The Preakness Stakes is a Grade 1 stakes race for three-year-old thoroughbred horses, run at a classic distance of 1 3/16 miles (9.75 furlongs; 1.91 km) on a dirt track. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds (57 kg), while fillies carry 121 pounds (55 kg).

Fans love the turf races because they attract larger fields of horses, which makes the outcome for the bettors more interesting. Last year's Pimlico spring meet showed a 5 percent increase in total wagering over the year before, despite eight fewer live racing days. The average daily handle at the track was almost $7 million,
up 26 percent from 2005.

During that time Pimlico was one of the most respected tracks in America, far more important than Churchill Downs and 12,000 horse racing fans attended the first running.

Pillico has two race courses:
Main Track: One Mile, oval.
Turf Course: Seven Furlongs

Pimlico Race Meets:
Spring Meeting: April to June
Fall Meeting: September to October

Pimlico by the numbers:
Main Track: 1 mile loam oval
Turf Course: 7/8 of a mile inside main track

Spring is in the air, with the traditional opening of Pimlico Race Course for the waiting of the May 19 Preakness Stakes.

The meet, which begins with a 10-race card today starting at 1:10 p.m., features 27 stakes races for purses of $3.97 million. Of those, 14 will be carded during Preakness week, including nine on Preakness Day.

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