When racing moves to Pimlico Race Course this spring, a new series of races – the “Whips International” Turf Starter Handicap Series – will offer owners a new way to utilize their horses, offer fans a new way to familiarize themselves with more of the area’s horses and offer trainers a new way to develop their horses without fear of having them claimed. And the top finishing trainers will earn bonuses, too.
“I ran this kind of series at Parx [Racing in Pennsylvania] and it was very well received,” said Maryland Jockey Club vice president and general manager Sal Sinatra, whose idea it is for the series. “Here, trainers like the idea. It’s three new races and a bonus trainers can use.”
The series will run April 4, with a purse of $25,000; May 2 for $30,000, and June 6 for $35,000. It will feature two races each of those Saturdays, one for colts and geldings and another for fillies and mares. It is for horses who have run for $5,000 or less in 2014 or 2015.
The three races will progress in length from one mile to a mile-and-a-sixteenth, to a mile-and-an-eighth. Earned points will decide the overall winner, with 10 points for finishing first in a race, seven points for second and five points for third.
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