For the fourth consecutive year, the Maryland Jockey Club is offering the $100,000 trainer bonus to horsemen that accumulate the most points during stakes races over Preakness weekend, Oct. 1-3 at Pimlico Race Course.
Led by the 145th running of the Preakness Stakes, presented this year as the final jewel in a refashioned Triple Crown and a “Win and You”re In” qualifier for the Nov. 7 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), a total of 15 Thoroughbred stakes, nine graded, worth $3.35 million will be contested over three days.
Trainers who run a minimum of five horses in the 15 stakes races during Preakness weekend will be eligible for bonus money, with $50,000 going to the trainer with the most points, $25,000 for second, $12,000 for third, $7,000 for fourth, $4,000 for fifth and $2,000 for sixth.
Points are accumulated for finishing first (10 points), second (seven), third (five) and fourth (three) and by having a starter (one) in each of Pimlico’s Thoroughbred stakes.
Preakness weekend stakes action begins Thursday, Oct. 1, with the $200,000 Chick Lang (G3), $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint and $100,000 The Very One. The historic $250,000 Pimlico Special (G3) highlights a Friday, Oct. 2 card that also serves as Claiming Crown Preview Day.
Joining the $1 million Preakness this year is the 96th running of the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan for 3-year-old fillies. They are supported by the $250,000 Dinner Party (G2), $200,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3), $150,000 Miss Preakness (G3), $150,000 Gallorette (G3), $150,000 Laurel Futurity, $150,000 Selima, $100,000 Skipat, $100,000 James W. Murphy, $100,000 Hilltop and $100,000 The Very One.
Nominations for all 15 Thoroughbred stakes close Thursday, Sept. 17.
Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen captured the $50,000 prize in both 2017 and 2018 but finished second to Brad Cox in 2019. Cox led the way with 36 points last year, three more than Asmussen, including running third and fourth, respectively, with Owendale and Warrior’s Charge in the Preakness, Cox’s Triple Crown race debut.
Cox won the Miss Preakness with eventual champion Covfefe in track-record time of 1:07.70 for six furlongs and the Allaire duPont Distaff (G3) with Mylady Curlin, and was second with Ulele in the Black-Eyed Susan. Asmussen picked up wins in the Pimlico Special with Tenfold and Maryland Sprint (G3) with New York Central, and was fifth in the Preakness with Laughing Fox.