02/24/2005 1:00AM

Shorter meet, same stakes


Pimlico's spring meet will be three weeks shorter than usual, but the compressed schedule will still feature 26 stakes worth a collective $4 million, including five stakes on opening weekend.

The marquee meet of the Maryland racing season will run from April 20 through June 12, highlighted by the 130th running of the $1 million Preakness Stakes on May 21.

The first Saturday of the meet, April 23, will be anchored by the $150,000 Federico Tesio for 3-year-olds and the $200,000 Jim McKay Breeders' Cup for older horses. In addition, three new stakes for Maryland-breds and Maryland Million nominees will be contested. Each of the restricted stakes will carry a $25,000 bonus if the winner is a Maryland-bred and an additional $25,000 bonus if the winner is Maryland-sired.

All 10 of the meet's graded stakes will be run during Preakness week, including six on Preakness Day.

The Grade 1 Pimlico Special, worth $500,000, tops a May 20 program that includes four other stakes.

A new race on the stakes calendar, the Xtra Heat for 3-year-old fillies on April 30, will serve as a prep for the Grade 3 Miss Preakness, held on the same day as the Pimlico Special. Xtra Heat, the champion 3-year-old filly of 2001, was based at Laurel Park and won 25 stakes during her career.

2005 spring stakes schedule

Sat.,April 23COUNTRY LIFE FARM*3YO F1 1/16 miles$100,000
Sat.,April 23MARYLAND STALLION STATION*3YO6 furlongs100,000
Sat.,April 23NORTHVIEW STALLION STATION*F&M, 3YO & Up1 1/8 miles100,000
Sat.,April 23FEDERICO TESIO 3YO 1 1/8 miles150,000
Sat.,April 23JIM MCKAY BC HANDICAP3YO & Up1 1/8 miles200,000
Sat.,April 30XTRA HEAT3YO F5 furlongs 50,000
Sat.,May 7HENRY CLARK3YO & Up1 mile (T)75,000
Sat.,May 14HILLTOP 3YO F1 1 1/16 miles (T) 75,000
Fri.,May 20PIMLICO SPECIAL (G1)4YO & Up1 3 1/16 miles500,000
Fri.,May 20BLACK-EYED SUSAN (G2)3YO F1 1/8 miles200,000
Fri.,May 20PIMLICO DISTAFF (G3)F&M, 3YO & Up1 1/16 miles150,000
Fri.,May 20MISS PREAKNESS (G3)3YO F6 furlongs100,000
Fri.,May 20THE VERY ONE F&M. 3YO & Up5 furlongs (T)75,000
Sat.,May 21PREAKNESS 3YO1 3/16 miles1,000,000
Sat.,May 21DIXIE (G2)3YO & Up1 1/8 miles (T)200,000
Sat.,May 21MARYLAND BC HANDICAP (G3)3YO & Up6 furlongs200,000
Sat.,May 21W.D. SCHAEFER HANDICAP (G3)3YO & Up1 1/8 miles100,000
Sat.,May 21GALLORETTE HANDICAP (G3)F&M, 3YO & Up1 1 1/16 miles (T)100,000
Sat.,May 21HIRSCH JACOBS (G3)3YO 6 furlongs100,000
Sat.,May 21WOODLAWN 3YO 1 1 1/16 miles (T)100,000
Sat.,May 21SIR BARTON 3YO 1 1/16 miles100,000
Sat.,May 21MURMUR FARM STARTER HDCP.3YO & Up1 1/16 miles50,000
Sat.,May 28BEN COHEN 3YO & Up5 furlongs (T)50,000
Sat.,June 4 PEARL NECKLACE*3YO F 1 1/16 miles (T)50,000
Sat.,June 11DEPUTED TESTAMONY*3YO 1 1/16 miles50,000
Sat.,May 29SKIPAT F&M, 3YO & Up6 furlongs50,000

* Restricted stakes