Claiming Crown Preview, Maryland Million coming in October

Pimlico Race Course on Friday, Oct. 2, will host nine lucrative starter allowance events that will offer the winners guaranteed berths in the Claiming Crown, which will be held Dec. 5 at Gulfstream Park.

“Claiming Crown Preview” purses will total $400,000 and will range from $35,000 to $60,000. The Claiming Crown races are run under starter allowance conditions for horses that have started for a specific claiming price or less in 2019-20. The claiming prices are $8,000, $12,500, $16,000, $25,000 and $35,000.

Each Claiming Crown Preview winner at Pimlico will receive an automatic berth into the respective championship race at Gulfstream. The Maryland Jockey Club will provide up to $2,500 to the owner of the winner to cover shipping expenses to Florida, and the MJC will pay the $100 nomination fee for the winning horse. The owner of each winner is responsible for all other associated fees.

Entries for the Claiming Crown Preview races close Sunday, Sept. 27.

The Claiming Crown Preview joins the Grade III, $250,000 Pimlico Special on the Oct. 2 program. The Grade I, $1 million Preakness Stakes and 11 other stakes will be held Oct. 3, closing day of the six-day Pimlico meet.

The condition book for the Pimlico meet is available here.

Horsemen should also noted that pre-entries for the Oct. 24 Maryland Million at Laurel Park close Wednesday, Oct. 14. The program features eight stakes worth a total of $825,000 and four starter handicaps valued at a total of $180,000.

This year marks the return of the Maryland Million Turf Sprint, which will carry a purse of $75,000 at a distance of 5 1/2 furlongs. The 1 1/8-mile Maryland Million Classic has the highest purse at $150,000, while the other six stakes are each worth $100,000. The distance for the Maryland Million Turf has been changed to 1 1/8 miles from one mile.

Though the eight stakes are for horses certified to the Maryland Million, registered Maryland-bred runners that aren’t Maryland Million-sired can pre-enter and race only if the stakes has less than eight Maryland Million-sired entries. The four starter handicaps are open to Maryland Million and/or registered Maryland-breds with first preference to Maryland Million-certified horses.

Pre-entries can be made by contacting the Laurel Racing Office at 800-638-1859. Further information on the Maryland Million is available here.

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