promote and celebrate the Arabian breed internationally. It was the first international racing series for Arabian horses and continues to be considered as the world’s premier racing series for the breed. Last year’s running of President of the United Arab Emirates Cup was worth $50,000 and was held at Churchill Downs in mid-June, as part of the Stephen Foster card.

M.E. Altieri More than 1 year ago
Thank you, Jack Frazier, for speaking truth and wisdom. I'm disgusted to read negative, uneducated comments from people who claim to know horses. Arabians are beautiful horses--nope, they're not as fast as Thoroughbreds-- nothing is, except the cheetah. (Which is faster, BTW.) Arab horses are beautiful to watch just because they're beautiful to watch. And I'm sure that Jack Frazier will nod his head in agreement: can anyone here name a Thoroughbred who could run 100 miles in a DAY in an endurance race? (Without dropping dead, that is.) I thought not. I adore Thoroughbreds, but I've come to love and genuinely appreciate Arabs during the last three years. They're wonderful, magnificent and historically significant. If you love horse racing only because you hope to make money on the horses--please, leave the sport for those of us who actually love horses. And those of us who do love horses will see that adding Arabian racing to American race cards is the best marketing concept to come along in a LONG time. Want to bring more people to America's tracks? I know...instead of beer bashes or sexist contests, let's bring in more actual HORSES. Arabians at American tracks can only help grow the sport. Kudos to Maryland for having insight, and to all those racing entities that are adding Arabians to the mix--including the great Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Carolyn Kolseth More than 1 year ago
Agreed !!! :))
First NameVincent More than 1 year ago
This should be the first or last race of the day.Not part of any major bets.If they have it in a pik 3 or 4 they'll lose a ton of money. Typical chuckas clueless to the tr true fans the bettors.
mrm More than 1 year ago
How about a jockey potatoe sack race?
Patricia Doyle More than 1 year ago
I see that most comments are against the Arabian horse races. I don't know anything about Arabians so maybe one of the posters can fill me in on Arabians as a breed and also why betting them is such a bad idea. Thanx
Charles Decker More than 1 year ago
Why don't you combine this nonsense race with the over 60 female riders race (like last year) an ostrich race and maybe a Basset Hound race and then you will have a very good pick 4 for your customers to bet. Congrats ,Mr. Chuckas, it took you all year to come up with another brilliant idea.
Jack Frazier More than 1 year ago
At Churchill as much was wagered on the Arabian race as many of the undercard races. Unlike other breeds, Arabians run true to form. If it weren't for the Arabian horses there would be no Thoroughbred horses as all Thoroughbreds trace their lineage to the Briarly Turk, the Godolphin Arabian and the Godolphin Barb. A good horse is a good horse. And they are very sound.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
A great man said years ago... Hang numbers on rats. This bunch will bet!
Carolyn Kolseth More than 1 year ago
TY For your intelligent reply :)))
fernando More than 1 year ago
I like Arabian racing.At least one race where no one has to worry about legs snapping off.
M.E. Altieri More than 1 year ago
Excellent point, Fernando. Arab horses look frail, but they're tough as nails. I repeat, 100-mile endurance races. Thank you for pointing out that fact, Fernando. :)
Carolyn Kolseth More than 1 year ago
Fernando I agree :))
David More than 1 year ago
Pimlico had better make this race a non betting race or it will affect their handle on all horizontal bets. Only a real sucker would bet any money on Arabian races.
Carolyn Kolseth More than 1 year ago
Please educate yourself before posting TY
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hope they have lights at pimlico,. By the time the arabians finish running you're gonna need 'em
Carolyn Kolseth More than 1 year ago
That's hysterical Please educate yourself as to the TB and Arabian horse before posting nonsense LOL!
James More than 1 year ago
14 races? God!