Pimlico Special purse decreasedBonus as part of ACRS may...

February 19, 1993|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Staff Writer

Pimlico Special purse decreased

Bonus as part of ACRS may offset cut of $100,000

The purse for this year's Pimlico Special has been decreased by $100,000 to $600,000 guaranteed, but connections of the winning horse still could come out ahead.

As the fourth race in the $5.85 million American Championship Racing Series, the Special -- to be held on Preakness Day for the first time -- will be a major stop in the series.

"In context, there is a purse reduction [for the Special]," said Joe De Francis, president of Laurel and Pimlico. "But a lump award payment after the race will provide a lot of incentive."

Under the new system, the leading point earner in the first four races will receive a $150,000 bonus, with $100,000 going to the second-place horse and $50,000 to the third-place horse.

A horse earns 10 points for a victory in the series, seven points for finishing second, five points for third, three for fourth and one for fifth.

The ACRS starts tomorrow with the $400,000 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park and continues with the Gulfstream Park Handicap on March 14 and the Californian at Hollywood Park on April 24 before reaching Maryland.

But the largest bonus is still at the end of the grueling nine-race event, which concludes Sept. 18 with the Woodward Stakes at Belmont. The horse with the highest point total at the finish will receive $550,000 with the runner-up due $225,000.

Squan Song lineup drawn

Tomorrow's Laurel stakes, the $50,000 Squan Song Handicap, has lost some luster with the subtractions of top-weighted Stem The Tide and Ritchie Trail, who finished second in the Barbara Fritchie on Saturday.

A field of eight was drawn yesterday for the 1 1/8 -mile race for fillies and mares with After The Glitter expected to be the post-time favorite.

Clark Cassidy, assistant trainer of Stem The Tide said, "She didn't run her race last weekend [fifth in the Fritchie]. I think [trainer] Jimmy Murphy is going to let her rest a bit. The Squan Song comes up too quick."

Sunday's feature, the $60,000 Goss L. Stryker Stakes for 3-year-old Maryland-breds, probably will have a fuller field.

Among the favorites will be Triple Crown nominee Quicken.

Wolf Prince may skip Crown

Maryland's leading 3-year-old colt may skip the Triple Crown for Britain's Epsom Derby on June 2, trainer Carlos Garcia said.

Wolf Prince, who has won four of five starts on the dirt, will be trained over the turf at Fair Hill for one month before owners Art and Jack Preston decide his future races.

Miscellaneous

It was not a good day for favorites yesterday. None won on the program, including the highly regarded Montbrook (1-to-2), who faltered in the stretch and lost to closer Smart 'N Tough in a $16,500 allowance test. . . . Jockey Mark Johnston canceled all his mounts because of a flu-like illness.

HTC

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