Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championships Return After 17 Years

Classy Class with Antonio Gallardo wins the $100,000 Grade III Salvatore Mile at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J. on June 17, 2017. The race will be a part of the resurrected MATCH series. Credits: Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO

A cooperative effort among the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association chapters In New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland and the Pennsylvania Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has brought about revival of the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championships (MATCH) after an absence of 17 years.

According to Alan Foreman, the CEO of the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, “The goal is to get the marketing and racing sides of the industry working together by (re)creating a new event in the region” that will boost fan interest and increase field sizes in the MATCH races.

The participating tracks will be Monmouth Park, Delaware Park, Pimlico, Parx, Laurel Park, Penn National and Presque Isle Downs.

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The series will be composed of 25 races in five divisions for 3-year-olds and up. The gross value in purse money for the 25 races is $2.8 million with the normal purse divisions in force for each race. Owners and trainers in each race will receive points toward a bonus of $20,000 for the winning owner and $15,000 for the winning trainer in each division.

Additionally, the overall series winning owner will receive $50,000 and the training champion will earn a $25,000 bonus.

The calendar (by division) and the purse money for each will be:

Main Track:

  • May. 26, Monmouth, $100,000, Grade 3 Salvator Mile, 1 mile.
  • June 30, Monmouth, $100,000, Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin Stakes, 1-1/16 mi.
  • July 29, Monmouth, $150,000, Grade 3 Monmouth Cup, 1-1/8 mi.
  • August 25, Parx, $100,000, DeBunda President's Cup, 1-1/16 mi.
  • Sept. 16, Presque Isle, $200,000 Presque Isle Mile, 1 mi.

Fillies and Mares Main Track Sprint: (All races at 6 furlongs)

  • May 18, Pimlico, $100,000 Skipat Stakes
  • June 17, Monmouth, $75,000 Regret Stakes.
  • July 7, Delaware, $75,000 Dashing Beauty Stakes.
  • Aug. 12, Presque Isle, $100,000 Satin & Lace Stakes.
  • Sept. 15, Parx, $100,000 Roamin Rachel Stakes.

Open, Turf Sprint:

  • May 18, Pimlico, Jim McKay Turf Sprint, 5 furlongs.
  • June 2, Penn National, $200,000 Pennsylvania Governor's Cup, 5 furlongs.
  • July 7, Parx, $200,000, Grade 3 Parx Dash Stakes, 5 furlongs.
  • July 29, Monmouth, $75,000 Wolf Hill Stakes, 5-1/2 furlongs.
  • Sept. 15, Laurel, $100,000 Laurel Dash Stakes, 6 furlongs.

Fillies and Mares, Turf Sprint:

  • May 19, Pimlico, $100,000 The Very One Stakes, 5 furlongs.
  • June 2, Penn National, $100,000 Penn Ladies Dash, 5 furlongs
  • July 7, Parx, $100,000 Turf Amazon Stakes, 5 furlongs.
  • Aug. 11, Monmouth, $75,000 Incredible Revenge Stakes, 5-1/2 furlongs.
  • Sept. 16, Laurel, $100,000 Sensible Lady Turf Dash, 6 furlongs.

Open, Main Track Sprint:

  • May 19, $150,000, Grade 3 Maryland Sprint Stakes, 6 furlongs.
  • June 17, Monmouth, $75,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes, 6 furlongs.
  • July 14, Delaware, $75,000 Hockessin Stakes, 6 furlongs.
  • Aug. 12, Laurel, $100,000 Polynesian Stakes, 7 furlongs.
  • Sept. 15, Laurel, $250,000, Grade 3 DeFrancis Memorial Dash, 6 furlongs.

Several of the tracks adjusted their stakes schedules to fit into the MATCH program. Penn National created a new race, the $100,000 Penn Ladies Dash, for the series.

Horses from anywhere can enter individual races. But, a horse must enter at least three of the five races in each division in order to be eligible for MATCH points that will be awarded at 10 points for first, 7 for second, 5 for third, 3 for fourth, 2 for fifth and 1 point for finishing sixth through last.

Horses that start in all five races of a division will receive an additional 7 point bonus. Four out of five starts in any division will earn 5 bonus points.

Building to a racing crescendo, the program ends on the weekend of Sept. 15 and 16 with races at Parx and Laurel on that Saturday the $200,000 Presque Isle Mile on that Sunday.

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