Overnight purses in Maryland will increase 15% across the board for the remainder of 2021, effective July 2 with the next date of racing at Pimlico Race Course, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association announced June 30.
The MTHA board of directors unanimously approved the increase during its June 29 meeting, seeking to establish a level that could be sustained through the end of the year.
Turf racing is scheduled to resume at Pimlico Friday. Grass racing was halted last week while track crews began a maintenance and aeration project meant to sustain grass racing through the summer.
Additionally, the MTHA board voted to restore the percentages paid to horses in overnight purses, also effective Friday. First place will be 60%, up from 57%; second place is 20%, down from 21%; third place is 10% rather than 11%, and fourth place will be 5% instead of 6%. Fifth place will be 3% (plus 1% for the fifth-through-last place bonus) and sixth place will be 2% (plus a 2% for the fifth-through-last place bonus). The 4% bonus remains in place for horses that finish seventh through last.
The Pimlico summer meet runs through Aug. 22 and Laurel Park, where main-track reconstruction is ongoing, is scheduled to begin its fall meet Sept. 10. In between, the Maryland State Fair at Timonium will race seven days from Aug. 27-Sept. 6, also with the elevated purse structure.