'Win Today, See You in May' Stakes Qualifiers Unveiled
The Maryland Jockey Club announced Nov. 14 a "Win Today, See You in May" series of races from tracks across the country that will offer automatic entry into stakes on Preakness Stakes (G1) weekend next year at Pimlico Race Course.
The unique, innovative series will include stakes races from Charles Town in West Virginia, Laurel Park in Maryland, Golden Gate Fields in California, Gulfstream Park in Florida, and Oaklawn Park in Arkansas.
"The Maryland Jockey Club is excited to build off the success we had this year with our qualifier races. We are very excited to add new races and get new partners involved," said Maryland Jockey Club Racing Secretary Chris Merz. "We would like to thank the great teams from Oaklawn Park, Charles Town, Gulfstream Park, and Golden Gate Fields for working with us on this and making the series possible."
Winners of the $125,000 Federico Tesio Stakes at Laurel Park, $300,000 Oaklawn Invitational Stakes at Oaklawn Park, and $100,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields who are nominated to the Triple Crown will earn a berth into the 145th Preakness Stakes (G1), the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, to be run May 16.
Alwaysmining won the Tesio, Laughing Fox captured the Oaklawn Invitational, and Anothertwistafate took the El Camino Real en route to finishing 11th, fifth, and 10th, respectively, in this year's Preakness.
Golden Gate's San Francisco Mile (G3T) will serve as an automatic qualifier to the 119th running of the Dixie Stakes (G2T) on turf for 3-year-olds and up on the Preakness undercard. Oaklawn's Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) will earn the winner a spot in the six-furlong Maryland Sprint (G3), and the top three finishers from Gulfstream's Orchid Stakes (G3T) will have fees waived to the 1 1/2-mile Searching Stakes for fillies and mares 3 and older, also on Preakness Day.
The May 15 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) for 3-year-old fillies will have three automatic qualifiers in 2020—the $125,000 Weber City Miss at Laurel, Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) at Gulfstream, and Fantasy Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn. In addition, the top three Fantasy finishers will have their fees waived for the Black-Eyed Susan.
Part of the Black-Eyed Susan Day program, the historic Pimlico Special Stakes (G3) for 3-year-olds and up, lengthened to 1 1/4 miles for 2019, will host automatic entrants from the Charles Town Classic (G2), Oaklawn Handicap (G2), and Gulfstream's Hal's Hope Stakes (G3).
The winner of the $125,000 Sanibel Island Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Gulfstream will be afforded automatic entry to the $100,000 Hilltop Stakes, also on Black-Eyed Susan Day. Both races are contested at one mile.
The winners of all races will have their nomination, starter, and entry fees waived.