1/ST Introduces New Racing Series, Preakness Purse Increase

The new series created by 1/ST will feature Preakness 149 as the inaugural leading race | Horsephotos

A new $25-million racing and incentive series connecting Preakness 149, The California Crown, and the 2025 Pegasus World Cup was announced via press release by 1/ST Friday.

Featuring more than $12.5-million in elevated purses and $7.5-million in incentives for both dirt and turf runners, there is a $5-million additional bonus on the line to the owner (s) of the horse who wins the 149th GI Preakness S., GI California Crown, and GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational.

Turf horses will have a similar series and prize structure, with a $2.5-million bonus offered to the connections who win the GIII Dinner Party S., GII California Crown John Henry Turf, and GI Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational.

Also included in the announcement was the news that the purse for the second jewel of the Triple Crown will increase to $2-million, and coupled with elevated purses in other contests, will make Preakness 149 Saturday the most lucrative in the event's history with $3.3-million to be won. The first race of the new series will run May 18 at Pimlico Race Course.

Replacing the Awesome Again S., the GI California Crown will debut on what is dubbed a 'reimagined opening day experience' Sept. 28 for Santa Anita Park's 2024 fall meet. The $1-million contest for 3-year-olds and older will run at 1 1/8-miles while the GII California Crown Eddie D. Turf Sprint and GII California Crown John Henry Turf will both feature $750,000 purses in what will be California's richest day of racing.

The anchor leg of the series goes to the 2025 Pegasus World Cup Jan. 25, which will feature the $3-million Invitational and $1-million Turf Invitational. The live broadcast will include the presentation of the potential $7.5-million bonus should any horse accomplish the feat of sweeping the series.

1/ST will also put up $5-million for a Coast-to-Coast Pick'Em Challenge sweepstakes, requiring fans and bettors to successfully pick the first four finishers of each series race, in order. It will be free to enter through the 1/ST betting app, and is there are no perfect winning entries, the most overall correct entry will win a $100,000 cash prize.

“My team and I continue to believe and invest in the modernization of Thoroughbred horse racing with a commitment to the highest level of international safety standards and horse care as we continue to elevate our already industry-leading wagering, entertainment and hospitality programs,” said 1/ST Chairwoman and CEO, Belinda Stronach.

“To back this up, 1/ST is adding to the legacy of the Preakness by increasing the purse, creating a new marquee race event for the majestic Santa Anita Park–The California Crown–and continuing to build on the phenomenal success of the Pegasus World Cup.  We're proud to work with incredible partners who share our vision and see the future of world-class Thoroughbred racing combined with unique and elevated guest experiences.”

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