- Published: Wednesday, 05 May 2021 22:39
The Maryland Jockey Club will offer almost $2 million in stakes purses for its summer meet, including six events for Maryland-bred or -sired horses.
The 20 stakes will be packaged to create five big-event programs from June 13 through Aug. 21. Eleven stakes are scheduled for the turf with nine on the dirt. Six of the dirt stakes are part of the Mid-Atlantic Championships Series (MATCH), which will be held in Maryland and Virginia this year beginning May 14-15 at Pimlico Race Course.
Summer meet stakes purses total $1.95 million, with $450,000 of that for the Maryland-restricted stakes.
The five stakes set for June 13 are slated for Pimlico rather than Laurel Park as originally scheduled. Laurel is undergoing a major surface restoration project that is expected to continue well into June. The other stakes days—July 4, July 24, July 31 and Aug. 21—are scheduled to be held at Laurel but that could change depending on the time requirement to complete the project.
MJC Racing Secretary Jillian Tullock said if more stakes are shifted to Pimlico, some of the distances would be altered because Pimlico, for instance, cannot accommodate 5 1/2-furlong turf races or 6 1/2-furlong, seven-furlong, or one-mile dirt races. Three of the June 13 stakes already have had distance changes: the Shine Again for fillies and mares is now six furlongs instead of seven furlongs; and the Stormy Blues, for 3-year-old fillies, and Ben’s Cat, for Maryland-bred or -sired 3-year-olds and up, are now five furlongs on the turf instead of 5 1/2 furlongs.
The MJC is expected to officially request to move at least some of Laurel’s summer meet dates to Pimlico. The summer meet begins June 3; the Pimlico meet ends May 31.
All but one of the open stakes are each valued at $100,000 while the state-restricted stakes each go for $75,000. The richest event of the summer meet is the $200,000, Grade III Baltimore Washington International Turf Cup at one mile on grass. It is one of four stakes, all on the turf, scheduled for July 24.
The Aug. 21 program will feature four Maryland-restricted stakes, two on the turf and two on dirt.
The complete summer meet stakes schedule is available here.